Author : Sarojini Naidu
Art By : Indu Harikumar
Very understandably words fail when the creations like these are to be reviewed. How can one review a gem like this and more so when such pieces are embellished by beautiful and spirited illustrations as are done by Indu Harikumar.
Sarojini Naidu - the nightingale of India needs no introduction. Many of us have read Sarojini Naidu in school coursework and this time Katha has brought one of her brilliant poems - Palanquin Bearers, in a new avatar. The drawings by Indu Harikumar have aptly filled beautiful colours in the lyrical verse.
Palanquin also known as palki, a humble means of transportation was used in olden days but here the one that is being talked about is the one carrying a bride. The new bride is transitioning from one phase of her life to another and umpteen thoughts cross her mind as she is securely seated inside the palanquin. She has tears in her eyes for leaving her loved ones while at the same time she has twinkling stars in her eyes awaiting beginning of a new life full of hope and fervor.
The bearers who are carrying the palanquin on their shoulders are conscientious about their duty. They are bearing the palanquin gently and carefully, joyfully and happily, smoothly and lightly while singing songs as they make progress towards their destination.
It is a sheer pleasure to read Naidu's poetry luxuriously brimming with metaphors which make the readers float with the words.
The illustrations by Indu are the vibrant scenes actually sewn on pieces of fabric. Every page is a visual treat for the eyes, however a drawing of a full palanquin would have been a cherry on the top and would have been easier for children to imagine what a palanquin actually looked like.