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Grandmother's tales

NIMI KURIAN

Stories you'd love to grow up with.


Remember the tales your grandmother used to tell you? Weren't they fascinating? A mixture of magic, the supernatural and with just a touch of reality to make it all seem if it could really have happened. Well, Rina Pritish Nandy has translated a collection of short stories titled Tales my Grandmother Told Me, by Thakumar Jhuli from Bengali.

Twelve stories about princesses, wicked stepmothers, unfortunate brothers, queens who give birth to monkeys and owls, magic and more. The first story "Princess of Kalabati" is about a king who had seven beautiful wives. But none of them could have a child... that is, until they meet a hermit who gives them a magic root. The story "A Kingdom of Slumber" is much on the lines of "Sleeping Beauty". The story of "Happiness and Sadness" is also familiar as "Snow White and Rose Red". And then there is the story of "The Wise Fox", "whose father had built a wall; how could his son be any less? He too was seized with a call!" and so he goes off into the forest and sets up a school! There are songs too in the stories and these offer a cultural insight into life in Bengal. These tales are timeless and would continue to fascinate children all over.

All in all a good, interesting read. The intricate, detailed illustrations by Sanjay Bhattacharya help the reader visualise the story better.

Tales My Grandmother Told Me, A collection of short stories from Thakumar Jhuli, Translated from Bengali by Rina Pritish Nandy, Rupa & Co.,.

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