‘Village Rockstars’ finds place in school textbooks

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‘Dhunu’s guitar’ – a 10-year-old girl living in poverty in a village, dreams of owning a guitar and forming a band with the local boys.

The Assam government has added a chapter on Rima Das’s ‘Village Rockstars’ in the school syllabus so that children are inspired by the story ‘Dhunu’s guitar’.

Class VII students in the state would now get to learn about Dhunu, a young spirited girl, growing up in poverty and confronted by hostile natural calamities dreams of owning guitar!

Dhunu is the protagonist amidst a group of real village rock stars. Growing up in hardship, she cherished the aspiration of having her own rock band. Her life although engulfed by hostile natural calamities doesn’t bar her from dreaming of owning a real guitar!

Ten-year-old Dhunu lives in Kalardiya village near Chaygaon in Assam, India with her widowed mother and elder brother Manabendra. While helping her mother sell snacks at a local event, she becomes mesmerized by a band that’s performing there. The part that’s so delightfully hokey: the boys belt out their hits with musical instruments made of Styrofoam. She proceeds to copy them, carving a guitar.

Impressionable and tenacious at the same time, Dhunu reads a comic book and decides she wants to form a band playing real instruments. Rupee by rupee, she begins to save for the guitar. She reads an article in a scrap newspaper and decides that positive thinking can make the possession of the guitar materialize. But as floods destroy the family’s crops, Dhunu must choose her priorities.

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