Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie

This is a beautifully written book. A fantasy tale, its central theme itself is the role of stories in life.

The plot revolves around the boy Haroun, the son of a famous storyteller. Haroun's father has lost his ability to tell stories - and Haroun travels to the origin of his father's wonderful stories - a second moon on Earth called Kahani, home to the Sea of Stories. The sea is in danger of being gravely polluted by evil forces who don't believe in stories and its up to Haroun and his friends to save the day.

The writing is wonderfully imaginative and full of humour. A number of names used in the book are taken literally from Hindustani. We have the chatterbox princess Batcheat, the General of Pages Kitab and so on - and the end result of that can be surprisingly funny. Even better than being entertaining, the book serves as a great reminder that each of us has an imagination and its intended to be put to good use rather than put on the backburner while we lead our routine lives.