Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aajoba-my grandfather

Imagine that a child is given the activity of writing in a scrapbook all that (s)he knows about a favourite relative, with her special memories and feelings about that relative. Imagine that the child is provided with lots of colouring and writing material, and all the photographs that can be found about the person in question. And there is no rush to finish the project, time enough for the child to reflect and marshall all thoughts and feelings.

What would be the result? A collage-y book like Aajoba-my grandfather.
Pic courtesy
Written and illustrated by Taruja Parande.
Published by Tulika books.
Ages 5+

The book begins with who the writer's grandfather was. After enumerating all that he wasn't, she goes on to say that "He was just very special because he was mine."

And then she goes on to write about all the little, special, memorable things that they went on to do together. Putting a snack together, pottering about in the garden, giving the cat a bath, feeding pigeons and then listening to the sound of their wings as they suddenly flew overhead. The story of her Aajoba and Aaji when they got married, and the stories he would tell at bedtime, the same story over and over again.

The book has plenty of personal photographs, accounts of Aajoba's hobbies, pictures of cards written to the writer in his handwriting, pictures of the bags he made from re-cycled clothes and so much more that gives us a comprehensive picture of the person he was in Taruja's memories.

All the more wonderful from a child's point-of-view, as these are simple, everyday pleasures that mean more to a child than all the big things in the world, the little things that go into weaving a tapestry of memories. A tapestry that is so strong that it can often define who you become, and can be a virtual security blanket for one in the big, bad world.

It is a wonderful book, one that we have loved reading together at home. It has revived many memories of my grandparents, and has led to A seeing her own grandparents in a totally different light. In fact, this is one activity that we have planned for the upcoming vacations- A trip to both sets of her grandparents is on the cards, and we will have a lovely time going through old photographs, and maybe come up with a scrapbook of our own!

Tulika books completed 15 years of publishing wonderful books for children of all ages on 15th February 2011. Here's wishing them many more years of such lovely books for us to enjoy in the future. 

Crossposted  here.


artnavy said...

This one sought after book is missing from my Tulika collection

Choxbox said...

Lovely review of a lovely book!

Happy Birthday to Tulika - our kids are lucky to have these around.

And yes we did that this year - dug out old albums and the lil one was fascinated to see her 5-year old mamma with a very young-looking Nana :)

Tulika Publishers said...

Thank you, Sandhya! It's very inspiring to see the impact Aajoba has on its readers.
@Art Do, do add it to your collection! This is a book that has touched almost everyone who has read it. Would love to hear your feedback too:)
@Chox Thank you again:)

Vibha said...

lovely :)

sandhya said...

Thanks all.
@Tulika: An honour to have you comment!
@Vibha: This book reminded me of the book 'Days with Thathu' reviewed by you.:)

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