A day at the Junior Writers Bug festival

Put together a bunch of writers, illustrators, folk singers, storytellers, theatre people and more such. Plonk them in the middle of a nature park. Drive in hordes of excited kids and happy parents. Add in the lovely Kitab Khana bookstore. Tie it together with scrumptious food and kulfis of every imaginable flavour on site (the strawberry flavour was rather lipsmacking). And you are sure to have one fun festival. The Junior Writers Bug festival held this weekend at the Maharashtra Nature Park turned out to be one such delight. I spent my Sunday morning with a bunch of excited kids singing and dancing to the Rooster Raga. The song turned out a big hit here as well and we followed it up with colouring in some adorable rooster chicks. Some planned to turn them into greeting cards and others into stick puppets for a read along with the story. Here are a few taking shape… With my session on Bonkers! later in the evening, my 6 year old and I attended a session on Uttaranchal folk tales by Suresh Kala and Avinash Lamba. Even though we couldn’t understand all the words, one got a real feel of the mountains. And a sheepish grin as Suresh translated one of the folk tales being sung out – since it turned out to be a song being sung by a man to his fiancé. Ahem! The kids got into the groove with a beautiful song created for the event with a rather catchy refrain ‘bum chiki bum, chiki bum bum, bum chiki bum…’ Tanvi Bhat, one of the illustrators of the just-gone-to-press History Mystery...

The Junior Writers Bug festival in Mumbai, this weekend!

December 7th – 8th, 2013 at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai With 70 sessions for children over 2 days, this promises to be fun.  If you would like to get your children for my sessions, here are the details: Jive to the Rooster Raga for ages 4-6 Sunday, December 8th, 11:45am – 12:45pm at The Kahaani corner Jump, jive, shake and sing with me as I read from my new book, Rooster Raga. Then create your own little rooster chicks to have them pecking away at your table back home. Time to Go Bonkers for ages 6-9 Sunday, December 8th, 4:15pm – 5:15pm at Nisarg Join me as I read from my book, Bonkers! and enjoy an utterly mad session as I transport you to a world of doggie fun and crazy antics. Share your own stories and learn how to draw your own Bonkers dog. Woof Share...

From a Bonkers doodle to a Bonkers! dog

Bonkers! started off as my sign-off on cards while in college. Back then, I would doodle two big eyes connected by a bulbous nose (any suggestion of resemblance of the doodle’s nose to mine shall be seriously frowned upon). This would be finished off with a smile, a little tooth sticking out and a scribble saying ‘Bonkers!’ Recently, when a dear friend recalled this, I took a closer look at the Bonkers from college and the facial features of Bonkers now created by Deepti Sunder, the illustrator of the book. Deepti has given the mad mutt gigantic crazy eyes. A dog’s nose in any case leans towards being blobby. She rounded off the face with a nice doggy grin with a little tongue sticking out. Take a look! Preferences § 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 – = Backspace Tab q w e r t y u i o p [ ] Return capslock a s d f g h j k l ; ‘ shift ` z x c v b n m , . / shift English Deutsch Español Français Italiano Polski Português Русский alt alt Preferences Share...

My experience at Bookaroo in the city

This was my first time with Bookaroo in the city, and as all new things go, it was exciting to say the least. With a rushed three days in Delhi, my mornings began with readings from my recently released book, Bonkers! (Duckbill books). I read to groups as large as 150 students at the Kendriya Vidyala at Tagore Garden and the Andhra Education Society school. I was delighted to see the open-mouthed expressions on the children’s faces when I related childhood escapades with my dogs. The children joined in with all their enthusiasm as they counted the number of animals versus people in my childhood home (it was something like 39 versus 6 at one point!) and the number of ‘TANGS’ the doggie bowl hurled down sounded out. After real and fictional episodes, I led the children through a step-by-step demonstration of drawing their own Bonkers! Excited comments, questions and ‘see mine, see mine!’ peppered this bit. We had many adorable Bonkers coming to life in their notepads. Kudos to the Bookaroo team. Things moved like clock work. Thank you to the teachers and students for letting me be a part of their day so warmly. To a great Bookaroo ahead! Click here to know more about the upcoming Bookaroo in Delhi (November 23-24) and Bookaroo in Pune (November 30-December 1).  Preferences Preferences Preferences Preferences Preferences Preferences Preferences § 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 – = Backspace Tab q w e r t y u i o p [ ] Return capslock a s d f g h j k l ; ‘ shift...

When fiction inspires real life …

When fiction inspires real life … While real life often inspires stories, it isn’t too often that a book inspires real life drama. This morning, our dog Obi Singh enacted the opening scene from Bonkers! Unlike Bonkers, he isn’t a newly acquired puppy. Rather Obi is an over charged one year old, so there isn’t any justification for his actions. While his mother (also my mother) was out on her early morning walk around the house, Obi charged into her to wish her a good morning. The greeting often includes grabbing her track pant and tugging at it. Since attempting to walk with a dog attached to your ankle can be rather tough, she bent down to extricate her pant from his slobbery mouth. Did I forget to mention that her glasses were dangling on her shirt? Obi shot up and BAM! rammed into her… (click to read the entire story on the Duckbill blog) Preferences § 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 – = Backspace Tab q w e r t y u i o p [ ] Return capslock a s d f g h j k l ; ‘ shift ` z x c v b n m , . / shift English Deutsch Español Français Italiano Polski Português Русский alt alt Preferences Share...