Veena Zutshi
Veena Zutshi
DO NAAM WALA LADKA TATHA ANYA KAHANIYAN by PY Balan Eklavya, Parag Initiative with support from Tata Trust, Mumbai, 2019, 40 pp., 110
November 2019, volume 43, No 11

Balachandran, a student of seventh standard, is poor, and has lost his father at a young age. He and his siblings live in a village. Father Chinnappan, a priest, visits them and persuades his mother to allow him to join the seminary. His mother gives permission and Balachandran’s name is changed to Brother Freetus.

Narrated in simple language, the story depicts the conflict and confusion in the boy’s mind. He wonders if he will be the same carefree and happy boy once he joined the seminary. He expresses his doubts to his mother who helps him. A good read for the 10+ level.

‘Khushboo Aur Badboo’ by Sara Joseph is the story of Annie, a very poor young girl who is very cruelly and harshly treated by her teachers at school. Annie is nicknamed ‘Kokanchira’, meaning a corpse. She is reprimanded and abused for no fault of hers. Some teachers humiliate her by raising questions on her personal hygiene and cleanliness. Annie wants to revolt but lacks the courage.

It is a sad story. The teachers do not realize how impoverished and helpless the poor are. They may have no money but they too have self-esteem. Annie shows her resentment by refusing to have the mid-day meal consisting of evil-smelling rice, as the rich have no empathy for the poor. A must read for the twelve+ age group.

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