BOOK Mita Bordoloi’s says she wrote Bulbuli’s Bamboo from the rhino’s perspective to sensitise young readers to the man-animal conflict
Writer Mita Bordoloi’s love for writing coupled with nostalgia for her childhood led her to pen her first book, Bulbuli’s Bamboo . Illustrated by Proiti Roy and published by Tulika Books, Bulbuli’s Bamboo is about a young girl, Bulbuli, who lives in a bamboo house in a bamboo grove. The reader travels with Bulbuli in her bamboo world.
“I wrote the book in a cumulative style. For the story, I pictured what a girl would do if she were in Assam and surrounded by natural products, so I decided to make bamboo a part of her life. I also wanted to empower the girl. She does things most people would not think a girl can do. So she rows the boat instead of just travelling on it,” says US-based Mita who was raised in Assam, where she spent her days near the Kaziranga National Park and by the banks of the Brahmaputra River.
Mita’s and Proiti’s collaboration worked to produce an appealing picture book. “I sent some of my own sketches to Proiti and she understood my vision completely. It was a seamless blending.” Although Mita lives in the United States, she has vivid childhood memories. “When you are away from home, you feel so nostalgic. I surround myself with what reminds me of home, anything that reminds me of nature. Since these sensibilities are so dear to me, I write stories about them.”
Mita wants her book to be read by every Indian child.
“The man-animal conflict is a major cause for concern. Children should be aware of it. I have written a story on the monsoon migration of baby rhinos. It is written from the perspective of the rhino, how they feel when they encounter human beings.” Mita’s love for nature developed because of her father. He used to collect orchids and even built a resort that blended with the natural surroundings. But when the unrest started in Assam, it had to be closed down.
Mita says that the situation is a lot better now and her brother re-opened the resort in 2008.
Mita also writes books for adults and has a master’s degree in creative writing. “I am happy that Tulika is publishing children’s stories that are Indian in plot and focus. Our generation read books about other cultures. The time has come for being confident about our own culture.”
Bulbuli’s Bamboo is is priced at Rs. 135