Saturday, October 30, 2010


And thus the second edition of our in-house book fest, CROCUS 2010 - Celebrating Reading Culturally Unique Stories, draws to a close today.

As an insider, I recall the mail in early September, from Praba goading us to think a bit on what we could do for CROCUS 2010 and also capturing the 2009 fest for some of us newbies. We had 15 contributors versus the nine of the previous year.

After a quick round of brainstorming, it was very clear that Ranjani's idea to "explore uniqueness based on aspects that make up the crux or core of a culture" should be the theme for CROCUS 2010.

Being enthu cutlets/ pattanis, each of us would have churned out a review a day through this week but better sense prevailed. We did a max of 4 posts each.

Teams were formed and logistics sorted out.

The artwork for the evocative and much appreciated flyer was done by Lavanya and executed by Sheela with creative inputs from the creative design team comprising Meera, Praba, Tharini, and Vibha.

Consistency in look and scheduling (imagine over 40 posts in 7 days ) was superbly planned and executed by the planning team comprising Ranjani, Sheela and Praba. We brought you 6 reviews per day spread over 7 days.

The BR team ( Blog Relations team consisting of Artnavy, Sandhya,Chox, Madmomma, Kodi's Mom) publicized the event in a professional manner sending press releases to a network of publishers and bloggers such as Pratham, Papertigers, Zoe, Tulika, Starry, Monika and our blogs.

There was media coverage – features in The Hindu’s Young World, and an interview at Women’s Web featuring CROCUS and Saffron Tree. And mid-October, we even had a couple of feeler/teaser posts from Kodi’s mom and Sandhya.

On Oct 23rd, the stimulating CROCUSWORD 2010 by Meera was thrown open to participation. And with Ranjani‘s welcome post the celebrations officially began.

The reviews were organised by theme this CROCUS.
- Art including fine art, music, dance, theatre and craft
- Mythology and Fairy tales,
- Lifestyle including food, games and philosophy and
- Traditions & festivals

This we hope will help you revisit all reviews that belong to the chosen genre.

We traveled through time with an assortment of tales, modern and ancient, real and far fetched, through countries far and wide, some fun and some thought provoking. We pondered as to what possibly had been the authors’ and illustrators’ intention and motivation. We shared what we felt had gone on in the minds of both child and adult readers.

But whatever the style, content, genre or location, the books finally spoke the language of tolerance, generosity, consideration and oneness. In exploring the uniqueness of each culture, we also discovered unifying threads across the board.

We were enchanted by some wonderful people who shared the story behind their stories-through the main interview and via their answers to reader queries in the comments section. So much awe inspiring passion and talent -
From India –
- Author – Editor- Sandhya Rao of Tulika &
- Story teller & teacher - Geeta of Kathalaya
- From the US –
- Author Ferida Wolff
- Author T.V. Padma
- From Argentina-
- Illustrator Valeria Cis

Thank you all, for being so forthcoming, generous and most of all entertaining!

We were visited by some noted publishers such as Lee and Low books, much loved author Uma Krishnaswami and of course many bloggers, who share our love of books. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING US!

Going by the comments and emails we received, it was indeed an exciting and enriching week of discovery of many new/ rare gems and rediscovery of some old/ known ones. We note with satisfaction that our followers have increased and so has our traffic.

To adapt what Sandhya Rao had mentioned You, dear reader, are the star.

And remember, this is certainly not good bye to wonderful reviews and great books and interviews at ST. It is just that the pace will be a bit - no - a lot more relaxed. So make sure your grab a cup of coffee or tea and drop by at least once a week for reviews- old and new at Saffron Tree.

And Keep Reading!


Choxbox said...

Nice round-up Art!

sandhya said...


SoulSpace said...

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

A very sound and articulate summation....

thanks for all the 'gen'...thats slang in my circle for all the 'info'!

I am going to be visiting and revisiting to have many reads and rereads!!

Harini Gopalswami Srinivasan said...

Saffron Tree team, you are the best! I loved everything I have read so far, am looking forward to reading the rest at leisure. Hope to buy at least some of those delectable books soon! Bless you all!

Monika said...

and what a festival it was... kudos to all of u at ST...

i fell in love all our again with my fav sites...

we walked into ojas's library armed with a huge book list yesterday and both of us came back grinning :D

Praba Ram said...

Beautiful, Art! Loved the nuggets!

Can't wait for CROCUS to bloom again in the Fall of 2011.

Handpicking with the entire team was so much fun. Such a wonderful harvest we have had this year! (touch wood!)

Thanks to all our readers for stoppping to smell the crocus "book blooms"! :)

Tharini said...

What a neat round up of the highlights of CROCUS 2010! Very nice Art! Loved it! And thoroughly enjoyed the festival this year, and still catching up on all the reviews!

ranjani.sathish said...

Lovely wrap up Art !

To me, each of the book reviews are like the various dessert items of a buffet spread (I mention dessert, bcos that's my favourite part !). They have been prepared with so much love and effort. You cannot sample everything all at once. So I take one dessert at a time, savour it completely and then go back for the next one. So I am not done yet with my complete dessert course....will keep coming back in the next few days :-)

artnavy said...

Thanks all and it was wonderful as always to catch up on the reviews-

A waterfall is more exciting than rain for a change...guess you know what I mean

artnavy said...

Monika/harini/ SSS
Just read Masai and I today with Anush!

My request list to our library has left them in a daze!!

Vibha said...

A great wrap-up post Art. As Ranjani said, I have a long list of posts still to relish and savor slowly. Will keep enjoying them for some days to come.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

A big round of applause to the Saffron Tree team !!! Great work ...

Meera Sriram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meera Sriram said...

Neatly summed up Art, just the kind of re-wind I needed now! I am going to need some adjusting from tomorrow..especially in the afternoons (I sat there taking in all those books with a cuppa chai, as my son napped beside me, all last week..sigh..)
It almost feels like the sadness that crept in as Diwali day came to an end, but "Karthikai" (the only other small window when we got the license to burst firecrackers again) was not too far away and gave us hope. The few reviews remaining unread gives me the same feeling:)
P.S: Re-posting due to typos.

Anusha said...

excellent way to wrap it up, Art!
a special thank you to every one of you who took the time to leave a comment letting us know of your presence. We *love* hearing from you.

Art: glad you were able to get Masai & I - would love to hear Anush's reactions..

utbtkids said...

And thus ends CROCUS2010. But it is still echoing in my mind. I am going to come back again and again to refer to the wonderful list of books and savor it.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Great roundup. Fabulous work by the contributors of Saffron Tree. Loved the books you all introduced me to. Will visit often to acquaint myself with new books.

In the process of getting to know more about books, I got to know several wonderful book lovers and bloggers who contribute to the Saffron Tree. :)


artnavy said...

Thanks all and ...

Meera- Karthikai is my Favourite festival

K's mom- Masai and I was loved by me and liked by her... she had questions on why the village was not 'developed' and was amused in parts and thoughful on some pages....

Aravinda said...

Just wanted to congratulate you'll on a great week of CROCUS 2010! The interviews were wonderful and the choice of books - as always, fantastic! Looking forward to more!

starry eyed said...

It was a phenomenal festival, am yet to go through each review, you all have certainly picked up real gems during this CROCUS! Congratulations!

sathish said...

Aravinda, Thanks for writing in and your wonderful comments.

artnavy said...

Thanks Aravinda and Starry

Starry- Same here- I will be coming back to them as well...

Sheela said...

Art, great job of giving an "inside look" not just for the readers, but for us reviewers to look back and smile. Awesome wrap-up post! Thanks!

artnavy said...

sheels- Thanks!
Honoured to be a part of this group.

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