BTC In Conversation With

When you have a chequered career spanning banking, accounts, and shipping and logistics, would you think of writing for children? Yes, if you are Nalini Sorensen, the amazing author of the recent books The Star That Saved The Day and Dada's Uselss Present. Harshikaa Udasi misses a coffee date with the writer but catches up over an email interiew with the Australia-based Nalini.

Arefa Tehsin is our hero at the book club! Why? Well, for starters she has been a forest warden. If that isn’t reason enough, we are awestruck by the fact that she gets to live admirably close to wild animals and writes books about living creatures we know very little about! This year has been extra special for the lady. After her book The Elephant Bird became Pratham Books’ choice for PBChampions, to be read across 3200 locations simultaneously in September, Arefa has scored another hit with her book Wild In The Backyard. She has been shortlisted for The Hindu Young World – Goodbooks Best Author Award 2017 to be announced in January. Harshikaa Udasi brings to us the story behind the forest warden, the writer and the wanderlust.

Nagesh Kukunoor speaks to Harshikaa Udasi about why he is wary of stereotyping, what a children’s film should mean and (though the consequences are completely debatable) why Salman Khan is, and in ‘our time’ Amitabh Bachchan was, a kids’ hero

As a businesswoman, a social activist, an educationist, a writer and a grandmother, Shamim Padamsee wears many hats. The best thing about her multifaceted personality? Books that tell us stories as diverse as that of a bonda-loving prince, of Olympics for birds, of APJ Abdul Kalam or of the mystical world of Warli paintings. In conversation with Harshikaa Udasi, the amazing wordsmith tells us what she loves about writing. And just to whet your appetite, the Bondapalli story was really conceptualised over a plate of piping hot bondas!

There’s Toto – that wonderful auto who is a super hit with his 3-feet something audience. There’s the Discover India’s Cities series – 366 words in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. There’s Brown Like Dosas, Samosas, and Sticky Chikki. There’s the Your Turn Now twin-pack. There’s I Have Eczema, So What? The variety is endless. The innovative and energetic children’s book publisher Preeti Vyas of FunOKPlease tells Harshikaa Udasi she wants to put a contemporary Indian voice for Indian children out there as a full-line publisher. With an array of books from fiction to non-fiction, DIY to social changers, this lady is unstoppable!

No blanket generalisations about children nor any escapist fare for them. Actor, producer and director Jaimini Pathak who runs Working Title productions and is the man behind The Boy Who Stopped Smiling and Once Upon a…Tiger! among several other children’s plays, tells Harshikaa Udasi the secret to good theatre for children.

We now have evidence that besides running that wonderful book-lovers haven, Duckbill Books, and singing her version of the 12 Days of Christmas, this wonder woman has powers beyond imagination – novelizing a children’s film in less than 6 days, for one! Anushka Ravishankar speaks to Harshikaa Udasi about Dhanak – her first movie-novel based on Nagesh Kukunoor’s award-winning children’s film. And more challenging than the race against time, was retaining Nagesh’s vision yet giving the novel her touch.

A banker with a keen interest in mythology? That would make for a very interesting title for a resume! And if you add 'Mom and Writer of 11 books' - well, you'd have them floored! Wondering who this Amma of multitasking is? Drumroll, please, for Bhakti Mathur, writer of the mythological Amma Tell Me… series who speaks to Harshikaa Udasi about her latest book Amma Tell Me About Durga Puja 

Here’s unveiling the sweet, stupendous superhero aka illustrator-writer Ashok Rajagopalan who is ready with the three-quel of our favourite gentle elephant Gajapati Kulapati! He lets Harshikaa Udasi into his world of wise grandmothers and complaining neighbours, revealing his ability to create amazing books through his experiences! Are you set to welcome a season of loud noises, laughs and love?

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