Ramesh and Suresh are two brothers that think speaking in gibberish is way more fun than using their words. But when they end up lost in a strange land where everyone speaks only in gibberish, will they change their tune? Set against the backdrop of Holi, the Festival of Color, this story is nonstop multicultural fun for young readers. Subhash Kommuru, pairs with the lively illustrations of Nayan Soni for this festive frolic. Pick up a copy for your little reader today!
Today I have been joined by Subhash Kommuru, to natter a little about the colorful world explored in the children’s cook ‘Shabdon Ki Holi’. Subhash, thanks for generously sharing a dash of your time with me today to chat about the adventures of these two brothers. Please lead us in today’s interview by starting with where the idea for these two brothers experiencing the festival of ‘Holi’ originated?
When parents are making small talk, asking about a child’s day and what they learned in school, regardless of which language is used at home, they are interested in being involved in their children’s lives. To have the child talk nonsense in return, in a language that they know their parents will not understand, becomes a tiresome bore rather quickly, but until the roles are reversed, the children cannot understand what all of the fuss is about. This title is an attempt to do just that. But problem is how can you get a kid to read this book and that’s where entertainment and other props come into play. Kids won’t even realize as they are turning pages that they are not only indulging but also learning something very very important.
So it sounds like the emphasis on educating children about the importance of clear communication was one of the main drivers that you wanted to share. Were there any other messages that you tried to include throughout the course of the plot?
I mixed quite a few things in this title. Core themes being diversity, festival, celebration and the most important message is communication skill. It is very easy to criticize a kid when they blabber but for them to understand what happens if tables are turned now then it gets interesting.
Did you use some of your personal experience as inspiration for this tale? Did you use snippets from your own childhood perhaps?
I come from India and with me bring lots of memories from a land filled with culture, diversity and celebration. In every title I write I try to bring a glimpse of that culture, induce an Indian feeling to it and offer diversity to my readers. I think this book has also hit that mark.
Was research integral to make sure that your book hit the mark?
No, not a whole lot of research but used my memories from childhood to spark some theme in the book like festival of Holi.
What initially inspired you to start writing children’s books? Did you always desire to write your own novel from childhood?
I started to write for my kids but now this has become my hobby. I love writing simple stories and put them into life. Its very very rewarding to draw on life lessons and put them in a story and then look back at them and soon realize another important learning which you missed first time around when you were involved in it.
Okay, it sounds like you may not always know where your story will end up when you start writing. Instead, do you find that the ending and objective of the story unfolds as you progress through the writing process?
This is a loaded question. Most of the time my stories start with end. I have a message in mind, then I build characters. I mostly inspire from nature. I am not the kind who can make a turtle fly like a bird. I derive from nature’s strengths and draw upon them.
Subhash, I know you must now dash, but before you leave I’d just like to thank you again for sharing your strength with the written word with both myself and the audience today and I wish you the best of luck sharing your ideals with the children of the world.
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