Saturday, November 3, 2012

'Handmade' Note

Mother-of-two Rachna-Maneesh Dhir discovered Tulika books eleven years ago, when her daughter was born. Today, this Bangalore-based 'book evangelist' takes Tulika books to schools and homes. Rachna sent us this note from this year's The Handmade Collective

People often ask me "Don't you get tired?" And I reply, "It is therapeutic for me!" Well, selling Tulika books was indeed a stress releasing experience, at the Hundred Hands Handmade Collective, this year.  

Last year, I sold all Tulika titles that had anything to do with hands - the Looking at Art series, Little Fingers, Rangoli, Stitching Stories, What shall I make?, The Seed, Let's plant trees and they were all very well received. This Bangalore based NGO encourages people to display, sell, and make with their own hands.  And the books also did the same for children!

This year, the dates of the bazaar coincided with Karnataka Rajyotsava and I decided to focus on art from Karnataka as well as art forms from all over the country. While people looking for story books with princes and fairies were understandably disappointed, many others were thrilled beyond imagination!

Samshad at The Handmade Collective
On display and sale were the bilingual Panchatantra Series, the Under The Banyan series, Nina Sabnani's Home and the new It's all the same, Dancing on Walls, And Land Was Born, but the most popular book seemed to be Oluguti Toluguti!

I would open the page in the visitor's native tongue and the looks in their faces were uplifting when grandmas found their childhood rhymes in print in their script! "Why did such books not exist when we were kids" was the common sentiment. Many visitors bought multiple copies to be presented to many children in their family and friend circle.

Many Indians who are on assignment or have moved back to India from abroad were excited at seeing such art work in Indian books! So were expats from Japan and the US, for that matter.

Tulika - thank you, always, for changing the landscape of children's books in India. 

Many authors and illustrators,  designers and students spent a lot of time browsing and I enjoyed watching them. Thank you, A Hundred Hands, for letting me share the joy of books with such an amazing crowd!  Thank you Bangalore book lovers for buying books despite the rain! May your tribe increase! 

Long-lost friend

Visitor Samshad picked up a copy of Oluguti Toluguti and saw the name Mita Bordoloi among the list of people who had narrated the poems for the audio version of the book. Turns out that Mita, who now lives in the US, was a childhood friend she had lost touch with. 

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