Spread the love

Feathers, Fools and Farts by L. Somi Roy and Dr Thangjam Hindustani Devi

My take on the book:

Feathers, Fools and Farts is a collection of retelling of ten Manipuri folk tales.

Two brothers who are separated, with the elder one staying back in the mountain high grounds while the younger one moved to the valley, started the tradition of lighting a lamp on the full moon night of the autumn month of Mera; a tradition continued to date by Meiteis, the descendants of the younger brother.

A toad adopted and brought up by a human mother, aspires to marry the princess and when the King rejects his proposal and shames his mother, how will Kong, the toad show his might to the King.

A little crybaby five-year-old Tompok enjoyed throwing frequent tantrums and he is not afraid of the fox, bear, or the tiger. But the name of Tapta scares Tompok, so does it scare the tiger. What if the demon Tapta descends at the exact minute and rides the tiger?

A young girl Piyanu, troubled and tortured by her stepmother turns to the hornbills for help.

A mother bird with three just born baby birds must safeguard her kids from a cunning tomcat that disguises as a monk.

A demoness with long arms that it stretches to grab, kill, and eat young boys must be tackled smartly by little Chaoba’s parents.

Sanarembi and her mother are hated by her half-sister Cheisra, and Cheisra’s mother to an extent they keep planning to kill both Sanarembi and her mother. Will life be ever kind to Sanarembi after the constant plotting by her half-sister?

A Kabui tribesman who is intrigued by new mystic skills, turns himself into a tiger but unfortunately stays a tiger-man with the day spent as a man and the nights as a tiger. When he eyes a beautiful maiden and kidnaps her what will her seven brothers do to rescue her?

An elderly couple who are pranked by mischievous brown rhesus macaque monkeys try to teach them a lesson but must hide when the monkeys charge back. As they both cannot control their farts, will they be found by the monkeys seething to avenge them?

The ten stories are diverse and have different premises and different kind of backdrops while having a hint of fantasy and message, as is the norm with folktales. The Manipuri Subika art accompanied with all these stories is unique and enthralls the reader. The stories are apt for children as well as adults, especially for those who always wanted to read about Manipur culture and folklore.

All the ten stories are equally entertaining, fun and hold the readers interest till the end, with unexpected twists. For the reader to genuinely enjoy the stories they need to trust the magic of these retellings. The stories are the ones passed down through generations by grandmothers as bedtime stories and hence it is important for retellings to keep these stories alive.

If you like to read fun stories or would like your kid to experience some magical storytelling, then this is the right pick for you.

My rating: