Yes, it is a strange title. It is neither the first time, nor would it be the last time that a different/whacky title has caught my eyes and I pick out the book with the most obscure title from the heap of books. As is the norm for me I bought this book – “The Simians of South Block and the Yum Yum Piglets“, authored by Ranjit Lal – on a whim.
The premise is: there is a vacancy for the top spot in jungle since the Tiger has retired after he was photographed in an embarrassing position by the tourists and had become the laughing stock on the net. A fight is on among the remaining powerful animals for the top-spot when monkeys come in to add masala to an already hot curry, and these are no ordinary monkeys. These are the monkeys that have terrorized Delhi, politicians of the South Block, and tourists around the India Gate being their favourite targets. These “civilized” monkeys find it difficult to adjust in the jungle, take hostages, and ask other animals to provide them a safe route to South Block, Delhi. The elected-by-default leader and his minions turn their back on this hostage situation and it is left up to other jungle denizens to handle the problem.
Even though it seems that it is a children’s book, but I feel there are serious political undercurrents in the book. Just change few minor details, and it seems to me the story of any problem that crops up in India specifically it seemed to me the story of 26/11. Monkeys (Terrorists) come to Jungle (Mumbai), take hostages, the so-called leaders, Jackal and Hyenas, disappear (MNS); others take charge to kill these pests. In spite of these political undercurrents, this book is a very light read. Yesterday night I completed it in one sitting in around 2 hours, and thoroughly enjoyed the book. Only when I woke up, did I realize that there were things to be read between the lines too.
If you lay your hands on it, read it 🙂