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Begum, Badshah aur Baagwani by Geeta Dharmarajan

Begum, Badshah aur Baagwani by Geeta Dharmarajan (Katha) is a humorous tale in Hindi. Amma and Appa live with their two young daughters in a housing society. The story is told in first person by the older daughter of a funny incident that unfolds one week at home. One evening while returning from work Appa’s shoe bangs against Amma’s, Monstera house plant. He stumbles and falls splat on Amma’s Philodendron flowering plant with mud and manure splattering all around and on him. 

With a giggle the daughter thinks that if appa were a seed by now branches and leaves would be growing on him. Before Amma can say a word Appa tells her that her plants have wilted and lost their shine and that their neighbour Padma’s plants are so beautiful and green.                                                               

That’s it! A comparison!        


Amma is ready to blast but stops herself and says Padma sings to her plant’s lullabies and if Appa were ready to take up the challenge of making them fresh and green again he could.

Mimicking Dev Anand’s stance Appa in a flourish bows down and pretends to put an imaginary cap on his head, takes up Amma’s challenge of making their wilting plants green and healthy once again. With many a book in hand Appa starts reading and researching about gardening which he has borrowed from the British Council Library, American Library and a few from friends sets out in his task at hand.                   

So will Appa be successful in his gardening plans one Sunday evening when Amma has gone out? Will his research and reality match? What does Appa know about gardening? Is anything ever so easy. Or will he be met with one debacle after the other that are not in his control?                                                         

Read this sweet and fun book to know who is the ‘Boss of gardening’ at home.

Begum Badshah Aur Baagvaani is a hilarious and witty story in Hindi for young children. I loved the eco green friendly story, it had me in splits and laughing throughout at the gaffes and foot in the mouth moments made by Appa. A must buy for children, with even adults liking the story. Such incidents happen in many a house with husband and wife challenging each other to see who is better in their field. 

The illustrations as they say stole the book. Attractive, colourful, very realistic with graphic expressions a visual delight! 

In a snapshot, here are some snippets about the book:

  • Perfect for children over 8 years for independent reading in Hindi, but could be read to younger kids as well. 
  • Great pictures and mature content for older kids who wish to read Hindi books as well. 
  • Humour interwoven in the language
  • Wonderful illustrations

Title: Begum Badshah aur Baagvaani                                                   

Author: Geeta Dharmarajan                                                              

 Illustrator: Archana Srinivasan                                                                

Translation to Hindi: Ranjana Shukla                                                    

Publisher: Katha

Age: 9+                                                                                  

 Language: Hindi                                                                               

Genre: Fiction

Poyani Mehta

Poyani Mehta is a former School Librarian, freelance storyteller, and storyteller with the Secret Passages Storytelling Circle. She writes travelogues and articles on various topics. She is a bibliophile, rescues injured birds, and enjoys spending quality time with her young daughter and Shanti her indie pariah dog.