Brief Takes: Animalia Indica, edited by Sumana Roy
ANIMALIA INDICA, The Finest Animal Stories in Indian Literature. Edited by Sumana Roy. Aleph Books.
What a treat this book is! Opening with that absolute classic, Kipling`s Rikki- Tikki-Tavi, the imagery of which stays in the head well after the reader has finished the story, the book offers up a great melange of tales of critters, big and small, along with some striking illustrations by Rohan Dahotre.
By the time I was done reading Khushwant Singh`s compelling description of the majestic Kala Nag in The Mark of Vishnu, Shripad Narayan Pendse`s story of Jumman, the goat that briefly became an object of worship, Habib Kamran`s account of how he got physically and emotionally involved in the lives of a family of bulbuls in his garden, RK Narayan`s hilarious cross-talk tale between a foreigner and poor illiterate Muni, Moti Lal Kemmu`s political allegory, A Tale of Animals and Vikram Seth`s delightful poem The Crocodile and the Monkey, I`d decided to return the book to the library, then go out and buy myself a copy. Because this one sure is a keeper.