Jun 032019
Review: The Magic of the Lost Temple
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Book: The Magic of the Lost Temple

Author: Sudha Murty

Type: Paperback

Age group: 8+ years

It happens so many times, that I want to time travel into my past, especially my childhood and experience so many things once again. The simplicity and joy associated with many small activities I did back then – like playing with friends and cousins, learning to ride a cycle or watching how pickles are made or even going for small trips during vacations is simply overwhelming.

Sudha Murty books make you re-live your childhood!

A Sudha Murty book always comes to my rescue when I want to do this as it effortlessly takes me back into my childhood. Even my daughter who has not seen that era and is always eager to know about my childhood days, gets a glimpse of how life and lifestyles were back then.

‘The magic of the lost temple’ by Sudha Murty is a delight to read. It is a perfect choice for anyone who is tired of the chaotic city life and routine and wants to sit back and connect to something which is more peaceful, simpler and joy giving. Even without visiting a village, a child or adult can get a fair idea of how life in a village, which is usually considered to be slow paced and less glamorous, is soulfully enriching.

The story in this novel revolves around Nooni (Anoushka), a 12 year old girl who lives in Bangalore with her father (Dr. Shekhar, a busy doctor) and mother (Usha, a banker by profession). She is a happy-go-lucky tomboy who loves all forms of physical activity. She is fairly good at studies too. Like most city kids, she too (at her parents behest) has joined all sorts of activity classes from time to time, with or without interest and is craving for some real fun during her forthcoming summer vacation.

Nooni’s final exam results are out and a ten week long summer vacation is about to begin. Instead of being happy or excited she is sad that like every year, her parents will have limited holidays. As usual, they will visit a nearby hill station for a few days and then she will join a summer camp and few more activity classes which seemed repetitive and boring.

Summer Adventure with the Grandparents!

Luckily for Nooni, that year a turn of events takes place in a such a way that she gets a chance to spend her vacation with her paternal grandparents who live in Somanahalli, a village in Karnataka. This village is not only known for its picturesque view, good weather and kind people but also is famous for a fabled stepwell.

Now people had not seen this stepwell for ages, but stories associated with it could be heard in different versions from many villagers who had stayed there for generations.

Nooni’s grandpa (Ajja) and grandma (Ajji) are respected elders of this village and they welcome Nooni with open arms. Thereafter starts a vacation which is full of fun and adventure for Nooni.

The Indian Village Vacation!

In her first few days itself Nooni makes new friends, learns to ride a bicycle, goes for a picnic and even attends a village wedding. She admires Ajja for his wisdom, simplicity, loving and caring nature and disciplined life while Ajji is like her friend with whom she can share any and everything. Nooni keeps asking questions and Ajji being a patient and loving grandmother, teaches Nooni many new things every single day. Ajji is very caring and loving towards Nooni.

Nooni is very happy with her village vacation and soon gets used to it’s gentle routine. She too gets to hear the story of the stepwell from both Ajji and Ajja (slightly different versions) and develops a secret desire to find the stepwell. Luck is standing by Nooni’s side during this vacation as one day when she is going on a small excursion to see the Varada river with her friends, she stumbles upon a shrub and in her excitement to go near it, she gets stuck in a swamp.

The Search of the Mysterious Stepwell…

One event leads to another and because of Nooni’s determination and enthusiasm, the search for the stepwell first starts at village level and later authorities also get involved.

What was that fable that got Nooni so interested in finding the stepwell…?Was she able to find it…? How were Somanahalli and its people affected by this adventure makes a very interesting read for both kids and adults.

This is one of Sudha Murty’s best novels and a bestseller. It is highly recommended by me and my 9 year old daughter.

Other interestingly titles by Sudha Murty are:

Grandma’s Bag of Stories

The Magic Drum and other Favorite Stories

The Bird with Golden Wings: The Stories of Wit and Magic (read my review here)

You can find all of Sudha Murty’s books here on Amazon.

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