Andaleeb Wajid
THE PIANO: STORY OF A FRIENDSHIP by Nandita Basu Duckbill Publishers, 2020, 42 pp., 199.00
November 2020, volume 44, No 11

The Piano is an unusual book. A graphic novel that draws you in immediately, it tells the story of a young girl Meera who is alone and wants nothing more than a friend in her life. It begins with her writing a letter to God, asking for a friend. And then, the story moves back in time all the way to 1912, Germany where a famed pianist Victor Schmitt visits a piano maker and commissions a piano for his son Jorge.

The story weaves forward through time, taking readers on an unpredictable journey of surprises and sudden sadness, a walk through world history and even the Indian Independence struggle, and then, the pleasant shock when Meera meets the piano for the first time. Meera’s friendship with the piano is unsure at first, and then becomes something deeper and more meaningful. She names the piano Marcus Aurelius and has many hours of enjoyment, talking to him, hearing his stories and then the unthinkable happens and Marcus is taken away from her. It takes several years before she is reunited with Marcus in a way that will definitely leave a smile on your face.

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