Friday, May 30, 2014

Hobbies and Collections!

I need not elaborate on why it is important for one to pursue hobbies. Be it reading, music, sports, photography, art and crafts - everyone needs something to turn to during their leisure time (if there's such a thing as that!) or something to take their mind off the daily humdrum of life! Off late people have been seen taking up hobbies as seriously as their mainstream line of work, often juggling between the two and reserving weekends for pursuing their passion that may eventually turn into their calling! Hobbies are not only the best stress-busters but can also be great motivators.  As parents, it's never too early to get our kids interested in what may help them develop a holistic perspective towards life.  Of course, we may enroll our kids into dance, music, art, or sports, but how many of us do so for the pure joy of it, or simply to enable them to appreciate finer aspects of life, without any performance pressure?? Hmm... that's a tough one! Isn't it?:-)  

Speaking of hobbies, today's book (that seems like it almost belongs to another era) should have been featured on “Onestoryaday” a tad earlier, probably at the start of summer vacations. “Flowers and I” a National Book Trust India publication by Manorama Jafa and illustrations by Jaya Rastogi Wheaton and Sudhir Kasliwal is as much a book about collection hobbies as it is about flowers. Not very often you find a book that has an old world charm to it and yet doesn’t fail to enthuse the generation Z. Not very often you find a book that presents everyday nature and objects in such a charming manner! Not very often you’d land yourself a gem of a book brought out by a homegrown publication with almost zero marketing strategy!   Not very long ago, I had found a book from the very same publishers randomly picked out at a small town book fair and this is another  book from that pile! As soon as I read the title, I knew just who had to read this one to Abhay!
Someone who could very well be writing her own "Flowers and I", perhaps !!:-)
Well, inspired from the book, Abhay's grandma has even lent her own shell collection .....
 The story goes like this .......Taking a cue from his friends who are into collecting stamps, feathers, shells and coins, Ravi decides to collect ….flowers! (In a way breaking the gender stereotype of associating flowers only with girls!) So Ravi goes about collecting different kinds of flowers from different sources, the unique ones beautifully illustrated for the reader to feast on.
Ravi leaves no stone unturned to further his collection and even gets pulled up by the Maali (gardener) of the neighbouring garden who later relents when told of Ravi’s hobby. Ravi first presses each of the flowers in between the pages of his dad’s dictionary and later mounts them onto an album with appropriate captions in place.  One day all the hobbyists decide to come out with each of their collections – Mohan brings out his stamps from all over the world, Rita displays her colourful feathers,  Sohan shows off his shells of different shapes and sizes, Zeenat cashes in her coins, old and new At last its Ravi’s turn to present his grand collection – seen in five albums of neatly pressed flowers in all their hues and splendour! Taking a cue from Ravi, everyone then decides to preserve their collection in albums that are in turn exhibited in Sohan’s showcase making it their very own little museum!  With each of children’s collections depicted in a real-life like photographic images, this book is sure capture the minds of little ones while throwing in a few hobby ideas too!  



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