Dabbling in the beauty of the verse, the visual medium of storytelling and the colourful arts and crafts that bring to life our rich Indian folklore is undoubtedly every book lover’s dream. And this season, you can discover a treasure trove of information on Indian children’s literature at the over-a-month-long book exhibition being held at the DakshinaChitra, Muttukadu.
Amidst the distant roar of the sea and a picturesque setting, travelling back in time to revel in priceless paperbacks turns out to be a realistic idea at the aptly-titled expo. Once Upon a Time, designed by the students of Arts Management, Madras Craft Foundation
Drawing inspiration from the pages of Indian mythology, the exhibits trace the evolution of books, from oral storytelling to text, animation and digital media, in an endearing way. From meticulously crafted leather puppetry to Pattachitra scrolls, the essence of visual aids in augmenting the magic of oral story-telling has been finely captured by the students. Further, the exhibition also gives an insight into the age-old tradition of the passing down of regional folktales on cultural values and political structure of communities, purely by word-of-mouth.
Similarly, the section on regional folklore, brought to life through a number of scrolls, doles out interesting trivia to captivate globetrotting visitors. Presenting a colourful picture, they critically reflect the diverse themes of bards that are unique to each state. For example, while the element of magic is profound in Marathi folktales, folk songs and riddles are the core of Rajasthani children’s literature.
Another crowd-puller at the expo is the ‘Book as an Art’ section that weaves into the picture the different traditional art forms including Warli, Madhubani, Gond, Kalamkari and Pattachitra that are infused in books as illustrations.
Books by a range of Indian publishers including Children’s Book Trust, National Book Trust, Tulika, Tara, Katha, Karadi Tales and Chandamama, are for sale at the fair which is on till January 31 from 11 am to 5 pm everyday.