Children's Book BARGAD Teaches That Progress Should Not Come at the Expense of Nature
Bargad in Hindi means Banyan Tree - the national tree of India. The tree spans across acres of land with no visible fruits or flowers but lives for centuries, making it a symbol of stability and strength. When Subhash Kommuru and his wife Sujata left their native homeland for a new life in America, they missed its homey comfort that they once took for granted. The tree became their inspiration for a beautiful children's story; originally written to give their son a better understanding of the culture and family values they grew up with, but above all a story that all children can learn from and enjoy.
Receiving rave reviews on Amazon.com, Bargad is a compelling story told through the words and illustrations of two people who grew up in a culture where customs and family are revered and incorporates the Banyan Tree to teach children how to respect, love and care for many things - including the environment. It takes place in VikasNagar, an ancient progressive village, where one of its oldest residents, the Bargad, is challenged of its existence. While Bargad has withstood all the challenges of time, the question now is will it be able to withstand modernization? Will anyone protect it the way it has protected others?
While Bargad has all the thrills and twists and turns that excite kids of all ages, parents will love that it is imaginative and thought-provoking and encourages kids to take a stand, see beyond the obvious, and make a decision about the outcome they want. Set against a colorful Indian backdrop, each illustration depicts a vivid and real example of what life is like in India - from modern cities to outer villages - and radiates the warmth of the people. Maintaining Indian names and characters lends authenticity to an already rich plot, with easy-to-understand rhyming verse that brings children closer to the core values of humanity in a fun and exciting way, subtlety demonstrating that sometimes it's the things we take for granted that are there for us in the long run.
Vat Savitri, probably the most important festival in India, is featured in the story. While largely celebrated for Savitri, which refers to a lady who fought to bring life back to her husband and family, Vat (derived from Bargad in the ancient Sanskrit denotion of tree), is symbolic because it represents lasting ties to family and enriching family values.
The book was a great challenge for Subhash and Sujata Kommuru; two people in the midst of adjusting to a different culture themselves and with their own individual styles, disciplines and backgrounds. But through the upbringing of their son, it is how they get to the same page that is masterfully captured and reflected in their stories. Contributing equally on this labor of love, what Subhash magically expresses in words, Sujata matches with beautiful illustrations.
Available at Amazon.com
By Subhash and Sujata Kommuru
Publisher: Kommuru Books
English: ISBN-13: 978-1491204443 (December 2013)
Hindi: ISBN-10: 0615834361 and ISBN-13: 978-0615834368