Updated: August 11, 2012 17:46 IST

Tale for our times

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Rabbit Rap: A fable for the 21st Century; Musharraf Ali Farooqi and Michelle Farooqi. Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu
Rabbit Rap: A fable for the 21st Century; Musharraf Ali Farooqi and Michelle Farooqi. Photo: Special Arrangement

After his acclaimed Between Clay and Dust, Pakistani author, novelist and translator Musharraf Ali Farooqi is back with Rabbit Rap. The book is everything the title promises, and then some. Published by Penguin India and nominated for the India ComicCon Award 2012, Rabbit Rap is an unlikely fairy tale. A fast, exciting, modern-day graphic fable, the book is a richly illustrated story about disaster-prone rabbits. Illustrated by Farooqi’s wife, well- known illustrator and visual artist Michelle Farooqi, the book revolves around self-destructive rabbits who invite endless trouble because of their reckless ways.

Alternating seamlessly between intense self-examination and light-hearted humour, Farooqi’s latest manages to tackle crucial and pressing problems with finesse, his grasp easy and effortless. The rabbits in the book have a host of issues they need to deal with; Faooqi describes the book as ‘a 21st-century fable about politics, ecology, feminism and corporate greed as viewed from a rabbit warren’. “I had a lot of fun writing it, he says.

A metaphorical and visual delight, the book is set in an age when a group of rabbits live in happy freedom from their natural predators and are busy violently taming Nature. Some of them seek to do away with warren dwelling, and liberate themselves from the tyranny of old ways. They find a true believer in Rabbit Hab, an enterprising head rabbit. As the ambitious Hab presses forward with his futuristic vision, he must contend with opposition, sabotage, and dirty double-dealing from some unlikely quarters. Rabbit Rap is a tale for our times, a fantasy that presses home the repercussions of steadily disintegrating social structures.

Bottomline: Alternates seamlessly between intense self-examination and light-hearted humour.

Rabbit Rap; Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Illustrated by Michelle Farooqi, Viking, Rs. 499

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