|Younguncle Comes to Town|
|Author - Vandana Singh
“What is his real name?” Sarita had asked then.
“Nobody remembers. He has always been called Younguncle. He says he prefers it that way – although it is quite ridiculous to be called Younguncle even by one’s parents. But he has always been a little different from other people.”
All this sounded quite exciting to the children. They had been waiting since lunch for Younguncle’s arrival.
One can’t but help loving the adorable, do-gooder Younguncle, the protagonist of the book, as he makes a dramatic entry with a teacup full of rain and a tin-plate protecting his head from the rain, having given away his umbrella to a boy in exchange for some cages with birds which he releases into a garden.
Younguncle’s antics bring a smile to your face. Funny are the incidents when he tries to save his sister from a mismatched marriage by posing as a mentally deranged person or when he rescues Janaki, a cow with the help of a troop of monkeys.
The characters are so well portrayed that you empathize with Ranu who is punished for putting sugar instead of salt in the mutton curry; and with Ram Lakhan, ‘the silent, tragic, speed maniac’ bus driver. An element of supernatural is also introduced into the story in the form of the banyan-tree ghost always asking for his money. Younguncle’s character is so well sketched that you feel you have known him since long.
The book captures your interest with its simple and lucid narration. From one adventure to another Younguncle moves on taking you along with him on his numerous escapades.
An authorial debut by Vandana Singh, Younguncle Come to Town is an amusing and entertaining book recommended for light reading.
Price: Rs 150
Published by Young Zubaan
- Reviewed by Vatsala Krishnakumar