By I J Saldanha-Shet.
Mangalore, Oct. 3, 2011: Amazing Author SAVITRI BABULKAR, now based in Mumbai, has certainly come out with gold in her recent Book ’Childhood Daze’ A Kanara centric story with much more in it than can be guessed. Sure I am going to read more from now, TV is already out.
No one can discard the treasured insights of childhood - it is a process that is incredibly delicious in hind sight! A piece from the book, Quote, "G B shaw’s quote ’Youth is wasted on the young’ made me burst into laughter, made me pause and reflect. As a child I’d been surrounded by people of the finest caliber. It is only by hind sight that I realize how much I might have imbibed from such wonderful people had I been more alert, more receptive; more willing to learn what these great souls had to share" unquote.
Every human is facinated by her/his childhood and this book awakens the dormant ’child soul’ prompting deep pleasure and mirth. If you have lived any where on the west coast of India,no any where in India, no anywhere at all. Identifying and bonding with the child within has always been projected as a premium and valued nostalgia, a deep down experience set to develop into real personality traits and material beings. The 36 Chapters of this book will captivate you and bless you in a special way unique to your individuality. Whatever, a thrilling interlude as it has been for me too. The sheer childlike language and thought process is a classic on it’s own. The simple down to earth life line narration of things that impress the innocence and nature of children 6 to 10 years ( or there about) is not a playful passing show it is serious business that will captivate the serious reader and thinker apart from giving one happiness and cheer unmatched.
Readers will be regaled with humour at every possible opportunity. To quote Shri. Sadanand Bhatkal, the renowned publisher and editor, who has provided the ‘Foreword’ for the book, her work is “a lucid prose with a delightful ease of narration… brevity being the soul of good-story-telling”. It is most inviting this journey into the past in the early 1940s, in our towns of Manjeshwar and Mangalore now fast growing cities. Several Konkani and local words used , but English equivalents are given. This fascinating book, gives the reader a peep along with the flavors and smells of the small-town life around Mangalore.
The book narrates several incidents that played out in those days when “ Ammanoo” (as she was called, amongst other loving names, grew up in the 1940s.
A large joint family living in a sprawling house with an abundant courtyard in which one grew vegetables and fruits – and even herbs for household cures - for one’s own needs; where one could climb trees, play games like Lagori, Kutti Donne [viti-dandoo in Marathi], Gazgae- games played in those days of yore, that our present generation kids wouldn’t even know how to play!
Shalan Savur says, Life with Ammanoo Reading Child-hood Daze—a sprightly-crafted ti- tle that makes your eyes widen with com-prehension is like reliving child hood joy. In the opening para, you virtually see author Savitri Babulkar’s silhouette at her writing table, drawing you in with a thoughtful, “Having grown up in the area , I can’t help feeling there’s something special about coastal towns in South Kanara.” Then, she skillfully weaves a glorious array of vivid word pictures ’the sunset painting dazzling streaks of red and gold across the sky…sleepy palm trees…silver sands blushing with the flaming pink of twilight…’
The author about her self: Born in 1936, I was Savitri Udiavar, daughter of U. Bhaskar Rao, Sub Editor Times of India at Bombay. way back in the late thirties/early forties. Did my BA from St Agnes College, MAQ - 1958, MA from St Xavier’s College, Bombay - 1960, B.Ed from St.Theresa’s College,Bombay 1978.
Taught in Mount Carmel Convent, Jorhat (Assam), Mount Carmel Convent, Ahmedabad, In Mangalore ( First Principal, Ganapati Jn College) In Mumbai 1. Lawrence Sch, Santacruz, Arya Vidya Mandir, S’cruz, SVT College ( the S’cruz branch of SNDT). As for my writings: short stories for Woman’s Era, Femina, articles for WE, Femina, Eve’s Weekly, Mid-day and ’middles’ for TOI (on human-interest topics.)
Interests - Dramatics, Public-speaking, Light music - Indian and Western..... and holistic healing, sp. Reiki.
As to how the Book, DAZE took shape......Way back in 1998, my daughter Vinita taught me -at gunpoint- how to use a computer. In 2005 I had a computer to myself when I was visiting her at Rockville. I also had a lot of time on my hands. A young niece of mine was eager to know all about a ’ joint family - and how it functioned way back in the forties. So I wrote episode after episode and emailed them to cousins, nieces, nephews and friends - the US is teeming with them. As the episodes began to pile up, they felt I should think of publishing the lot. My son and daughter fought over it - my son won because he was in Mumbai. We also asked Arvind Benegal, my cousin in Mangalore to do the illustrations. And he came up with awesome, life-like sketches. In Dec 2010 Vikram decided to approach the printer.... The DAZE was ready in March this year.
It stuck to me when I came across a para on the ’Ullal Bridge’ which launched my writing interest just a few years ago! Allow me to quote a line, "I loved it when I was on the train, though. For the chukk-chukk-chukk of the wheeels turned to a deep dugg-dugg-dugg; just as it did when we rode into Mangalore on the back bone of the huge bridge across the majestic Netravati". Though I am not a continous resident of Mangalore at least a few people known to me named in the book brought terrific manifestations; familiar spots described was far too thrilling. The contents will thrill any body! So, make sure you get your copy of ’MANGALORE TODAY’ magazine in the next year or two, even if you don’t get the book in your shops!!!
’MANGALORE TODAY’ magazine subscribers and readers are poised for a treat in the coming issues of the popular Magazine! Our Editor gave me the book "CHILDHOOD DAZE". With caution I stated, with so much to see on the electronic media, reading a book has less priority. Having just enjoyed "Blossom Showers" By Gissele Mehata, and some time ago "Between the Assasinations" By Arvind Adiga by the ’Booker Award’ winner, and hearing about "Louis, Puchekanna" By Octogenarian Sidney Pinto, all hailing from Kanara made me curious. My fascination for such local pleasures got the better of me and as soon as I found time looked at the book and the pictures - I am simply wonder struck and so will you be if you read more of all this! .
The book is available at Sterling Book House (Call: 022-22676046 / 22659599); Computer Book Shop (Call 022-6631 7922/23/24); Bookzone (Call 022- 2205 4621/22) for copies of the book.
Publishers: Shroff Publishers & Distributors Pvt Ltd.
Call: 022-4158 4158 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for bulk orders or for details about availability in other cities.
Pp: 215 pages Cover Price: Rs 200/-