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Tultul Biswas

By Sandhya Rao
Year 2016, pp. 28, Rs. 150.00

VOLUME XL NUMBER 11 November 2016

Have you ever had a dream that’s left you amazed, baffled, terrified, elated, confused, sweating, or feeling any other adjective in abundance?! The dream world is a truly happening place. Funny dreams, weird dreams, scary dreams, lucid dreams, sad dreams, lonely dreams, sometimes even lifechanging dreams. If you’ve ever had the experience of waking up from an incredibly vivid dream, or one that is only hazily etched in memory, you know partly what this book is about! Shobha—the epicenter of Sandhya Rao’s Dream Writer—is a dreamy girl. She sees many dreams, but… Uff! Why is it that she is pulled out of her sleep just before the dream ends? Why, oh why? Till, this encouraging teacher suggests she writes her dreams down— and then she just writes and writes! And now she is a happy dream writer who knows how all her dreams end, well, almost all! And that’s how these two dichotomous worlds of sleep and being awake merge together to make a new shared world. Sandhya Rao is an excellent writer. Having read some of her critically acclaimed titles that are equally loved by readers, like Look, The Moon!, My Mother’s Sari, My Friend, The Sea, Okaasama Otousama, Busy Busy Grand Aunt and so on, this book was a bit of a let down. For some reason, inspite of the dream world being such an amazing place with so much potential to play with, Dream Writer leaves you unsatisfied. The weave of the story, although creatively interlocked in sleep and being awake, left only a hazy impression on my reader’s mind—like a lost dream. Sandhya’s imaginative exploration of the very new and unknown—as in Busy Busy Grand Aunt, or attempts to bring out the uncommon in the commonest of things like a mother’s sari, or the depth of emotions and connections that are portrayed in My Friend, The Sea have taken the level of our expectation from her many notches above where Dream Writer lands. Tanvi Bhatt’s images in the book, with its play of watercolours, are very inviting. The pictures have a nice blend of simplicity and fine detailing—soothing you as you read and then suddenly popping up to invite you to look into them and find the small wonders. Most Tulika’s books have a certain kind of look—a signature statement. ...

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