Sunday, April 29, 2018

Bringing India Back In Our Hearts and To Our Home

Hagan, Eric and I traveled to Chennai, India earlier this year.  We have so many special memories from our trip.  We met such kind people, 
 saw many beautiful and....
 historical sites,
 enjoyed the markets and temples,
learned a lot about the schools,
 and loved meeting and working with librarians, teachers and young people of all ages.
We even spent a day in Frankfurt, Germany on the way back home to Iowa. 
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to find books and publishers from these places. While at the conference in India, we came across one that left such an impression on us.
Tara Books is right in Chennai.  They brought lots of their books to the school where the conference was being held.  During each break, I would go back to their booth to read and look through them again, finding another one I loved.
On the second day of the conference, they brought several prints that were illustrations from their books.

Eric, Hagan and I fell in love with the illustrations from Drawing From The City, which we bought the day before.

As we looked through the illustrations, they made the book come to life and best of all, they made all of the things we saw while in Chennai come to life too.  
We wanted to learn more about the story woven throughout the book.
As we read the back of the book, we learned about Tejubehan, also known as Teju, who is the artist.

It says, She is now a middle age woman, and in this book, she has drawn the story of her incredible journey from endemic poverty into the rich inner world of art.  
We turned to the back to read even more about Teju.  I loved reading about her journey and that Drawing from the City is a celebration and a tribute to her husband Ganeshbhai, who passed away at the time the book was complete.
You can read more about Teju and the book designed, Nia Thandopani here
We chose three of Teju's prints to bring back with us. 
This month we had them framed and added these prints and all of the memories of India to our home. 

As I stood back and looked at them today, I got out Drawing From The City .
 I thought about the people, 
and their beautifully colored clothes. 
I thought about all of the different homes, markets, 
and temples we saw.  I thought about the history of India and how proud they were to share it with us every chance they had. 
I thought about the sounds of the traffic and all the ways to travel in Chennai and India.
I thought about seeing cows walking down the streets, children riding in Tuk Tuk's home from school and Hagan smiling as he talked to all of the people we met.
When we were at the school in India, two young women who were art students in Chennai, added beautiful henna to my hands.  It stayed on my hands for over two weeks, fading away a little bit more each day. I was very sad when it was all gone and wished it could have stayed longer.

The memories the three of us had in India will stay with us forever.  And now every time I walk into our home, I will see the drawings from the city and remember a place we truly love. 

Thank you Teju and Tara Books for helping us bring back a piece of India to our home and forever in our hearts. 

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