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The Curious Case of Havaldar Hook – An Interview


Havaldar Hook is the endearing mascot of the Hook Books, a new series for early readers for ages 5 and up. To get to know him better, we posed some questions and he very merrily indulged, with honesty and humour.


Q: You are a humble havaldar, but you now have a series named after you. How do you feel?


A: I’m not ‘a’ havaldar, my name is Havaldar, because my father thought that I would grow up and become a policeman. But I wanted to become a teacher. So I’m very happy that there is a such a fun series in my name. I love books.


Q: But, HH, you wear a police uniform. 


A: I wear the uniform because it makes my father happy. I believe that it’s all about one’s parents.


Q: You have asked a lot of questions at the end of the book. Do you believe all books should be educational? Can’t children just read for fun?


A: I’ll tell you a secret. The questions are not for the children. They are for the adults. Heh heh heh.  The children will be happy with the marvellous stories and illustrations. So I thought, let’s give the parents and teachers something to be happy about. Still, I made sure that the questions are not like textbook questions, so children can have fun with them too.


Q: If you could give our readers one piece of advice what would it be?


A: Never let your parents decide what you should do in life. Also, if your parents give you a silly name, you can change it officially. Sadly, no one told me this, so I’m stuck with the name Havaldar. It makes me very sad, because most children run away when they hear the words: ‘Havaldar is coming!’


Q: One slightly personal question:  how did your nose come to match your surname: Hook?


A: (preens in pride.) The Raja of Naakpur bestowed the surname Hook on my great-great grandfather in honour of this nose! All the Hooks in history since then have proudly sported this nose. The Raja had just come back from London, otherwise we’d probably have been called the Aakadas.


Q: Finally, Havaldarji, what would you like to change your first name to?


*Havaldar Hook went silent and thoughtful at this point and we are still waiting for an answer to this question.

Here are the Hook Books


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