No Title
Sagar Kolwankar
MY NAME IS GULAB by Sagar Kolwankar Tulika Books, Chennal, 2021, 28 pp., 175.00
November 2021, volume 45, No 11

Gulab, the daughter of a manual scavenger—is mocked at by her class mates as ‘stinky Gulab’, not because she is filthy but because of her father’s profession which involves cleansing of clogged gutters.
So, on science day in school Gulab takes the first bold step of showcasing a machine to clean up the drains without involving any human. She names it Gulab which will remove the dirt and spread fragrance.
The story revolves around the inherent class divide existing in our society. Both Gulab and the bullies are the victims of this societal discrepancy, one as perpetrator and the other as victim.
The book also reveals the dream in the child’s mind to put an end to her father’s miserable job and to cleanse society into one which does not distinguish between people on the basis of the jobs they perform.
The story accompanied by illustrations is in harmony to make it a joyful read. The words have been reflected in the colours and shapes, the details in the characters and vice versa. Both words and pictures have lent a unified vision of the story.

This book in contrast to the fairy tales, where a Prince always comes in rescue to the suffering princesses, deals with a real life situation. Here Gulab is the princess who is capable of handling her own miseries in the best possible way.

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