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Indu Liberhan

By Somya Dave, Nita Berry, Nilima Sinha, Dipavali Sen
Year 2014, pp. 132, Rs. 516.90

VOLUME XL NUMBER 11 November 2016

The Stranger And Other Curious Stories is a collection of short stories by AWIC for young children. The 14 stories all deal with very unusual unexplainable happenings which children will find very interesting, captivating and will certainly tickle their imagination. The stories deal with a wide range of episodes—meeting interesting strangers on a hillside during a holiday, acquiring a secret friend while in hospital, befriending a ferocious dog who otherwise hated strangers—all dealing with differing nature of experiences and happenings, but all very gripping. The stories, besides being interesting, are descriptive and informative. Interpersonal relationships, human emotions are dealt with very simply and beautifully to which children will relate and also be influenced—the bond between a grandfather and grandchild, friendship between people, love for animals, the need to help others and a host of other such emotions and values. ‘The Stranger’, written by Ramendra Kumar is the story about a writer who had come to Landour to research for his new book on the ghosts in British times. One day he loses his way in the heavy mist and meets two strangers, with each of whom he strikes up a conversation and learns a lot about the village and people of the past as also the strong friendship of two of them. Who were the friends and who were the strangers? A very ‘curious’ experience. The story related by ‘Dadi’ to her two grandchildren in ‘The Prince of Tikoli’ by Neera Jain, is a very well written tale of Dadi’s intriguing childhood experience. Dadi’s grandfather, the Prince, was a great art collector and spent all his money on buying art pieces with the result that when he died there was no money left. Badi Ma did not want to sell the art collection. How then was the family to live? And then one evening when Dadi and Badi Ma were sitting in the library the flame from a candle started spluttering loudly and its ’red and yellow tongue began to dance crazily and send wild wreathes of smoke around the room. The waxing, waning light threw strange patterns on the walls.’ Objects in the room glowed and dimmed and then suddenly came the ‘pointer’ to the solution to Badi Ma’s problem! What was it? A very gripping story. ‘A Secret Friend’ written by Devika Rangachari is the story of a little girl Alka in hospital ...

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