Friday, 4 August 2006

Moin and the Monster

I know it's too kiddish to be reading this book, but I must admit it's one of the funniest (in a kid-like way) books I've ever read. The innocence of the boy, Moin, is brought out very well. I'm talking about Moin and the Monster by Anushka Ravishankar. Anuska Ravishankar is an award-winning writer and playwright. Her books include Tiger on a Tree, Anything but a Grabooberry, Excuse Me, Is This India? and Today is my Day, among others.

Moin and the Monster by Anushka Ravishankar

•Published by Penguin Books India
•Published: February 2006
•Imprint: Puffin
•Cover Price: Rs 155.00
•ISBN: 0143335154
•Edition: Paperback
•Format: 129 x 178 mm
•Extent: 112pp (with 31 2-colour illus)
•Classification: Children
•Rights: World

One night, in the dim darkness of his room, Moin heard something shuffling and sniffling under his bed It is a monster, and soon Moin has to learn to live with the monster and its habits, which include a love for bananas, singing, and new hairstyles. However, keeping the monster a secret from his parents and teachers is a tough task, and finally Moin decides that the only thing to do is to send the monster back where it came from ...

Tee hee.. I thought Anuskha Ravishankar was Anoushka Ravishankar, who is the daughter of Pt. Ravishankar, but it's not. Thanks to my ignorance.

Here's an excerpt:

"That's another monster rule. You can only see me if you draw me"
Moin was confused. 'But I can only draw you if I can see you,' he said.
'I can describe myself, can't I? Then you can draw me. If you disobey the rule you'll ... you'll ... you'll turn into a ... a ... suitcase'
Moin didn't want to turn into a suitcase. So he switched on the light, got out his crayons and a piece of paper and waited for the monster to decribe itself.
'You can't draw me on that tiny bit of paper!' the monster told him. 'I'll be as big as you draw me, and I don't want to be the size of your foot.'
'Okay! Okay!' said Moin. He took the calender off the wall, selected a month that had passed, tore off the sheet and turned it around. 'There. That's the biggest sheet I can get, and if you don't like it, there's nothing I can do about it. So describe yourself.'
'Humph,' said the monster and began to sing in a high pitch which sounded quite horrible with it's shreiky voice:

Eyes like flames
And nose like pails,
Ears like horns
And teeth like nails,
A scary, fearsome sight to see
Monster, monster, monster me!

Skull-shaped mole
On rock-like chin,
Long green hair
And purple skin,
In the dark, you'll scream to see
Monster, monster, monster me!

Drum-shaped chest
And arms like trees,
Bamboo legs on
Feet like skis,
Terrifying as can be
Monster, monster, monster meeeeeeeee!

There was a silence as Moin drew the monster, part by part, slowly, carefully and precisely.
'Almost,' said Moin. 'Right here you are.'
'Now hold the paper up', the monster said. 'I'll look at it as if I'm looking into a mirror. Then I'll appear.'

So Moin held the paper up.
'Eeeeeek!' said the monster.
'Eeeeeeeeeeek!' said Moin, startled to see his drawing suddenly turn into a live creature.
'Owowowowow! What have you done? What have you done?' wailed the monster.
'Why? What's the matter?'
'This is not how I should look,' wept the monster. 'I'm fearsome. You've made me look funny!'
'I've drawn you exactly as you described yourself,' said Moin, miffed. He thought he'd done a splendid job of drawing the monster. 'I can't help it if you don't know how to describe yourself.'
'I'm supposed to be purple.'
'Oh, yes, um ... sorry. I ran out of purple so I used the closest colour I could find.'
'Pink? Bright pink is closest to purple? And why are my legs so thin?'
'They're bamboos, aren't they? That's what you said - bamboo legs.'
'These are not bamboos, they're drumsticks!'
'What rubbish! Drumsticks don't look like that.'
'Bamboos don't look like this either. And what are these things I have instead of feet?'
'Skis, of course'
'These? You call these skis? They look like brooms.'
'I don't know what skis look like. I guessed. I'm very good at guessing. They look kind of ski-ish to me. You know, skittish and kind of brushy.'
'And which animal has horns like these?'
'Oh, were they supposed to be animal horns? I thought you meant the kind of horns that autorickshaws have.'
'You mean I'm going to be walking around with autorickshaw horns? Oh, woe!'
'You complain too much,' said Moin.
'Of course I'll complain; look at this - you've drawn my teeth upside down! How am I going to eat with these blunt nail heads?'
'If you wanted them with the sharp side down you should have said so. I can't read your stupid mind, can I?'
'So many millions of children in the world, and I had to get the one child who can't draw,' sobbed the monster.
'Then go find some other stupid child,' said moin, throwing down his crayons. 'I didn't ask you to crawl under the bed and wake me up and make me draw all kinds of things in the middle of the night. Go away and find some great painter. Go and hide under Picasso's bed.'
'I can't. Now that you've drawn me, I have to stay with you. Besides, Picasso's dead.'
'Forever?' asked Moin, alarmed.
'Once people die, they're usually dead forever.'
'No, I mean are you going to stay with me forever?'
'Forever,' nodded the monster glumly. 'That's the rule.'
'Oh no,' said Moin.
'Exactly,' said the monster.

1 comment:

aak said...

thanks for drawing attention towards this post ,indeed hilarious :)

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