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Beastly Tales From Here and There - Vikram Seth

If you enjoy reading poetry that is easy to read, is full of fun and rhymes wonderfully you need to flip through Vikram Seth`s `Beastly Tales From Here and There.`

Beastly Tales From Here and There - Vikram SethBetter known as the author of such well known works as "A Suitable Boy` and `An Equal Music`, these poems are a joy to read. They are a collection of 10 story- poems . As Vikram himself mentions in the introduction, Of the ten tales told here, the first two come from India, the next two from China, the next two from Greece , and the next two from Ukraine. The final two came directly to me from the Land of Gup."

As the title suggests, Beastly Tales are stories about our animal friends written in verse. You will find Kuroop, the crocodile who lives in the Ganges and his friend the monkey and the age old story of the hare and the tortoise ingeniously retold.   There is the amazing tale of the Elephant and the Trangopan and the battle royale between the snake and the mouse and may more.

Vikram Seth wrote these tales, `because it was very hot in my house one day and I could not concentrate on my work." What emerged on that hot summer afternoon was a collection of immensely readable tales written in verse. Vivid imagery , brilliant verse and lots of humour make this an extremely readable book.

Vikram Seth was born on June 20th in 1952 in Kolkata. He  on went to study at Oxford University and later did his post graduation in Economics from Stanford University. He also studied classical Chinese poetry at Nanjing University. He has won numerous awards .


On the Ganga`s greenest isle
Lived Kuroop the crocodile:
Greeny-brown with gentle grin,
Stubby legs and scaly skin,
He would view with tepid eyes
Prey below a certain size-
But when a substantial dish
-Dolphin ,turtle,fatter fish-
Swam across his field of view,
He would test the water too.     
Out he`d glide, a floating log,
Silent as a polliwog-
Nearer, nearer, till his prey
Swam a single length away;
Then he`d lunge with smiling head,
Grab, and snap and rip it dead-
Then (prime pleasure of his life)
Drag the carcass to his wife,
Lay it humbly at her feet,
Eat a bit, and watch her eat
         ( From : The Crocodile and the Monkey)

Once a certain cat and cock,
Friendship founded on a rock,
Lived together in a house
In the land of Fledermaus
Each loved music in his way,
And the cock at break of day
While his cat friend, in the middle
Of the night, would play the fiddle.
Sometimes they would play together
-Handsome fur and fancy feather-
And the pair would dance and sing
While the house with joy would ring.
                     (From :The Cat and the Cock)

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