Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oluguti Toluguti: Indian Rhymes...

Indian Rhymes to Read and Recite

Edited by Radhika Menon & Sandhya Rao

Illustrated by Kshitiz Sharmaa

All ages

A lot has been said about the novel way in which Tulika involved readers/ bloggers to chip in with their fond rhymes from their childhood in their mother tongue/ regional Indian languages. Translating and transliterating it must have been a huge task as well.

What makes it even more precious are the illustrations that just invite you, taking you along this mini tour of India. Here is a chat with the young man behind the art.

Meet Kshitiz Sharma - the illustrator of Tulika's Oluguti Toluguti. His maiden children's venture. From Symbiosis Institute of Design with a degree in Communication Design, he is a designer who enjoys reading, travelling and witnessing Indian street culture/fashion.

ST- How did you bring alive so many cultures?

The task at the beginning was very daunting and you know it being my first ever book and being still in college back then, I was scared whether I am doing the right thing, infact I was scared right uptill the middle of the book. But then, i thoroughly enjoyed illustrating such beautiful rhymes from all corners of India. There were regular discussions about the culture and the rhymes at Tulika which helped a lot. It was like a mini tour of India, illustrating this book.

How was the page composition arrived at?

The page composition was what took priority once the illustration style was set, right at the beginning of the book. Several permutations were tried. It being quite a big book, the pages had to look fresh each time someone opened the book, at the same time the book could not afford to confuse. The information ( the translation, transliteration and the rhyme in original script) had to have a set pattern, for usability reasons. So all this was thought off and with the guidance of Radhika, we settled on this page composition which was deemed appropriate then.

Can you tell us how the illustrations evolved and what styles you used for this book?
The evolution of illustrations was a very natural process.From initial trials and roughs to settling on an appropriate look which works for the book was very a organic process.The styles used in the book were inspired from the art forms of India, no one in particular.It was an intuitive assimilation of all the art forms of India I have grown up with and absolutely adore

Any anecdotes from your experience?
The best part during the creation of the book was when I spoke to my friends from all parts of India and asked if they had heard this rhyme or that rhyme from their region. The feeling of nostalgia that evoked was amazing. And of course at the book launch, last month, seeing kids react to lovely rhymes was priceless, makes me want to draw more and more for kids.

Can you share your favourite illustrators/ picture books and why?
My favorite artist is Jamini Roy. I am a huge fan of his body of work and his work unfailingly always inspires me. Of the new age illustrators I like Mr Sanjay Patel's work. His book on Ramayana is a visual treat. There are way too many picture books and artists to list here. My biggest heroes are the artists from India. The tribal artists and their creations need no more words of praise.

Thank you Kshitiz ! We are sure that in a few years, your body of work and your fan group will expand!


Praba Ram said...

What a delicious treat, Art! I certainly feel good about the fact that for the first time I've managed to get hold of a brand new Tulika book, even before the review! :)

And even better, my daughters had a lovely opportunity to get the copies signed by Kshitiz. Exuded such happy energy and enthusiasm, evident in the art! I couldn't agree with him more here.

"My biggest heroes are the artists from India. The tribal artists and their creations need no more words of praise. "

Good luck, Kshitiz! And I assume you still have my li'l one's delightful creation that she so reluctantly shared with you!!? :)

Praba Ram said...

typo - *my daughters had a lovely opportunity to get the "copy" signed by Kshitiz.* - just one copy! :)

utbtkids said...

Art, ditto Praba. I own a copy, without having to wait for the sacred India trip :)))

Got myself one before the St review was up. How could I not after Praba enthusiastically recommended it :)

Few of the rhymes from this, I am incorporating in a teacher training workshop I am putting together, "Place value of rhymes in a primary classroom".

kshitiz said...

@Prabha, thanks a lot for your kind words. mean a lot. and yes i have the beautiful drawing of your daughter, its up on my board for inspiration.:).hope she enjoys art and grows to love words and visuals.thanks a lot for your kind words.

Subhashree said...

Thanks Art, for the interview, and for lending the book. The rhymes were quite nostalgic. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The illustrations were striking and fresh, I went through the book just to soak in the beautiful sketches.

Good luck to Kshitiz.

Artnavy said...

Thanks Kshitiz and Welcome Subha!!

Rahul Mathias said...

What a wonderful blog! I will definitely be stopping by once I have children :). One thing I really do believe in is that charity starts at home, and that children have to have this value inculcated in them. A nation of emphatic, thoughtful and caring citizens is really the need of the hour. I stumbled on a chance to help contribute to the values our children imbibe as they grow up. Pantaloons India, along with an NGO called Goonj, has started an initiative known as Joy Exchange, for those who have old/spare clothes. All one has to do is go to the nearest pantaloons outlet and just drop them off! Take the kids along and teach them the value of charity and giving to those in need! You really will be left feeling good, at least I did. They have a funny video which will definitely entertain the kids -

Lavs said...

From what I see, I love the illustrations. All the best Kshitiz. You already have so many fans.

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