Book Review: Lore of the Land – Storytelling traditions of India by Nalini Ramachandran
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Children's /Young Adult
Publishers: Penguin Random House India
Price: Rs. 599/- ( I got the book for review from the publisher)
Behind the Book
Into the land of stories . . .Moody Mohini belongs to a legendary family of storytellers. Telling tall tales is supposed to be in her genes. Except, she doesn't think so-even though her family (as well as just about everyone in Mithika) expects her to be the torchbearer of this rather marvellous tradition.
One day, cracking under the pressure of a plotline, Mohini runs far away from home . . . only to be held hostage by a spunky spirit, who traps her in a strange spell and whisks her off on a whirlwind tour of the country and its many storytelling traditions. And how else can Mohini break the charm-you guessed it-but by telling a story herself!
Join Mohini as she receives a unique education about the untold ways in which the people of India weave tales-using everything from stick figures and cave paintings to shadow puppets and flamboyant dance dramas-all the while discovering the profound powers of that special skill-storytelling.
About the Author
Nalini Ramachandran spends much of her time oscillating between the worlds of serious fiction and fantastic non-fiction. She is the author of the graphic novel-biography A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: One Man, Many Missions.
It is said, “You are never too old for fairytales.” And that is exactly what this book reiterated to me. Growing up listening to folk tales, my childhood was a fairy tale for me in many ways. Reading this book was a like a walk down the memory lane.
Nalini Ramachandran’s writing was a combination of a travelogue cum essays and pieces on culture and tradition of India mixed with the beautiful art of storytelling. The lovely illustrations by Abhishek Choudhury make it all come alive in this enthralling read. I just loved the way the whole book has been illustrated starting from the cute cover, intricately designed interior layout and the titling of every chapter. It is a unique.
Okay, time for a serious confession here. There were many things which I myself didn’t know before reading this book, despite being born and brought up in India. That is the beauty of books. They have the magical ability to reveal secrets where you were never aware of, about a world in which you exist.
I was captivated by this mesmerizing journey of Mohini and was all along with her till the very end. I laughed, was surprised and enjoyed each and every moment. It was all so colourful, vibrant and full of life. It made me feel blessed that I am born in such a country that has such rich cultural heritage. What an inimitable way to tell us about different forms of storytelling across India.
This book is like chocolate fondue cake - full of surprises and leaves you with a yummilicious feeling.