Tag Archives: Folk lore

The Night Life of Trees by Durga Bai, Bhajju Shyam and Ram Singh Urveti

The Night Life of Trees by Bhajju Shyam Title: The Night Life of Trees
Author: Durga Bai, Bhajju Shyam and Ram Singh Urveti
Publisher: Tara Books
ISBN: 978-8186211922
Genre: Picture Book, Non-Fiction, Mythology
Pages: 48
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

Trees are strange. Trees are comforting. Trees have histories and tales spun around them. Trees also have a life of their own which cannot be gauged by humans. Keeping this in mind and all the tradition and myths behind trees of India, tribal artists in conjunction with Tara Books have published a beautiful limited edition hand-made book called “The Night Life of Trees” and I cannot begin to praise and admire it.

The Night Life of Trees by Bhajju Shyam - Image 1

I am not the one for trees and their stories and what they are all about, but after reading this book and soaking in all the illustrations, I want to know more about them, in fact, everything about them. This book is testimony to the living masters of the Gond art form.

Snakes and Earth

Snakes and Earth

There are a total of 19 trees featured in this book and each one is with a story from mythology or seems to be a fairy tale or just is, which is what you will love and cherish as a reader.

All of them

All of them

The images are alongside the description and make for some beautiful viewing. Moreover, the handmade paper is to die for – quite literally. You will fall in love with it.

The Tree of Intoxication

The Tree of Intoxication

The trees in our country are exotically named like the Khirsali, Nagphani, Sembar and so many more after Gods, Goddesses, Serpents and also Birds and Humans.

The Silkworm's Home

The Silkworm’s Home

“The Night Life of Trees” is a treat for everyone to own and keep going back to it. The art will for sure make you.

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Book Review: The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

cranewife Title: The Crane Wife
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 978-0857868718
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

Once in a while you need magic in your life. More so, you need to believe in. In whatever form and manner. I guess sometimes we all need a wake-up call. Something to jostle us of our mere mundane existence and show us life in its truest form. The so-called hurdles along the way also need to be dealt with though. There is no escaping that. Maybe a little bit of living and a little bit of love would be good enough, if it comes in the right balance that is. With this, I present to you one of the most wonderful books I have read this month: “The Crane Wife” by Patrick Ness.

I was taken in by the title. I could not have figured what this book would be about and that further intrigued me to pick it up and give it a go. However, it was one of those seemingly dull days, when one has nothing to do and wants to do nothing but read that I picked up this gem of a book and could not stop reading it till I had finished it.

The writing is sublime. It is funny in places even and in most places just poignant. The story is of a forty-eight year old man in present day London, his adult daughter, his infant grandchild and how their lives are infused and transformed by love of a strange woman, who just happens to enter their lives one fine day. It all starts with one night, when the man, patches an injured crane in his backyard and sets him or her going, the mysterious woman appears at his store the very next day. At some level, you want to believe that maybe it is the crane reincarnate but of course the logical reader will not. What makes this story even more brilliant are the set of 32 tiles she carries with her, which tell a tale of long time gone by, of a daughter born out of a cloud and her existence and life with volcanoes and the world. The questions but obviously keep the reader hooked till the very end: Who is this woman? Where has she come from? What is the purpose? Why the stories? Why the tiles?

I had first heard of Patrick Ness when I read, “A Monster Calls” and loved the book to the core. It affected me quite deeply. I never thought that something else written by him would have the same kind of impact. “The Crane Wife” most certainly did. The writing is magical, infused with everyday living and yet blends with it the element of folklore with great tact. I left the book while I was about to sleep and found myself waking up in the middle of the night and turning the pages right through. Such I guess is the power of a very-well written book. It doesn’t let go of the reader, till the reader is done with it. It will definitely be on my reread list.