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Updated: October 4, 2010 16:41 IST

Magic, monkeys and tales

ROHINI RAMAKRISHNAN
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Gind, a definitely “must have any how” book.
Gind, a definitely “must have any how” book.

Follow the journey of Gind as he is sent on an important mission to rescue a kidnapped princess.

Here's a book that would get you doubled up in laughter, and refreshes and inspires you in a strange way.

The story alternates between Devalokam and Bhoolokam — Indra, the king of the gods, loves roaming around Bhoolokam (the world of the humans) and waxes eloquent about food.

“And you should see the way they eat! Food fit for the gods indeed! In one place I went to, they gave me a thing called idli-chutney. Amrutham is nothing compared to it…softer, whiter, lighter than a summer cloud, floating in a savoury jade green sea of coconut. Nothing to touch it in Devalokam.”

But then he angers a rishi's tapas and is cursed not to set foot on Bhoolokam till the curse is lifted by a person greater than himself. Scowling and sulking, Indra waits but plotting and planning…

Stepping into the wonderful world of the vanaras (here, the monkeys of Poompuhar), have a rollicking time, every day despite their little squabbles, bingeing on fruits and the kashayam they brew. The author, Harini Gopalswami Srinivasan, paints the crazy world of the monkeys delightfully and their language — familiar to the ears as it is colloquial and so easy to identify with.

But the world of our hero — Gind — is soon to change. He is sent on an important mission with his father Karuppan, by Sage Agastya, to escort the kidnapped (by the Rakshasas) and now rescued vanara princess of Baulpur, Ongchu, to her home beyond the Himalayas. Read on to find out how his journey fares, the people he meets and the adventures he has.

Funny, and insightful as the story is, the magic the author weaves in her narrative lies in the fact that it intertwines with the Ramayan giving the reader another angle to the ancient epic tale, making him wonder “who knows, this could have been…”

Don't miss out on the outline illustrations of Prasun Mazumdar which adds charm to the story as well as stand out on their own.

Those who are not familiar with the Ramayan needn't fret as the final chapter is a note on the Ramayan which gives a synopsis and other details of the epic that would make you want to read more.

Gind, a definitely “must have any how” book.

GIND, Harini Gopalswami Srinivasan, A Puffin Original, Rs. 199

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