No Title
Jaya Krishnamachari
CHAMAN LAL KE PYJAME by Anil Singh. Illustrated by Taposhi Ghoshal Jugnoo Prakashan, 2019, 43 pp., 150.00
MITTI KI GAADIby Priyamvad Jugunoo Prakashan, 2020, 39 pp., 120.00
November 2021, volume 45, No 11

Chaman Lal Ke Pyjame is an interesting collection of six stories written by Anil Singh for children aged 8 and above. All the stories are set in Umariya, a district in Madhya Pradesh. The language is colloquial bringing back memories of a Madhya Pradesh I grew up in. The Hindi spoken in small towns of many Hindi-speaking States is something one does not generally hear in Metropolitan cities. It is very quaint and only people living in those parts may be familiar with some of the words that I came across in these stories.

The protagonists in all the stories are young boys between the ages of 8 and 12, so from the narration it would seem that it is the author reminiscing about his own childhood spent in Umaria. The first story, ‘Bandaron ki Jal Samadhi’ is about the predicament of a group of monkeys who find themselves in an impossible situation and how knowledge of their condition affects a child, the narrator here. The author has described in quite some detail about the depredation of the environment in order to advocate providing of amenities like bridges across rivers and so on. The author also dwells on the fact that while any sensational news is the talk of the town for a few days, the moment some other new event comes up the previous events cease to be of interest. Here it is the plight of the monkeys that, after nearly 10 days of being the talking point of the town is forgotten by the people of Umaria when they hear about, and preparations begin for, the arrival of a VIP in their midst.

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