Growing Up In Pandupur
by Adithi and Chatura Rao
The issues addressed herein are so real and touching.
Growing up in Pandupur is a collection of 13 short stories for kids. Now, Pandupur is a fictitious township in South India. It is a figment of the authors’ imagination. And truly a brilliant imagination.
The book opens with the map of Pandupur, situated near the River Dhun.
The township has the essential necessities: a railway station, a bustling marketplace, couple of schools, some residential colonies (societies); parks, playgrounds, an orphanage; the river Dhun and of course the Dhun river dam project. So essentially engineers working on the dam project have made Pandupur their residence, with their families. And all stories connect most of the residents of that town.
The book opens with a beautiful song dedicated to the river Dhun. Creative and lyrical, the authors capture your heart already with the very first page.
Actually, the cover page of the book is so darn colorful that it catches the eye and fancy of all. The two days that I had the book on my work desk, all my colleagues walking around made sure they picked it up. It is that inviting! They all appreciated the illustration and loved whatever part they read randomly. (*Cheers Priya Kuriyan!)
Some of them have already requested me to lend them the book, while others have already bought it from Landmark. This actually shows how appealing the book is!
Coming back to the stories, all of them are beautifully penned.
The first story –“Polka-dotted Party” is about Raghav’s birthday party that he ends up celebrating at the orphanage. And why so? Well, that is for you to read and enjoy.
In “Goblins”, we see naughty Tejas reign his kingdom of fantasy world as Hobgob Supreme, enslaving other mortals. A very cute story about growing up and sibling love.
Moving on to “Changing Chintamani”, we see how little Chintamani’s life changes as he takes up football coaching during his summer vacations.
“The House Painted Blue” sees three musketeers Thangi Timmayya and her friends, the twins, Situ and Gitu, trying to solve a a funny mystery.
“Mallipoo, Free” shows how love bonds humans and animals.
“Nisha” is the story of a small girl who faces child abuse. The way the story is put actually makes it more relevant to today’s age, and how children can and should distinguish between a good touch and a bad touch.
“About Grandfathers and Trees” is a tender story about a grandfather’s demise.
“Sister Song” portrays sibling love. “For Preet” is a coming of age story, showing how girls mature faster and boys…remain boys! This one I absolutely loved!
“A Boat in the Rain” captures the heart of a young boy and the grief/anger he carries with him.
“Evenings in 201” connects Brigadier Ahmed and Rohan in quite an unexpected way.
“Warm-fuzzy” is an absolute poignant story about children and how they actually see each other.
The last story, “The River Came Home”, deals with development issues and how it affects some people, but the moral is that nothing remains forever. We have to accept the changes and draw strength from our past to move on to a better future.
Through Pandupurs’ children, Adithi and Chatura Rao weave a web of stories–life lessons in growing up: laughter and tears, insecurities, small unkindnesses and surprising friendships, stories that will resonate in the hearts and minds of children everywhere.
No fancy gizmo talk or fantasy world magic fluttering around. Everyday tales of growing up that appeals and resonates with children (and young adults) of all ages.
The setting is ideal and the imagery drawn in the readers mind is so real that you can visualize every story as you read it.
The book truly has it all – the beauty of Pandupur; the innocence of the children around; real issues that need attention; awareness towards certain topics that children refrain from talking about; topics that grown-ups do not discuss or tell kids about; all subjects woven to perfection!
The stories remain with you forever. Reading about Pandupur, I really wish to make a pit-stop at Pandavpur (a town near Mysore that inspired the authors) to capture the images in my heart.
The authors, Adithi and Chatura Rao craft such beautiful stories, bringing to life the ordinary experiences in such a marvelous way that opens your eyes and mind to a lot many things that go unnoticed. Especially for children. It teaches a lot about friendship, sibling love, growing up. The narrative is smooth and flawless.
This one is definitely a MUST HAVE/MUST READ book!