Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Magic Drum - Sudha Murthy

This Puffin book sold over 1 lakh copies which makes her one of the biggest selling authors in India.  'The Magic Drum and other stories' are a collection of 37 short stories that the author's grandparents told her when she was a child and some that she heard from her friends.
Penguin, 200 p, Rs. 250
I loved the stories. 'The Supermen' is about a bunch of lazy men boasting about their greatness until they are reminded that nothing gets done without hard work. 'The seed of Truth' is about the king choosing between his four sons and picking the honest one - thanks to the roasted seed. 'Haipant the Wise' is about the danger of suppositions. 'The Nine Questions for a Princess' is about an intelligent man getting the better of an intelligent princess. 'The White Crow' is a about how communication gets distorted and how it is better to keep one's mouth shut. I loved 'The Very Expensive Coconut' which is about how a miser tries to save money by going further to buy a cheaper coconut and instead pays a heavy price for it. 'The Bottle of Dew' is about how a wise man teaches a greedy man that the route to riches is through hard work. 'Nakul's First Lesson' is about presence of mind. 'Where did it go?' is a fine story about outwitting a cheat. 'The Tired Horse' is about how we get misled by others opinions. 'A Cure for Laziness' is about doing one's own work to stay healthy. 'The Magic Drum' is once again about outwitting a cheat.

A fine collection of stories and one of the more diverse and engaging collections for children and adults alike. Stories that can be told to children easily. There are three more books by Sudha Murthy in Anjali's collection and I plan to read them.

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