And finally I managed to order some books on Flipkart, which V brought back from Bangalore for me. So exciting. But even more exciting was that among them was Mayil Will Not Be Quiet by our very own GB. (Ooh just realised she had switched her blog to WordPress like half the world seems to be doing and there was a new post waiting, yay!). I have been trying to get my hands on it for a while unsuccessfully so was totally joyful when I finally did.
I loved it. GB, I’m not just saying this because you wrote it and I’m being polite because the extent of my politeness is to not talk about things associated with people I like if I don’t like the things they created. So if I didn’t like the book, I’d just shut up and not mention it at all and you’d be none the wiser.
Except I loved it. Okay I said that before. I don’t think I can properly articulate why in the same way that I can’t articulate why I love Bridget Jones’s Diary – and to be mentioned in the same sentence as BJD by me is a high compliment. The tone, I think, of the narrative voice. The likeableness of the people in the little family. And of course, the way it brings up and tackles a host of gender issues in a realistic and non-preachy way, weaving them seamlessly into the story.
I did wonder whether it was too wordy or grown-up for a 10-year-old but then I realised I have no idea because I know absolutely no 10 years old. I’m fairly sure I was reading Enid Blyton when I was 10 and they are pretty full-on wordy and I suspect 10 year olds now are a bit more advanced not so much in reading capabilities but the issues they are exposed to. In fact, now I can recall giggling and looking up the word “breast” in the dictionary with my partner in school and I can still remember the definition “a gland that produces milk”, boring and yet tainted with the hint of forbidden fruit.
So yeah, I think 10 years old is about right and this one is going to be saved for Mimi, the perfect book for the daughter I always wanted and the perfect entry into all those things I want to tell her about. My only regret is that I didn’t take GB up on her offer to courier a copy to my place in Bombay because I would dearly love to have an autographed copy but my impatience got the better of me.
And also I’m glad I bought the book because that’s one more royalty check for GB (is that how it works?) and hopefully Tulika will commission her to write Part Deux (Tulika are you listening?). I’d love Part Deux to continue Mayil’s adventures and self-discovery but I’d also love for there to be a Part Trois featuring Thamarai and his angst so that Benji can have a bible too. Hint hint.