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BOOKS Bolwar Mahamad Kunhi's Gandhi: From Monu to Mahatma is an account of the Mahatma's childhood

T his is one of the best books on Mahatma Gandhi for children and adults,” Jnanapith awardee, U.R. Ananthamurthy said in praise of Bolwar Mahamad Kunhi's “Gandhi: from Monu to Mahatma”. The English and Kannada versions of the book were released last month to applause and eager expectations, at the Crossword Bookstore.

Speaking at the launch, Ananthamurthy further said to relate to Gandhi, one needs to be childlike. “However corrupt we are, there is an undying desire in each of us to be good. Recognising the good in others was one of Gandhi's admirable qualities.”

Ananthamurthy also said Kunhi is blessed with great insight, and that his works are finely tuned, transcending time. “Kunhi's collection of songs and poems are among the best in contemporary Kannada literature,” Ananathamurthy said.

“From Monu to Mahatma” in English and “Paapu Gandhi Bapu Gandhi Aada Kathe” in Kannada won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award. The book is a touching account of Gandhi's childhood. The story about Gandhi is shaped around three defining episodes in his life: the cigarette episode, the kettle episode and the meat-eating episode. The book also explores Gandhi's close friendship with his Muslim friend, Mehtab.

A gold medallist in Kannada literature from Mysore University, Kunhi is an eminent and prolific Kannada writer who has authored short stories, one novel, stage plays and children's books. Besides writing, Kunhi currently works as chief manager for publicity in Syndicate Bank in Bangalore.

S.D.

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