Sunday, July 28, 2013

The play that could have been .....Mister Jeeejeebhoy's and the Birds!

Life has turned so busy that Onestoryaday may as well be named Onestoryaweek with my posts now almost down to once a week! While it is still one-story-a-day for Abhay as my six year old is not able to fall asleep without a story, (and whose fault is that :-) I don’t seem to find the time to post the same as often as I want to! There are times when I am eager to post something but fail to find an appropriate book to complement the scenario and sometimes when I do, time fails me! Anyway, this weekend I was determined not to let that happen as I had rented the book well in advance which was seemingly perfect for the occasion, however, the occasion didn’t present itself as planned! To put it simply, we planned to watch a play yesterday (Mister Jeejeebhoy and the birds) based on one of Abhay’s new found favorites  but were a tad too late in booking the tickets and instead settled for another play (Granny's Sarees) by the same group (a Mumbai based group called Gillo) on a story that was one of my old favorites! Anyway, Abhay thoroughly enjoyed the musical format of “"Granny's saris" ” and actively participated in their workshop that followed….. well, what can I say….all’s well that ends well!

But I decided to stick to my original plan of reading what I had planned to anyway! “Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds” by Anitha Balachandran is a wonderful story about two siblings cooped up in a very strange house only to discover their own delightfully strange abilities that finally come to the rescue of the neighborhood’s children. Tara and Diya move in with their aunt Ninamasi at 13A, Dimlivili (East) (a name Mumbaikars can relate to better). While they find something strange happening in the house including backward moving clock, faces yawning in the picture frames and mirrors reflecting upside down images, the strangeness grows on the girls as they discover that they are gifted with magical abilities later confirmed by Ninamasi to run in the family. Tara and Diya however find the neighborhood’s children cold and unfriendly towards them. But all the children love one thing – the sweet shop of Mister Jeejeebhoy, who has an unusual hobby of keeping birds as pets. But one fine day when all his birds fly away, the heartbroken mister Jeejeebhoy shuts down the shop and vows never to open the shop until he finds them, Tara and Diya put their special skills to good use and help in bringing back mister Jeejeebhoy’s pets that in turn restores Dimlivili’s sweet tooth! Vibrant real-life illustrations and realistic portrayals of sibling rivalry, peer pressure and the childhood fascination of neighborhood joints all infused with a bit of magic is what best characterizes this book. My only regret is that I missed the story being brought alive by Gillo, which going by today’s performance of “Granny’s sari” must have been a treat to watch! Don’t miss Gillo’s plays the next time around…I most certainly wont!


  1. We were at Sinchana yesterday, did we meet?

  2. Wow! You were at Sinchana too? We would have seen each other for sure! Small World!