I’m new to Bookaroo! But I felt right at home the minute I walked in through the gates. I was a bit early – you can tell when I am over-enthusiastic that I couldn’t sleep longer and couldn’t hang around the hotel more.
The grounds were getting ready, volunteers were arriving and soon bus-loads of school kids were brought in and let loose amongst authors.
I had met some of the authors the previous evening at a SCBWI India event organised by Anushka Ravishankar of Duckbill books. And I met more on my first Bookaroo event day. I met with Anita, the wonderful editor and publisher at Young Zubaan and met with one of the most wonderful illustrator Priya Kurian – the illustrator of Where is Gola’s Home?
I met writers and illustrators from India, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Singapore and of course UK too. A lot of names to connect with on Social Media and meet in future festivals.
I was thrilled and honoured to meet Eileen Brown and Jamila Gavin. I am proud to say Jamila even bought Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip and I signed it for her grandkids.
My session was in an open space on the grounds and apart from the kids and teachers from the German school, I also had a visitor with feathers – an eagle. I had two wonderful volunteers who were so excited, they joined in eagerly.
We talked about long python like stories and tall giraffe like stories. We made up tall tales and every student and teacher in the audience was able to participate. We had loads of fun because we were all good at making up stories and tall tales.
The session was filled with stories too. I told them the story of “catching the hound” from Mississippi and the Counting Story from India and of course Farmer Falgu paid a visit too and told them about his trip to find silence.
After a great lunch we all were packed into three cars and taken to see Old Delhi. We went through narrow streets, walked into old buildings, shamelessly took pictures of selling beads and old doors and brightly painted windows. The street was filled with so many tiny shops and each shop was filled with millions of beads in hundreds of bags. Then we walked through a tiny street selling food where they deep-fried bread with fillings twice – and then went to the spice street.
After inhaling a lot of smoke and spice filled air, we left the streets to the safety and comfort of our air-conditioned hotel rooms.
Day 0 ended with a wonderful party organised for all attending writers, illustrators, editors, publishers and sponsors.
Tomorrow is a special day. Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market will be launched at Bookaroo. I received my first set of copies on Thursday of the new book. More tomorrow after the launch itself.