Rekha Bhimani
THE Gular FLOWER by Rinchin. Illustrations by Vipul Verma Tulika Books, 2020, 22 pp., 175.00
November 2020, volume 44, No 11

Stories that connect a child to mother-nature are precious indeed.The Goolar Flower is one such story-book.

Renchu a little rag-picker girl is set off in search of a mythical ‘flower’–Goolar,  by her elder sibling Pirku and her pal Saanish. The cosy duo, being elder to Renchu are generally dismissive of little Renchu and constantly think of ways to keep her out of their secretive pursuits.

As Renchu goes around asking all and sundry what the Goolar flower looks like and when it blooms, the reader gets a glimpse into her life as a ragpicker belonging to the Pardhi tribal community, displaced from their forests. There is Tara Didi, the teacher at the makeshift school, chiding Renchu for not attending class, her mother hassled by her daily toils, and the gentle warmth of her grandmother, an oasis of kindness and wisdom.

It is Grandma who gives a direction of sorts to Renchu’s search for the flower. And one afternoon lying in the cool shade of the Goolar tree she discovers the flower….not one but a burst of hundreds and hundreds of them.

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