Carthik’s Unfairy Tales – T F Carthik.
My wife still calls me my “Mamma’s Boy” and I don’t mind it even at this age as I am what I am :). Now what has my Mamma got to do with this book? You ask? A lot. I always love and cherish a book or a story which sends me more closer to my mom (don’t worry she is all healthy and awesome). This book sent me back in time when I was in sixth standard or something, back then as soon as I usually start my walk back to home from school, I would pray that “God, please I want to have Halwa today”. And as soon as I will hit home my nasal senses will tell me that my wish was actually granted (always). But the moment I would look at the quantity she has made, I used to be sad and hurt to say “Why so less? why would you not make a bucket of this?” To which she will always calmly reply with a smile on her face “Bete, if I would make a load of it, it won’t be this good no?”. And that was always and still the case even today. The bestest dishes that she still makes always make me keep asking for more but to no avail. So this Mr. T F Karthik has actually served me the best tasted “Halwa” in the form of his Unfairy Tales that I kept asking more and the book gets over flat in 2 hours and a little more. But leaves a huge huge grin on my face that my kiddo gives me one look and says “Ok That’s it, now don’t tell me that I really need to read this book (too)”. And I give her a wink as she actually doesn’t know what she will be missing if she isn’t going to read this one.
Haven’t we all grown up reading so many fairy tales, still we crave for more but this is the first time that I have come across an “Unfairy” tale and I am forced to ask for more. Wow!! Simply Wow!! Hats off and take a bow Karthik for the beautiful retelling of the much loved stories from the days of yore like you call it. What is different in these stories is the way they are (re) told. Simple, Sweet but the most important and the damn good thing about them is the “point of view” from whose point of view the stories are told. Mind-blowing idea, concept and what an amazing execution. Now, imagine that you are reading a story from the point of view of a Rat, who was a horse a while ago and as he narrates it to his friend, it is actually unbelievable but true. And by the time he discloses whose horse he was while still being a Rat and how he craves to get back to that role to no avail, the reader is actually laughing out loud and hitting his palms on his own feet realizing “How could I not get it in the first place” And trust me, this is one example. I had no idea of sidey characters from any story from any of the much loved fairy tales and this books comes like a breath of fresh air giving us their accounts. Imagine what happened to the guy who sends Aladdin down the hole to fetch the magic Lamp was it? or to the witch who keeps Rapunzel in the tower? It is Hahalarious to say the least. I don’t want to disclose the stories that he has re-told hence will not talk about any characters, you’ve got to read this “one hell of a piece of literature” to know it yourself but I guarantee you, that you have not read anything like this before in your past.
What I loved about the entire book (as short it was) was his sense of humor and philosophy which he kept brief but never ignore-able especially when his characters talked about us humans and what we do (mostly wrong things). Also, impeccable English, which so much reminded me of two of my all time favorite Authors “Dickens and Wodehouse” but never overdoing it. Although my daughter just read the first page and found it too tough to her taste (she is 11) but now after reading it myself, I am going to force it down her throat as I know that once she reads the first five pages, she will not be able to put it down as it becomes so engrossing and interesting and simple too.
The only grudge that I hold against the Author is “Why so short man?” but I know, my mom would have again said calmly with a smile “Son, it won’t be this beautiful otherwise, No?”. So there, I give him benefit of doubt and look forward to his upcoming work as and when he comes out. If dreams were to come true, I would really love to read the account of the Landlady of Mr. Holmes 🙂 may be in a short story format but would love to read it especially the way Karthik has told these stories.