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Updated: September 22, 2009 14:05 IST

Magic on sale, but only for kids

NIMI KURIAN
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Discover for yourself the enchanted store on Ju-Juicy Street and get to know its owner — the dreaded Nu-Cham-Vu!

There’s a children’s store on Ju-Juicy Street in Anchan Bay. It’s the perfect store for kids because it has amazing stuff in it. It is strictly a children’s store.

If adults accompanied their children, they had to stay outside till the kids finished their shopping. And the best part of it all was that they could pay for it themselves. If they wanted to buy the blue cat with the orange tail and red whiskers, all they had to do was say, “I want to buy you. How much do you cost?” The cat would make a rough calculation and say ‘Three dances and a song’. And that would be the payment!

So, where is this amazing store? It’s in the book The Magic Store of Nu-Cham-Vu. The story begins with the finding of an old, tattered book in the basement of a house. The writer says he was gifted the house by a Mr. Anchanbey and he is puzzled as to why he, of all people, should be chosen! But as the story unravels we get to learn more about the magic store and the reason behind this generous gift.

Basement revelation

This is a retelling of the story found in the old, tattered book that was found in the basement. The Magic Store forms the central plot and the owner Nu-Cham-Vu is the main person. You have to read the book to decide for yourself if he was the villain or the hero. Well, the children of Anchan Bay thought he was a hero! But not the adults. The description of Nu-Cham-Vu is not very nice – a short and fat creature, with an atrocious dress sense, one ear twice the size of the other, a nose that didn’t actually come out of his face… Nu-Cham-Vu, legend had it that he came out of the volcano of the Amorobo when it erupted.

As the book progresses you realise that the original book was a record of events that had happened a long time ago – “when rain was the colour of pineapple juice, and children wore shoes that could make them walk on air six inches above the road, and squirrels could stand up straight in a single row and sing the national anthem.”

An interesting book that takes you into the heart of Anchan Bay and the problem of the day. The problem being Nu-Cham-Vu of course. Fast paced and full of action, it’s an amazing book of magic and the past. An adventure set in a strange land peopled with fantastic characters.

The illustrations are detailed and appealing and done by Vinayak Varma.

THE MAGIC STORE OF NU-CHAM-VU by Shreekumar Varma, Puffin, Rs. 175

Check out the website : http://themagicstoreofnuchamvu.homestead.com/index.html

An excerpt:

Even if Nu-Cham-Vu wasn’t such a big hit with the adults of Anchan Bay, its children admired the creature! They adored his toys, they loved browsing through his store, and they were probably mesmerized by his monstrousousness. When he screamed and abused them, they froze in fear and fascination. When he refused to sell them toys, it was as if the world had ended. When he devised cleverly cruel tags for his toys, the children cribbed and cried but tried their best to be worthy of the toy they wanted. He’d become a sort of disgusting icon in their minds. In fact, so disgusting was Nu-Cham-Vu that they couldn’t imagine life in the village without him.


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