I stumbled onto this tiny gem of a book in the Broadway bookstore in Goa on my last visit. Ishaan was with me and was squeaking at my heels to leave as usual (poor kid hasn’t discovered the magical world of books yet!), and I grabbed this from the shelf intrigued by its title, cover and let’s face facts here…it’s very short length 😛 Hold your snide looks and thoughts people…I’ve been wading through the Bookers for far too long…long, complicated books which I have struggled to read, understand and like without much success, because they’re award-winners and a panel of experts somewhere say I should if I consider myself ‘well-read’. Huh!! And then unexpectedly (don’t you just love the unexpected?!), here comes a breath of fresh air, a short book, all of 88 pages, interspersed with some interesting illustrations and a story that’s whimsically weird yet utterly entertaining, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before! Hallelujah!
The story begins with a robbery and continues on to its consequences, but in the telling, it reads like what I can best describe as part fairy-tale, part parable. It deals with deep issues like losing a loved one, murder, facing our fears etc in a way that most of us will find intriguing, absorbing and dare I say entertaining?! Yup! My favorite is the title story…the story of the ‘Tiny Wife’…brilliant and imaginative! Dawn & her lion come in a close second! Every story dwells on choice & consequence but is narrated in a wholly original, if quaint manner. No preachiness here, no solutions, no judgment…just good old story-telling 🙂
A must read people…it’ll only take an hour of your time but I guarantee it’ll stay with you a lot longer 🙂