Who would have thought - in November 2019, when one departed from Vadodara after a heady first edition of Bookaroo in that city - that it would be three, long years, before one would be able to again set foot in the sylvan settings of Alembic City’s Art District?
The Bookaroo timeline over the past 14 years has witnessed many troughs and crests. Fortunately, instances of the latter were more. But no dip has affected all of us at the same time as the pandemic did.
The raison d’être of Bookaroo lay in the face-to-face meetings with children, their families and Bookaroo’s amazing bunch of writers, illustrators and storytellers. Though we tried doing it, online was not the same as saying hello to your favourite storyteller or having your book signed by your favourite author or illustrator, all the while chatting with them.
As the world slowly opened up, and we ventured out to mingle safely, Bookaroo too felt that the time was just right to step out. And Vadodara it was, our first destination out of Delhi. So, here we are - back in the midst of children, authors, illustrators and storytellers - celebrating yet another Bookaroo.
A big thank you to Krupa and Udit, the prime movers of the Art District for hosting the festival and making it happen. A big thank you to the 33 speakers – not only from across India but from Portugal and Spain too - who agreed to be with us. A big thank you to all the sponsors, publishers and arts councils who unhesitatingly said yes to Bookaroo Vadodara.
Who would have thought - during the dark, despairing months of the pandemic that was on the rampage across the world - that one would be able to return to the venue that one had fallen in love with, three years ago?
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