A HOME OF OUR OWN
By Megha Aggarwal. Illustrations by Habib Ali
Tulika, Chennai, 2019, pp.28, R175.0
A book with an interesting cover! This was the first thought I had, soon as I held the book. It seemed kind of like a bioscope, introducing us to all the characters. Children with wide smiles, lying on the ground, looking at the sky. The vibrant green and yellow background adds to the happiness. The floating clouds indicate connection to dreams. Another interesting thing about the illustration is how is tells us about the social context that these children come from. The following page has drawings of home made by children.
What defines a home? Is it just the bricks, walls and roof and nothing else? Is that really how children perceive the idea of home? Or do these drawings reflect nothing more than following the stereotypical urban idea of a home. Habib Ali’s illustrations, however, are nuanced and detailed.
But there’s something that I was rather upset about. On one page, a character finds boxes with leftover food thrown in the dustbin outside the restaurant. I find it to be little problematic. Food wastage is a big issue in our country, so if you can show the reality in pictures, then it will give readers a chance to think about such a serious issue.