Fat Is Ugly
BOILABABA by Maneka Gandhi Frank Brothers & Co.,, 1988, 32 pp., 18.00
Nov-Dec 1988, volume 12, No 6

The nicest thing about Boulababa is the title. ‘Boulababa’ conjures up lovely visions of a lisping toddler or an ancient ascetic with a sense of fun. Of course, it’s neither of these as you may have already guessed.

‘Boulababa,’ as the story begins, ‘was the fattest Prince in the whole world. He was so fat it took twenty-three strong men to carry him from his bedchamber to the dining room and back.’

His mother Sonirani feeds him cakes and sweets and all kinds of goodies, (no gulabjamuns or rasagullas or kheer), frowned upon by health freaks today and worried if her son ate less than the usual mountain of food he was used to. King Suraja his father had little patience with his wife or son but obviously was not strong enough to get either mother or son to listen to him!

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