Holidays Have Come
Partha Sengupta
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
National Book Trust
Rabindranath Tagore childhood teenagers
picture book, fiction

Beautifully penned by Tagore about a hundred years ago the theme of the story is valid even today! 

At fourteen years of age, Phatik is just an average adolescent, but his mother, a widow, does not understand him with the result that when her brother offers to take him to the city and educate him there, she jumps at the offer. Phatik too is very excited, to be going away but soon starts to yearn for his home, his friends, his mother and even his pesky little brother.

Tagore almost seems to have got inside the mind of fourteen year old Phatik.  He states in the story 

There is no worse nuisance than a boy at the age of fourteen. He is neither ornamental nor useful. If he talks with a childish lisp he is called a baby, and if he answers in a grown-up way he is called impertinent.  It is easy to excuse the shortcomings of early childhood, but it is hard to tolerate even the unavoidable lapses in a boy of fourteen.

A sensitive tale that explores the emotions and struggles of an adolescent, his rebellious nature, his need to assert himself, and yet at the same time his vulnerability and longing to be loved are beautifully dealt with.

A warm and touching tale that tugs at your heartstrings. 

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee