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~~~ If you sit peacefully on a bench in the sun, the children float up to you like happy butterflies and that was what I did all afternoon. There was the little girl with a yellow balloon who thought I could produce another one by magic from my bag.

~~~ the tired old grandma in a sari who rested her aching knees besides me and wondered if she would look good wearing a salwar kurta. She gave a toothy grin when I said she would look totally fabulous. A sort of,  “Hah! Who is she trying to fool?”

~~~ and that book worm boy who won the largest number of prizes at my history quiz, making me autograph books written by others. When I said it is not done, those authors would hunt me out and kill me, he gave a slight superior smile and said, “Write  ‘Prize for Quiz’ and then sign.” So those books Rick Riordan and Deepa Agarwal, have been signed by a quiz master with the same name, not me.

~~~ And the little girl with giant glasses who went and reported to Jerry Pinto that I said he talks too much and there was Jerry booming into the author’s lounge, “Subhadra! Did you say…” Look I was only trying to get her to attend your session man, because you do talk and verrrry interestingly Jerry…

~~~ Do you know who are the greatest fans of Arjun Kaul’s anarchic music? Little nymphets who danced all through. And when he played ‘Purple Haze’ I suddenly had a flashback to my school study desk and Jimi Hendrix staring down at me with his gloom and doom look. I was sixteen again.

~~~ As Devdutt Pattanaik wove his mythological stories about of Shiva under the trees, his fingers moved on the paper with a life of their own and there was Shiva’s dancing mudra slowly appearing like a mirage from a bunch of quickly sketched lines.

~~~ The programme brochure produced with such care had many uses – for collecting chips and chocolate wrappers, as a fan, to sit on, and finally as a paper handkerchief over the face as one man stretched out on the grass and took an exhausted nap.

~~~ This is my final blog for Bookaroo and I hope all of you will be back again next year. Now the festival has a life of its own and it will go on. It will be there waiting for you with storytellers and singers, artists and comedians among the floating ribbons and thumping feet of kids who have found a place where they are free and happy.

shukriya folks!

Subhadra from bloggerland

The Glade | Devdutt Pattanaik

The children clicked photographs with the outline drawn by Devdutt Pattanaik as parents looked on amused. That was the start to the wonderful storytelling session by him. He talked about different Gods and their legends. The children listened attentively and took home moral values.

The Think Tank| Paro Anand

Paro Anand is an acclaimed writer who loves to see children happy and smiling. The session was a book reading one where she threw her voice impersonating the different characters from the story. She read out from ‘Wingless’- her book about a flightless bird.

The Workshop |Subhadra Sen Gupta

The children displayed their intelligence quotient as Subhadra Sen Gupta talked about history and all things past. It was followed by a quiz and the world map was explored. The session was a very interactive one.

The Glade| Deepa Agarwal

Deepa Agarwal narrated calmly the story from ‘Rajula’s Web of Magic and Danger’. The children sat enraptured as she spoke of adventurous journeys from an epic story from Uttarakhand. Later, she had the children write and read out their masterpieces.

The Workshop | Satoshi Kitamura

Sliding pictures and moving frames were the highlight of the session with Satoshi Kitamura. The parents and children gaped and applauded as the wooden theatre came alive with moving stories. The guessing game had everybody working their minds and figuring out what the picture shadows meant. It was a very interactive session.

The Think Tank | Ramendra Kumar

Ramendra Kumar perked the audience up doing a question answer round at the beginning of the session. He continued with a book reading of his book ‘Taal Betaal and Tyranny of Tsunami’. There was talk of ghosts and how he wrote about a ghost that had a purpose.


The Workshop | Shamini Flint

Shamini never fails to bring alive the child in everyone attending her wonderful sessions. She engaged the children in a thoughtful discussion about the steps of writing a story. Presentations were used to bring out the animation in the turtles she talked about.


The Glade | Gregory Hughes

Gregory Hughes’s calm manner always enthralls the audience and that’s what happened at this session too. He talked about how it is not cool to write in a phine voice- a voice that is put on. According to him, flowery writing doesn’t really go down well with every reader and its best to write in your own voice.


Think Tank | Samhita Arni

Samhita’s session yesterday flocked more audience towards her today as she continued with her strong knowledge of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Her session was one of the most interactive ones as she had kids doing most of the discussion. The amount of information the children had about the two Epics, was very amazing.


The Glade | Steve Skidmore and Steve Barlow

The 2Steves have so much under their hat that they will never run out of things to entertain the audience with. This session of theirs, which was a horror story act-out, was brimming with children and people of all ages. The costumes and masks just added to the appeal of the Ihorror show.

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