This story is from the book The Adventures of Rusty. Rusty is a 12-year-old boy, and as you read on, you might think that he is very much a part of you! The book has two sections, and Granny’s Fabulous Kitchen is the beginning of the first section.
As kitchens went, it wasn’t all that big. It wasn’t as big as the bedroom or the living-room, but it was big enough, and there was a pantry next to it....
Oh, why does the sparrow
build a nest in the rain?
Won’t the downpour
wash the nest away?
Asked the child, to her grandmother.
Monsoon is a time
when there are
lots of worms,
and that means food
for the little ones!
That’s why sparrows build
a nest in the rain,
said the grandmother with a smile
The Sparrow’s Nest [Illustration by Anup Singh]
Grandmother was tolerant of most of his pets, but she drew the line at reptiles. Even a sweet-tempered lizard made her blood run cold. There was little chance that she would allow a python in the house.
“It will strangle you to death!” she cried.
“Nonsense,” said Grandfather. “He’s only a young fellow.”
“He’ll soon get used to us,” I added, by way of support.
“Lock that awful thing in the bathroom,” she said.
Excerpts from Snake Trouble [Illustrations by Mickey Patel] “Go and find the man you bought it from, give him twenty rupees or twice as much, and get him to come here and collect it!...
Once upon a time in India,there was a town called Boring. It was by the side of Dull Lake. The people of Boring never smiled; they did not know how to — Whether it was grownups or children.
All the children ever did was study. They studied in school all day. On returning home they got busy with homework and with revision for class tests in school. No one played any games — there were no playgrounds in the town....
Festival of Eid
English translation of ‘Eidgah’ (Hindi)
Written by Munshi Premchand
Translated by Khushwant Singh
Published by National Book Trust, New Delhi
Translated by the veteran columnist and writer, Khushwant Singh, Festival of Eid retains the compelling essence of the original work.
This well illustrated book tells the story of Eid, as it is celebrated in a small village, and stresses that festivals are actually about showing the love and concern that we feel for our near and dear ones....
It was a hot summer afternoon during the holidays and Ma was taking a nap. Deepak was bored. He came upon a naughty idea. Boys are like that. When they want to be naughty, they have to be naughty.
So Deepak, in his naughty mood, decided to do what Ma had told him never to do. He decided to open Grandpa’s black wooden box that lay in the guest-room. It was a lovely old, square box with brass hinges....
Whenever I go to my ancestral home in Nainital, I never forget to brush my hand across an engraved name-plate and feel the name on it. The name belongs to my great grandfather who used to work for the British Empire. For his loyalty, he was rewarded with the title of ‘Rai Saheb’.
Having worked with the British for years, Rai Saheb gained in wealth and name. And everyone in the household feared him. Well, not exactly....
A Muria folk tale from Orissa retold from ‘When the World was Young’, by Verrier Elwin. The book is a fascinating collection of folktales from the tribal peoples of India. Elwin was a pioneering anthropologist; he spent his entire life getting to know the ways of life of the tribal peoples.
People around the world have different ways of explaining how the earth came to be the way it is: the sky above, the earth below....
“Yuk!” exclaimed Thenyak. “It tastes awful!” Changun said nothing. But her screwed up features told all!
“Don’t like it, do you?” said Grandma Kamlong with a toothless grin. “But watch now.”
Using the ladle, she scooped up a little salt from a wooden bowl and put it into the broth. She sang a Nocte ballad as she stirred, smiling mysteriously all the while.
This was what made Grandma Kamlong such great fun! She could put life and mystery into the most trivial chore!...
Look out for the traffic! Be careful! Don’t fall into the drain!”
“Oh, Mum! I’m only going to the shop to buy you a loaf of bread. The way you’re going on, the neighbours will think I’m cycling all the way to London! You know there’s very little traffic on our quiet estate roads… and anyway, the drains are not even big enough for me to fall into!”
Shen’s mother sighed as she called after him, “Look out for cars!...
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