Tara Homes for Children, NGO for street children in Delhi, India

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tara Boys launch their own book

Yes they write and they’re good!
This anthology of stories and poems was written by sixteen remarkable Tara boys aged seven to fifteen.
For the past six months Katie Waldegrave has been allowed to enter their world, witness to their fierce imaginations and vivid memories.

The authors, at Oxford Bookstore for the launch
Katie Waldegrave, author from UK

Katie moved to Delhi, earlier this year, with some trepidation. Once she found Tara the city began to feel like home.
From day one Sameer, with his beautiful great smile, hugged her on arrival.
Each Wednesday, fuelled by chocolate biscuits of various kinds the Boys have written together. (There was much debate, but in the end it was decided that oreos and bournville are the biscuits most conducive to great writing.)
The range of this anthology is testament to the boys’ willingness to experiment and the range of their talents and experience. They considered calling the book "Chocolate Biscuit Stories, Memories and Poems" but decided that it was too clunky.
At the start of the project the boys were quite certain they could not write a story, let alone a poem. Indeed several of them didn’t know the English word poem. But somehow, over the past six months or so, they put aside their anxiety and produced this book.
Sameer, reading his story

Piyush, Lokesh and Arun

The writing in Chocolate Biscuit Stories ranges from the sublime:
• Vinay’s piece about flying boys or
• Shyamu’s about how to make a sunset
• to the ridiculous: Rashid’s Greedy King or
• Sameer who would like to turn all vegetables into chocolate

There are powerful flights of imagination:

• Sachin’s ghosts
• Manoj’s magical girl
• Or poignant memories:
• Sikander on the sweet mishit doi his father used to buy him
• Vishal on Maharashtra and the Arabian sea or
• Manish, dreaming of his mother
• Sharwan on his friend Rohit- "a white tiger, strong and fierce"

They embraced metaphors and simlies with the enthusiasm of true poets:
• Lokesh’s idea of love which "Smells like a donut with chocolate in the middle"
• Ishwar’s of sadness which "Smells like dirty socks"
• Sachin, with his cheeky grin, always wrote pieces that made us laugh, many about his various girlfriends
• Manu, who has been speaking English for a month, produced a moving dedication to his mother

And all of them wrote, at some point, about Tara and about Pascal:

• For Mohid, Tara is the "dove that flies with me"
• For Arun, "Tara is fried chicken, when we all eat together"

What has been remarkable to see is the way they’ve taken to writing and they way their ideas of writing has changed. At the start the boys wanted to write fables with neat morals.

We hope and think that they have begun to find their voice and know that voice has value.
As Philip Pullman put it "Real writing can liberate and strengthen young people’s sense of themselves as almost nothing else can."

After writing part, a word about the launch we celebrated it at Oxford bookstore, which is one of the most famous in New Delhi.
One by one the boys were reading piece of their stories and have signed their book just like real and professional writers to their fans!

The book is now available in France and in India, at the price of 4€ or 300 INR (with additional mailing fees), so if you want a piece of "Chocolate Biscuits stories", send us an email ...

Enjoy reading!

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