My extraordinary storyteller friends Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and Nancy Wang, who together make up the fabulous Eth-Noh-Tec are leading a tour group through Tamilnadu.
Yesterday's fare included a workshop on the traditional devotional storytelling form known as Harikatha and led by Dr. Premeela Gurumurthy who can trade chapplakattai (castanets without a hinge) for marker without missing a beat. Dr. Gurumurthy is head of the Music Department at Madras University. She offers a great depth of knowledge about a range of interrelated story forms and their fascinating historical origins. A brief glimpse into an ocean of story.
Today the group visited my favorite Chennai publisher of children's books, Tulika Books. As did I. Congratulations, Sandhya Rao on two new books launching today, Crocodile Tears and Dosa.
Crocodile Tears grew out of a collaborative workshop held in Goa in which Swedish and Indian children's writers and illustrators worked together on creating books that belonged to no one culture but spoke to children everywhere. Sandhya is seen here with co-author Jonathan Lindstrom and illustrator Taufiq Riaz--well, sort of.