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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Book Review : ‘Tomb of Sand’ by Geetanjali Shree and Translated by Daisy Rockwell

Tomb of Sand’ by Geetanjali Shree, has been translated by Daisy Rockwell. Ret Samadhi’/ Tomb of Sand’, ‘Khali Jagah’, ‘Tirohit’, ‘Hamara Sheher Us Baras’ and ‘Mai’ and several short story collections are in her mother tongue, Hindi. They have been translated into English, Urdu, French, German, Polish,  Serbian and Japanese. Shree who has authored a biography of Premchand in English, and is also part of the theatre group, Vivadi. This is a group of theatre, literature, music and painting experts.

We are stuck between the mother and her daughter. And of course, I must mention about her relationship with the Hijra, which of course is the best part. There’s also one son, Badi and her daughter-in-law, Bahu.  We also have the two grandsons.

My my, will it ever stop?? If you are wondering that, then I should mention that, it does. Before we all start wondering why in the world, there is so much to tell, I might as well tell you. That the bits and pieces that am mentioning is only that much.

While we are dealing with the story, we are bound to Pakistan where she wants to go, because it was where, she was in her teens, during partition. But of course, we must not forget the daughter who is an integral part of this story. When the daughter was growing up, Ma had not yet grown old, but was still a part of the puzzles, culture, shelter and household.
The daughter, who lived alone, had come to take care of her mother.

Geetanjali Shree

But of course, there’s the trip because it is an important fragment of the story. So, we have the travel to Pakistan and the adventures there as well. The furtive parts, fun bits, the unsolved suffering, feminism, motherhood and much more! The love and the fights, the feelings and also Rosie the hijra…

You can Buy the Book, right here.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Author Interview : Ann Thomas, author of 'Who Will I Be?'

Read up, the Interview with Ann Thomas, author of 'Who Will I Be?'. What inspired her to write the book, how the book came about,what according to her was different about her book, he most challenging part of her book. 

And what she thought was different out her book, her favourite authors, when her next book would be out, what she does on a daily basis, Folks...



Ann Thomas

Who was it that inspired you to write this book? And why?


It truly began as a conversation between my son and me


For a child like mine, who is a challenge to any adult around him, someone who is constantly struggling to finish anything he starts, someone who is being constantly judged for being too distracted, too uninvolved, too something, self doubt becomes a way of life.


This book was an answer to him in one of those struggling moments, where he, I thought, was beginning to limit himself.


ADHD, Dysgraphia and high intelligence are struggles on their own. The combination makes nothing simple - for him or for me. And when I am not screaming because of my own vulnerabilities in handling him, I turn to write to him, things that he would not believe or listen to, when I tell him. This is one of those notes. 


One that I felt every child  could hear. 


How did 'Who Will I Be' happen? Could you describe the journey?


The book was written, but the words were not enough…I needed illustrations that would really capture anyone - more so children. 


I researched so many, reached out to a few and finally Sumouli, from WoodleDoodleDesigns and I decided to work together. I am glad we did, the illustrations really do add life to the book!


What according to you, was different about your book?

What I have been told by so many readers is that it opens up possibilities, it equalises roles. A scientist or a quilt maker, a musician or mathematician, it breaks silos and allows you to dream up a mix of what you can be.


Because that’s who we are right? I am a mother, a teacher, a marketer, a baker, a writer, an editor, an excellent cleaner and an organiser - You are never one thing alone... And everything you do, brings value to your life and those around you. 


What was the most challenging part of writing this book?


It was a letter to my son, yet meant for every parent and every child. I struggled with how my book was gendered — the He vs She battle. 



Also that I had not a clue on publishing, printing and distribution. I remember my first email to Sumouli...


"I have never published a book so this is my journey of learning. It doesn't matter if the words are not out of the world, they mean a lot to me. I hope it does for him too. I want him to know the world is limitless. 


Could you help me create it?"


And she did! And It is beautiful, isn’t it?!


When will your next book be out?


I hope soon! 


Which books are you reading, currently?


I have a three year old, which means when I pick a book, he wants to either read it (and he does for the next twenty minutes, flipping from page to page)  or switch it — so what was supposed to be Manu S Pillai’s, 'Ivory Throne' becomes We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen or  Yakkity Yak from Pratham books


What is it that you enjoy doing on a daily basis?


I recently moved cities so currently my daily is getting my life and home organised. Making the daily to-do lists and checking them off plus keeping the boys fed, healthy and cared for take up most of my time :)


Read up the Review here ...

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Book Review : 'Who Will I Be?' by Ann Thomas and Illustration by Sumoli Dutta

Read up, ‘Who Will I Be?’ a book by Ann Thomas and with illustrations by Sumoli Dutta, which seemed so delightful at the first go. I remember when I first saw this book. It was all pictures, and a little text to go with it all. I remember how much I liked the whole concept of a book like that.

There are boys and a girl on a swing watching the two of them. An exciting looking garden too… Then you spot another little boy, hosing the garden and another boy having a chat with a little snail. So, basically you notice all the little ones getting all eager. Taking you on this journey is Ann with her sons…

The author mentions, Yehoshua and Zachary who obviously were the ones behind her, with so many questions that she thought that she would try to put it all in this book!

The book captures these little kids in all sorts of clothes to depict them in the various roles they could take up. There is a child in the garden, with little animals, looking at a snail, or even a cow, or a girl stitching, there are kids in lawyer or business like outfits.

One could be anything he wanted to be; he could be an astronaut, or poet, or even an author, or musician… Or perhaps a pilot or even a zoo keeper!!

It is all in the brain - if one can think or dream it - you can be it!

You could also check out Ann's wonderful website, http://mommysuitup.org/