Friday, June 22, 2018

The Magic of the Lost Temple - Sudha Murthy

Every once in a while, after reading a long and heavy book, a short and easy read is most welcome. So after reading 'Sapiens' looked at the pile of short books I set aside to read and found this book recommended by Anjali. Sudha Murthy's 'The Magic of the Lost Temple'. Thanks to Anjali I read a lot of Sudha Murthy's books which are quite enjoyable and give a good sense of Karnataka - in the real sense and not R. K. Narayan's Karnataka which seemed different. Perhaps his was more Anglicised because of the way he wrote.

The story is about twelve-year-old Nooni (Anoushka) who lives in Bengaluru with her working parents - father Shekhar is a doctor and mother teaches. Just as summer vacation is approaching Nooni's mother has a six-week training program to attend in Delhi and the parents decide that Nooni could stay with her grandparents in the village. Of course, the grandparents are well off and have a farm and stuff so Nooni is well taken care of.

Nooni has several people to play with and to help her learn how to cycle, swim etc. Her grandmother introduces her to all the things our grandmothers used to do - from home remedies to pujas to customs and practices to gardening to cooking to taking care of cattle to all other things that city-bred people have no clue about. One night while telling her a story her grandmother tells Nooni how their village had a myth that there was a temple with a step well which had disappeared.

Nooni had a great time exploring things and in one of her explorations stumbled upon a site. Archaeologists are called and a massive temple structure is found buried under that place. The myth turns out, is true. Celebrations all around.

Being a neat little children's book there are no villains. One gets a lot of information about rural Karnataka and some customs etc which children who have no clue about can read and learn up on. Simple, clean and neat.

Thanks, Anjali. Though you took it away soon as you discovered that I was done reading it.

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