Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Glass Tree by M Mukundan

Title : The Glass Tree

Author : M Mukundan

Illustrator : Poonam Athalye

Publisher : Katha

ISBN : 978-81-89934-79-8

'The Glass Tree' is one of the most endearing tales that I have ever read which begins with a role reversal of sorts. Grandma Mutthashi is pestering his grandson Unni, for a story before going to bed. This is because Unni's stories can put Mutthashi to sleep.

It does not take much time for 2-year Unni to relent to the pleadings of his Mutthashi. On this particular night Unni has a special story for his grandma- the story of a glass tree. He begins narrating the story as he imagines some pictures appearing on a bare wall in front of him. It is about a village chief - Kuruman. He is offering his prayers to the stone idol under the huge Champaka tree when a stranger, Melkorran addresses him and makes him believe that the old Champaka tree is about to die soon. Melkorran offers his services to Kuruman as he is adept in the art of making trees that don't grow old nor even shed a single leaf. Kuruman is completely bewitched by the idea of such a fascinating tree. Soon enough Melkorran sets to work, the old Champaka tree comes crashing down and the chirping inhabitants of the tree run helter-skelter trying to save their babies in the nests.

Melkorran shapes each and every part of the tree with utmost care and love. He builds the most beautiful glass tree which glistens with the sun rays but in spite of its magnificence there is something that the glass tree lacks.

Soon the images start to fade away from the wall in front of Unni and his story comes to an end.

This is actually retelling of a prize-winning original story. Fascinating art work by Poonam Athalye is a treat for the eyes.

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