Monday, August 26, 2013

Angry Rivers!

The rain in coastal Karnataka is a lot different from the rain in the interior regions. For one, the rains are heavy and second they are incessant …with absolutely no respite! So much so that even a hint of sunlight makes way for a flurry of activities amongst the residents only to be disappointed by pouring rain a few minutes later. Rain completely pervades your life in a way that is hard to imagine for people like us who live in the state's interior regions like Bangalore. It's not just rain, it's the damp weather, moss covered slippery roads and pathways, unscheduled power cuts, road blockades, overflowing rivers - are some of the trappings of torrential rains!  Rain dominates  work, day to day routine and activities, food, clothing, and not to mention conversations... as my mother's telephone calls  from Dharmasthala now begins and ends with ...the rains! :-)
A city dweller of course can afford to have a romantic perspective of the coastal monsoon! So when we visited my dad's farm house at Dharmasthala two weeks ago, the landscape had never seemed so flourishing green and the air so crisp and refreshing ever before! It was amazing to see all the reservoirs  full and our very own river Nethravati  flowing in full spate! So while I had picked up Ruskin Bond's "Rain in the mountains", I made sure Abhay too had the benefit of one of Ruskin Bond's children's stories ....set around the monsoon season! "The Angry River" is a story written by one of India's iconic writers of our times, Ruskin Bond. This story along with  "The Blue Umbrella" has been published in a comic book format by Amarchitra Katha publications. Being one of the few ACKs that I enjoyed reading (as I am not a fan of ACK series on  mythology), I was waiting for an opportunity to read and post the same on Onestoryaday! Originally written as "Sita and the river" and published in his short-story collection titled “Night Train at Deoli and other stories”, this is a story of Sita who lives along with her grandparents in a small island that lies in the middle of a big river. If your little one likes “The Angry River”, you may want to pick up Mr. Chippy Gangee’s rendition of the story in the audiobook of Night Train at Deoli and other stories" .  Once during the rainy season, Sita's grandmother falls ill and had to be taken to the hospital in the mainland by her grandfather, Sita is left to fend for herself at the island. Sita was a brave girl but didn't like the sound of river during this season.  Her grandfather advises her to climb onto the peepul tree if the water level rises. Soon after her grandparents leave by boat, it starts to pour and soon the river rose to her hut. Though Sita tries to salvage most of household articles by storing them in a chest,  she is heartbroken to find out that she has left behind her favorite doll Mumta. But there was no looking back, as the island was completely flooded with water and she holds on to one of the branches of the peepul tree, as it moved into the main current of the river. As she swims along the tide, Sita is rescued by a boy in a boat. What follows is a rollercoaster boat ride along with angry river until she is finally united with her grandfather. As the river retreats, Sita goes back to her island with her grandfather and realize that sometimes, the river may be angry and sometimes, it may be kind, but they will always be a part of the river and cannot live without the river. A heart-warming story about a little girl’s survival in the face of nature’s fury! A story of will-power, hope, lasting friendship and love for nature that makes a delightful monsoon read for your little one!

No comments:

Post a Comment