If Shashi Tharoor had Indian books like The Summer of Cool and The Good News Reporter to read when he was growing up, they would have featured in his book “Bookless in Baghdad”, Chapter 1, Growing Up with Books in India.
Congratulations on filling a very important void! If I had to compile a list of most influential Indians, you would be among the top! Not only did you write for children, you wrote a completely desi book, which like most Indian urban things and people, reflects the global nature of today’s kids with their Indian cultural sensibilities.
There is no ‘Indian children’s book’ that I could relate to while growing up. Thanks for changing all that. My older daughter thoroughly enjoyed the book and so did my younger one and I just could not put the two books down. I read them one after another. The thrill of reading an Indian English book was magical. Then I went into ‘withdrawal’ and couldn’t bring myself to read anything else!
Last but not the least, the desi consideration aside, you wrote two very good books for children. I am thrilled about the fact that these have Indian characters, themes, plots and ‘Indian English’. But they are good books first because they are simply good stories. The plots are good and the story keeps moving so that you want to keep turning the page.
I am also glad to see the larger trend of desi literature emerging, which you are a part of:
The commercial success of books also helps encourage new authors that India needs. About time India!
I would change two things about the book. One, I would edit it ever so slightly to make the book have a broader appeal to include an even younger age group. Two, I would approach Penguin to get a better bound book. Our copy of TGNR already has pages that are coming loose at one end.
Suchitra, I hope Devi Saraswati blesses your pen so you can keep more books coming. We would be thrilled to hear back from you!
Thank you Chandra for the above kind words. Its one of the reasons i chose this genre-the fact that there is no indigenous indian literature for the young mind. Nothing that told us about our own lives, the way we celebrate it.
Your words seem to make all the effort and sleepless months that go into writing a book worth it :-))
I invariably write through the night-when my daughter is asleep and i can be freed from the disturbance of mundane domesticity. My urge to write is so strong and uncontrollable that i just do it but i sometimes wonder…
Writing in India is an unrewarding job, in terms of money and recognition. I mean my maid earns more! An item girl shaking her touche on stage in a back of the beyond small town earns many many times more.
While i can afford to laugh it off because my livelihood or lifestyle does not depend on it I often wonder how other writers sustain themselves.
I hope this changes soon…because there is an ocean of talent and a wealth of stories we can tap into-totally uniquely Indian. They need to be encouraged and suitably rewarded
Then maybe the new writers (unlike most of the current crop) wont feel the need to peddle our poverty and our feudal past to the west- because thats where the big bucks and the fame comes from.