(Oral) Story and Illustration- Tejubehan
Ages- 7 plus
Here is a tale of the journey and self discovery of a seemingly conservative woman, who found love, passion and a new calling- as she moved from her village in Rajasthan to a town and finally to Mumbai city, giving her flight and new purpose.
As much as it is a tale on migration for work and a better life it is a story of hope and encouragement and growing old together. Teju, the girl was surrounded by poverty in her village. Her family's quest to improve their lifestyle, meant her first train journey to the city where she dwelt in make shift tents. Once married, she was coaxed into singing by her husband and then introduced to art thus causing her life to be enriched and give life to her imagination and her almost feminist streak.
For instance, she draws a plane with women at the windows and birds to lead the way. A bunch of cars have women drivers and passengers in them.
Life and change both look beautiful in this story. While it has enough soul to be engaging by itself, it is sublime with the art backing it.
Geetha V and Gita Wolf do it well with the English translation of Saali Selvam's Tamil text.
The original art from the book was just exhibited in London at The Illustration Cupboard Gallery. Pics courtesy- Tara Books