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I speak of rivers on a 10th Anniversary
September 28, 2015

Bookworm is 10 years old this September. Like a river, I started at a source with my erstwhile partner Elaine, in 2005 in St. Inez, Panaji and now find I am flowing alone into multiple terrains, but through this journey, the source is the same. A place where children learn to love books ! The river flows to schools, communities, teaching-learning institutions and often into the most unexpected lands, but it flows. 

What has happened in the course of this river is hard for me to speak of. I draw on Langston Hughes in quoting,

I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the

flow of human blood in human veins.


My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


Elaine who chose to leave Bookworm in 2013 texted me on the morning of 10th September, our ‘birthday’; “Great work is done by people who are not afraid to take on leadership. ”

A message of this nature, terrifies me. I have never meant to be a leader.  There was a time I imagined a shared leadership at Bookworm where a group of what I hoped were mature adults with a shared vision could take this work forward. It did not come to pass.  And I have to reflect; Does a river ask to flow ? It appears to just trundle on, finding its path and coping with every surprise that meets its way. 

Some days, as I welcome new people to my Bookworm team who teach me more than I could ever learn without, find respect and recognition for our work in dark hidden places, observe a child’s eyes light up because of a book, talk to a teacher who wants to know how to share in this magical journey, read a good book, open an envelope of love and faith, share my river journey with my incredibly supportive family I feel in the words of Langston Hughes that ;

I’ve seen its muddy

bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

My  ​friend Nandita who stands on the bank of my river, briefly meeting my path over the past few years, hand crafted this greeting of celebration to us on our 10th Anniversary. 


My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

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1 comment

  1. Thank you Sujata, the Bookworm river runs deep and swift and strong, bringing sustenance to a parched land. Go with the flow!

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