A bamboo world

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  • Published 15.03.13

Book title: Bulbuli’s Bamboo

Author: Mita Bordoloi

Illustrator: Proiti Roy

Publishers: Tulika Publishers, Chennai

Pages: 22

Price: Rs 135

Have you ever read a children’s book on bamboo? If you haven’t, Mita Bordoloi’s Bulbuli’s Bamboo is the best place to start. The book is extensively set in Kaziranga where the author spent her childhood. Kaziranga, surrounded as it is by bamboo groves, perhaps prompted the author to write this volume.

The book revolves around the life of a young girl, Bulbuli. Though written in verse form, it tells a story, in fact many stories, of Bulbuli and her bamboo world.

Curious to know what it means?

It means that Bulbuli lives in a bamboo environment. In fact she lives bamboo, eats bamboo and even drinks bamboo. She eats bamboo shoots, and drinks soup made of it. Her house, her furniture is all made of bamboo.

However, Bulbuli’s world of bamboo becomes a universal world, the world of self-identification for a child. It serves the dual purpose of, at once, the child’s world and an adult world.

The author reaches out to a metaphorical design in this delightful book. The narrative is structured in poetry and it progresses through every page by additional information on bamboo and how Bulbuli responds to it, through her petite movements, as she steps out of her house into a bamboo bridge or a bamboo grove.

And when she steps out from her house into the outside world she is greeted by bamboo trees, forests and groves. She even has to cross a bamboo bridge. This is little Bulbuli's bamboo world.

It is interesting how the author creates a quiet world of bamboo, away from the dense madding crowd. Bulbuli's world is a quiet one, and the habitat and the surroundings are full of bamboo. What a lovely little story, and each page has a sketch so that we get to know what Bulbuli is up to — waking, walking, sleeping and dreaming.

The moral of the story is that bamboo can be used for all practical purposes and can also lend grace and beauty to natural surroundings. It can be used for livelihood, for making furniture, for eating and even drinking soup.

So in this quiet world of bamboo, Bulbuli, aged 10 or 11, works out her daily life, like you and I. The story begins with Bulbuli waking up in the morning, and ends with her sleeping and dreaming her bamboo dreams — the cycle of life.

The book is also about poetry, and very lyrical at that. Proiti Roy’s illustrations add colour to the story.

In fact, books like these should be included in school syllabi so that children get to learn more about their environment and grow up appreciating nature.

A must read for children.