Namaste cHEwY gum gums Horn Please. Please Horn. Slow Horn. These are some of the things that are on the back of trucks and buses in Delhi. It’s the first thing I noticed when I arrived here. I’ve been in heavy and chaotic traffic cities before, like Beijing and Bangkok, but India…well they just take it to a whole new level. There are no lanes, no space to move, no way to make yourself known on the road, except to honk. Loudly Tohby Riddle describes the traffic as fluid, fish swimming along a river, like sands through an hourglass, the cars and rickshaws just know when to merge and give way. So why am I talking about traffic? Well, my Indian experience has been like the roads. Noisy. Crazy. Full of life. Walking around the streets is a sensory overload. Smells of all kinds whiff in and out, there’s so much to take. Photos don’t do it justice really, you have to experience it for yourself. I’ve been lucky to come to India for the Bookaroo Literary Festival, where storytellers, authors and illustrators combine to inspire children to create their own worlds. I’ve met many creators from around India and the world. The Indian kids have been fantastic, so polite, engaged and sincere with their complements. Bookaroo is a cheeky world, where the kids really are the stars of the show. The open spaces work well and there’s plenty of hands on things to do for kids. A lot of questions kids have asked me ends with ‘What is your experience?’ I keep telling them it’s exciting, happy and fun. It’s heightened because I’m in a new place too. Every speaker has been bombarded by kids who want autographs. The kids are so polite in asking but it’s easy to get overwhelmed when there’s hands and books up in your face hehe. But some of the comments have been so heartfelt, this one kid came up to me and recited one of his own poems. Another parent said that I was the first author that he could relate to, with my love of craziness and video games. It’s definitely a blessing in this writing journey.  The doodle wall is pretty cool, where kids can go nuts with their own doodles 🙂 Tomorrow is the final day of Bookaroo, and it’s going to be another wonderful time for families, schoolkids and well…the young at heart 🙂 More thoughts on Bookaroo in my next update, stay tuned, as I fall asleep to the sounds of horns going on in the night. Horn please!


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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