A mother of two boys, Tulika, while searching the ‘right books’ for them, realised there are hardly any appropriate books available for the children. So, she decided to pen down stories that entertain as well as enlighten the young minds.
“The previous generation grew up reading the books of Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, RK Narayan, Ruskin Bond and other legendary authors who weaved beautiful stories for children. Sadly, today there are only very few writers who write suitable books for children. Literature plays a very crucial role in nurturing and expanding the imagination of kids. It provides an avenue to learn about their own cultural heritage and at the same time, appreciate the cultures of other people,” begins the author.
Tulika loves writing for children and says it’s quite a challenge to write for them. All her five books are part of SFS series (stories from scriptures). “For one year, I just kept researching and writing more and more stories. Later, I was convinced that it’s not a passing desire. I started doing it professionally and got all of them illustrated and made them ready for publishing. It’s my attempt to churn our ancient heritage and bring out stories which are evergreen and which have stood the test of time,” explains Tulika. Each book is different from the rest and has the context of Indian culture, folklore and mythology. “Each story will teach an important lesson to the children. The stories have been presented with colourful and vibrant illustrations in order to make them appealing. This will hold a child’s interest in reading the book for a very long time.” she says.
The boy who remained 16 narrates a story about a 16-year-old boy who tries to find out the most important truth of his life during his final days. The intense story highlights two important aspects of human life which are faith and perseverance. The story of Shabri Ke Ram is about a small tribal girl who runs away from home to find answers to her inner conflicts. Her life changes when she meets a teacher who shows her the right path and guides her to achieve her goal. The book 7 colours of Holi is a celebration of myriad emotions. The book has seven poetries giving us reasons as to why we celebrate Holi. The book Parijat brings us to a mythical, magical tree called Parijat which grew out from a princess ash, whose bark was golden and bore clusters of fragrant flowers. The Princess Who Slept for Fourteen Years is the story of Mithila’s princess, one of the most unsung characters of the Ramayana. “All the books carry a different flavour and different aspects of our value system. Joint families, gurukul system, sandhyavandanam, family festivals and traditions have either taken a back seat or fully disintegrated leaving some superficial remnants behind. These five books are my attempt to introduce that forgotten world of ancient India to the young minds and bring them back to their home,” she says about her books published by Notion Press. Talking about her opinion about children’s literature in India, she says, “There are wonderful authors and boutique publishing houses in India who are doing great work in children literature. But you still can’t walk to a railway station or airport or a bus stand bookshop to get good children books. We still have a long way to go."