Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Tribune : Life's Tricky Balance (Book Review)

TALK about ‘work-life balance’ is indeed a tricky topic, almost like walking on a tightrope and more so in the current age when ‘more’ and ‘higher’ seem to be the mantras. There seems to be a maddening rush these days to earn more, purchase more, possess more, acquire more but Banker raises very apt questions: Is this desire for more, leading us to a cult of self-help? Is life only about self-help?

Read the complete review here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Review : A Flight Of Pigeons

Title : A Flight of Pigeons
Author : Ruskin Bond
Publisher : Puffin
ISBN : 0-6700-4927-1

War never has made sense to ordinary individuals

Though a very simple sentence formed using very simple words, yet it is brimming with so much sense. Power changes hands, rulers come and go, boundaries expand and shrink but how do all these things impact an ordinary individual? The common people may not face the bare swords, or the arrows may not be pointed at them directly or they may not be the target of many bullets but they are the ones who get hurt which may not be visible apparently. They end up enduring the loss of their loved ones, their happiness and then getting on with humungous task of rebuilding the lives from ground zero.
I feel 'A Flight of Pigeons' is Ruskin Bond's tribute to these mute sufferers, immaterial of the class, community, religion or nationality they belong to. 

'A Flight of Pigeons' is a historical fiction which may be based on true events, as the writer points out. Set against the backdrop of 1857 uprising in Shahjahanpur, it is actually a narration of how events unfolded from the eyes and through the voice of Ruth Labadoor, a thirteen year old British girl. Perspectives change when sides switch. What Indians call as their first freedom struggle or uprising is termed as revolt in British lexicon.

Ruth witnesses the massacre of British civilians in the church and his father happens to be one of the victims there.  She along with her mother Miriam, grandmother, aunt and cousins take refuge in kind-hearted Lala Ramjilal's house. But besotted by the looks of Ruth, Javed Khan forcibly brings her and her mother to his house with the sole motive of convincing Miriam to make Ruth his second wife.

Javed Khan comes across as a person who is passionate and desperate to make his desires a reality but sensible enough to wait for willing acceptance of the same by Ruth's mother. Miriam being a very intelligent, wise, confident and strong-willed woman, brings Javed Khan around by striking a deal with him that the future of Delhi should decide the future of this alliance. The status quo goes on for almost a year and a few months.

Miriam and Ruth's luxurious locks, polite speech, dexterous needlework and affable nature win them many women admirers and supporters. Though surrounded by some very sympathetic women, they underwent long period of constant fear and dread of being in the midst of danger every single moment of their stay there. As we all know, British ruled over India for almost nine decades more after this uprising was successfully overpowered by them. So the long patient wait of Ruth and her family members did end eventually and they did get to lead a normal life.

Being a Ruskin Bond's creation, 'A Flight of Pigeon' beautifully lives up to the high levels of sensitivity and insightful portrayal that this story demanded. An extraordinary piece of writing bringing out the saga of survival of women who took refuge in hostile situation but their wit, grit and patience led them to the light beyond the dark tunnel.

I began this review with Ruskin Bond's words and would like to end it with another set of his words from the book - In times of conflict and inter-religious or racial hatred, there are always a few (just a few) who are prepared to come to the aid of those unable to defend themselves. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review : Tender Hooks

Title : Tender Hooks
Author : Moni Mohsin
Publisher : Random House
ISBN : 9788184001501

The protagonist of Moni Mohsin's witty social satire, belongs to the elite class of Pakistani society. Her world revolves around - social get togethers, kitty parties, expensive clothes and branded accessories and she finds it below her dignity to mingle with those who do not belong to the right bagground. In the initial few pages, the readers get acquainted with this interesting character and the small circle of people around her - her Oxford educated husband Janoo(also referred to as Oxen), her son Kulchoo, her mother, her aunt Pussy, her cousin Jonkers and a couple of her close friends. It so happens that she has been entrusted with a very important task of bride hunting for Jonkers. She has to do all it takes to find a classy wife for her cousin who should have good bagground, good looks and huge financial support.

Moni Mohsin seamlessly interweaves the state of the country with the proceedings in the central character's life. The heroine is portrayed as a wealthy spoilt lady and her character is intelligently amalgamated with the stark reality of social, economic and political chaos in Pakistan. Each chapter begins with a newspaper headline bringing to forefront the volatile state of affairs in the country. This is followed by the description of life of people belonging to privileged class which actually is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the life in general.

The author successfully brings out the coexistence of two contrasting worlds - one, where fundamentalist emotions run high, terrorist attacks happen so very often, uncertainty is writ large on the faces of common people, and the other, inhabited by liberal, stinking rich people who have all the resources in the world to splurge on expensive cars, grand weddings, multiple 'carrot' diamonds, 'tabahi dresses' and much more. And this has been interestingly done by witty, sarcastic and understated voice of the protagonist with her signature distorted English and here is just a small sample of the same :
But thanks God
Sewing his crops
I think so he is reading his facebook
I let buy gowns be buy gowns
Buttocks injections on the fourhead for agelessness

Though the protagonist comes across as a snooty, asinine and immoral character, yet the way she casually mouths comments on taliban, army, terrorists, smugglers, religious fundamentalism etc. shows deep understanding and perception of the author who wants to bring out the concerns of a citizen of Pakistan subtly, without rubbing anyone in the wrong way.
Moni Mohsin's earlier book - "The Diary of a Social Butterfly' was a laugh riot too which was in fact narration of events in Butterfly's life chronologically and with 'Tender Hooks' the author has brought Butterfly Khan back again supported by a storyline too.

Overall a very entertaining and humorous tale which keeps the interest of the readers alive till the very last page.  'Tender Hooks' offers a medley of flavours including Bollywood brand spices and khichdi English which are sure to tickle many funny bones. There are plenty of LOL moments throughout the narrative. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Review : Andy Leelu

Title : Andy Leelu
Author : B.L. Gautam
Publisher : Zorba Publishers
ISBN : 978-81920669-5-0

Andy Leelu is a story of a rebel, a troublemaker, a good-for-nothing boy who has come to his maternal uncle's place - Sehore from his birth place Mohindergarh. This is not a regular pleasure visit to Sehore which he used to indulge in with his mother during every summer vacation. This time he has come to Sehore for good, the reason being his mother not able to bear the abuses and atrocities that her husband meted out to her, any longer. Leelu finds a patron, a comrade, a companion and an obedient follower in his cousin, Radhe(the author). Because of this association, Radhe often finds himself in sticky situations to the disliking of his righteous father - Masterji.

As the story progresses, mystery behind 'Andy' is revealed - how the unparalleled bravery earned Leelu the epithet of Andy, and how this free-spirited, audacious person went on with his life on his own terms - displaying evident signs of irreverence for people and right conduct, his rebellious attitude, his disinterest in studies and his desperation to explore taboo territories. But his personality cannot be sketched in just a few words, his was truly a layered personality who had his own algorithm for handling the relations in his life. He had a set of people occupying priority concentric circles in his life and he demonstrated on more than one occasions how he could go to any length to show the preference or otherwise for them, though not vocally.
The highlight of the story is the unsolved mystery around Andy Leelu which leaves the readers to exercise their imagination and settle for the solution that makes sense to them.

The high point of Leelu's saga is that his memory would not cease to exist with the turn of the last page, it would keep intriguing the readers for a long time. It is very easy to brand him as a 'bad' boy but sometimes the circumstances do play significant role in stigmatizing a person. So how his personality shaped up has a lot to do with his immature way of making sense of the world around him after getting uprooted from his native place.

The narrative is littered with liberal  potions of sexual fantasies and escapades of teenagers expertly mentored by Leelu. There is realistic presentation of the challenges of growing up and, the push and pull of forces working inside everyone's mind and heart when passing through that phase. This is a semi-autobiographical writing and is evident from the vivid portrayal of Radhe's inner feelings, struggles, apprehensions and fears. Gautam has truly brought his cousin to life in this book, who died young.

The story takes a bigger and broader stage as the writer beautifully develops the backdrop of India in 1960s. On one hand the euphoria of independence had not subsided completely, while on the other there were open wounds of partition still and all this while being forced into wars by hostile neighbours in Pakistan and China. This was a nation  marching ahead though unsurely and ill-equipped for natural calamities, famines and epidemics like cholera.

 The rustic feel in Gautam's writing somehow brought back the memories of Godhan and Gaban by none other than the iconic writer - Mushi Premchand himself. The good thing about 'Andy Leelu' is that though the story is set in 1960's the handling is very contemporary which rules out the chance of it being categorized as outdated. The language is a delight to read especially during these times when good number of substandard stuff is also hitting the shelves. The words just flow unabashedly and no word seems to be out of place or context.
However, there are portions in the narrative when if feels like the story is going nowhere and one after another Leelu is getting involved in some or the other exploits. The proceedings pick some speed up but also slow down at many speed breakers which disrupt the otherwise nice flow. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review : Kuttan's Dilemma

Title : Kuttan's Dilemma
Author : Leni Varkey
Illustrator : Rishi Bhardwaj
Publisher : LeadStart
ISBN : 978-93-81115-90-9

Little Kuttan is in a situation we all find in our homes during the long hot unstructured days of summer vacation. Kuttan's day begins lazily, this not being a school day. He enjoys every morsel of his breakfast of delectable puris feeling happy that he does not have to rush through his meal in order to board the school bus, but what after that? There is nothing much to do in a day like this when it gets hot so early and there is not a single speck of cloud in the sky. Nothing seems to be bringing any thrill in his life.

The story moves forward when during the day his mother sends him to run an errand next door for her. That is Achayan's house and there, Kuttan finds himself entangled in some strange sequence of events. One particular involuntary action of his also happens to be a questionable one. Now he has a huge mental distress to deal with. He is in a dilemma and while handling the huge struggle that is going on in his mind, completely on his own, he learns some very important life lessons as well as a lot about himself too. It is rightly said, the best learning happens when in adverse circumstances.

Author Leni Varkey has meticulously described the scenes through her well worded text making the scenes come alive in front of readers' eyes. Kuttan's story pulls you in, right from page one as he tries to understand the vicissitudes of life and his faith on basic values gets firmer with his parents guiding him lovingly. I appreciate how author has worded and presented the inner turmoil of the little child which makes it so real and I am sure this would help many young readers to learn from the experience of Kuttan. Very simple lessons taught in a beautiful manner. A worthy buy indeed for young kids. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Interview with Ravi Venu

Ravi Venu is a debutant author of 'I, Rama' (reviewed here) - the first book of a trilogy on Ramayana. Ravi has keen interest in mythological and legendary subjects, and has done a lot of research on various great heroes and hero worship across multiple civilizations.
Here through this e-interview, he shares his experience of penning down his first book and his views on various other subjects.

           1.  What made you pick mythology as the theme for your first book? 

I am a history and mythology buff and I believe Myths have a starting point in history somewhere. Also, some of the greatest minds have written the epics of Mahabarat and Ramayan foreseeing the future and keeping in line with the past.
I also believe Mythology holds key to some of our critical lost links in evolution and thereby our future and when put together, it makes a fantastic meet for a progressive mind.

Having grown up hearing these great tales, it is essential that these epics be retold for the coming generations to make them associate with their roots. I felt the urge to talk Rama, my most favourite God, who knows what it is to run a life of a human and so it began.

2. What idea inspired you to retell Ramayana? What did you feel was missing in the earlier versions of this great epic?

Rama, is the need of the hour to many of us, although we brush it aside as a simple story with not much of drama enough, to be very dry with a lot of 'gyan', the tale is pregnant with several sequences that bring about the God in him or the lift to eternity by humans. 

Rama, unlike all the other Gods can feel what it is to be a complete human - he was a caring brother, duty bound son,  loving husband and a righteous ruler. He faces very strong road blocks on his way, which are not necessary for him to clear, yet, to uphold a cause, he walks the path, the reasons and consequences are the very core of the concept that pulled me to talk Ramayana.

And, I would not necessarily say missing but they can be arranged to make people relate and read to make some notes to their own lives. For instance, we all know Rama's guru was Vishwamitra, but "why" Vishwamitra is something that the epics don't spell out. Being a Guru, the great brahma rishi disappears after teaching. What happens then? 

Why does Kaikeyi not use the boons and pursue using with her husband whom she fought so keen to save? Knowing Bharata, the righteous one, very well, how did she think Rama's exile will be welcomed by him and the throne usurped? Several questions such as who is Shoorpanaka and so on, we need to connect.

If you read Ramayana as a text, you will understand Rama the Right, but do we comprehend how and why Rama "is" Rama the Right ? That is which we need to understand in today's world.

3. The women characters in your story come across as very strong and confident characters with thinking minds of their own. What was the inspiration behind these characters ?

Well, women are that, aren't they? They are strong and are capable of much larger things than what many believe in.

I always believe that there is definitely a woman behind every man, driving him. My mother of course was an inspiration for me to start appreciating women and they continue to fascinate me.
I have been a fan of several women characters in books, be it Hermione Granger or Kundhavai of Kalki's works. 
And as Rama says in the book "women are more powerful than all the celestial weapons put together" 

4. Are you satisfied with the way - I,Rama has shaped up and the response of readers for the same ?

Yes, for now, the book is just beginning to see the light. 
I am looking at a good number of younger generation reading and enjoying it. Rama's story is of two ways, the 'how to be good' and the 'Cause & Consequence' effect.

I have tried to conceptualize and portray the latter, as per the laws of nature. If you notice the epic well, Rama never judges any one nor does he hold a grudge and mostly takes an action based on a previous action.
He is a fantastic listener and a phenomenal management guru, these are some areas I want the future readers to understand and hence connect with the immortal energy by the name 'Rama'.

5. What all research did you undertake for I, Rama and now for the two subsequent books ?

Research wise - Mostly online and books of Stephen hawking, theories and documentation about human evolution and migration patterns and similar works. I do read Valmiki's version for cross reference. 
I also follow some 14th century works which give pointers into the epic.

6. How much time did the whole process take - from the inception of the idea to the final product in hand?

The inception was some 3 years ago, I penned the first chapter of the aged Rama introspecting, but then I could only write a few lines and more research and other domestic situations came to the front. Rama however, held me through the time and ensured that His book is done.

The book came up as a product in the month of May 2012. 

7. You must have gone through various stages of the process involved in getting a book in the market after you finished writing it. Could you please share with us your experience of this process, how easy or difficult it is for a beginner in this field?

Honestly, it is very difficult being a writer, publisher and distributor. The marketing is another giant, coming from the USA, with Amazon it is not very difficult to market / publish / sell one's product but then India is still developing in that area. I hope people encourage my work and more such authors. Creativity is born in writing, I hope there are a lot of creative writers coming up, especially Indians.

By the way, I am trying to launch a web portal to help people with a platform to show case their books and sell them online via some of the leading shopping companies. 

8. What next after trilogy? Do you plan to work on Mahabharata after Ramayana?

I am working on two stories apart from my next volumes, one is on Skanda and other is a super natural - historical thriller based on the Gajini plunder of Somnath and the Cholas at that time as a Pan-India book.

9. Among the contemporary authors, who inspires you the most? Who is your all time favourite author? Which are your favourite books ?

My favorite would be JK Rowling, Sidney Sheldon and Dan Brown. Among current Indian authors, I have read and enjoyed Mr.Banker's Armies of Hanuman. 
All time favorite and guru of my mind is Kalki R Krishnamurthy. 
Favorite books are a plenty, of course the great Indian epics. 

10. Why do you think so many people are working on retelling/redefining mythology these days? Doesn't every individual redefine a story and its characters in his/her unique manner and that is how it should be?

Depends on the individual, I believe most of the stories across the globe are broken down pieces from our epics, India is a country that wrote epics when the rest of the world was still working on cave drawings. But today, India is developing and most of the west is developed. A young India needs a connect with its roots and more towards the contemporary settings.

For instance, 20 years ago, a person from the west would ridicule an Indian for some beliefs, but if you observe evolution is best explained in these Indian myths, which the west found out with Darwin. By modifying a base gene FoxP2, animals and humans can communicate, today we do not know how it is possible but our epics show that cross species communication and mutation was very much there. Reptiles were born before birds and artificial insemination etc were found in these myths. Space travel and distance between planets etc is again talked about in these epics, which is still in research.

Today, armed with these epics, Indian younger generation has a future to face with massive clues to a highly creative world, all they need to do is look at the clues provided and there will be Steve Jobs and Spielberg in every town. 

My task with I, Rama, at least, was to to help propel the thought process of youth in a progressive way, to see these epics with an eye to the world ahead, after all, imagination is the key to evolution.

Thanks Ravi!! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book Review : I, Rama

Title : I, Rama
Author : Ravi Venu
Publisher : Cratus Media
ISBN : 978-0615582504

'I, Rama' by Ravi Venu is retelling of the epic Ramayana in the voice of the central character - Rama, himself. So it is a first person account of how events unfolded, how history got written and how his name Rama became synonymous to that of the perfect being - the almighty. The first volume of this trilogy begins from the time when Rama is in his post-prime years and in his reflective mood begins to  narrate the story of his life to his children, brothers and friends. Rama knows that the time is fast approaching when his act on Earth is coming to an end and he would be reunited with his better half soon.
The story is well known to almost all the readers already so I am not going into the story here. I would rather focus on what is it that this book offers which is unique. Yes, there are some unique points.

Through his writing, Ravi Venu has managed to slice through the awe factor surrounding the character of Rama and has attempted to bring him closer to the readers. It’s a wonderful attempt to bridge the seemingly unfathomable gap between Nara and Narayana, in order to make the character more reachable, relatable and relevant. Rama is portrayed as a human prince experiencing the complex human emotions who does not find it inappropriate verbalizing them too  -  "Clearly, human life was not easy, peppered with bonds of love, laced with a tug of war between trust and vanity."

Some may argue that it is blasphemy meddling with the epic but for me it was reassuring to see God going through similar human emotions as we all humans do every single moment of our lives - apprehensions, self doubts, love, affection and likes of those.

So I would say it is a clever way of approaching an epic and subtly conveying the message that whether it is Nara or Narayana, every one comes on Earth to fulfill some preordained goals in the bigger divine scheme, so must work sincerely towards furnishing those duties while in that role.

There are much more details on the lives of the seers (as the title of the story aptly mentions) - the clan guru Vashista, guru Vishwamitra and guru Parasurama. The author has done serious research on the stories of these sages. There is a significant portion of book devoted to Rishi Vishwamitra's confessions about his own life and the time when he was besotted with Meneka - the celestial dancer. Again a great way to bring home the point that no one, not even the great prophets could be immune to human emotions and perhaps there is no need to be immune to the same when in human form. 
Guru Vishwamitha's teachings on essence of life and universal connect make for an interesting read.

The author has taken the liberty to redefined some of the characters in the book. I specifically liked the way character of Kaikeyi is sketched, not making her to be an evil person, rather she is portrayed as an extremely intelligent warrior queen with fine acumen for politics and warfare. And Sita is not presented as a weak follower either. She is characterized as a multifaceted person who is a brilliant cook, a visionary, a philanthropist, a well read person and well acquainted with the workings of kingdoms. Interestingly Meneka's character takes a completely unique and unimaginable turn too.

Ravi Venu intelligently weaves the contemporary scientific concepts in the narration to arouse the interest of those who look for logic in mythology. The terms like inter-galactic travel, energy conversions, astral world, portals from other galaxies for travelling to Earth and vice versa, find their mention here and there. I would say this is a clever trick to woo the readers with scientific minds to read this book too.

The narrative is fast paced and interesting. Part I ends when Rama accepts his destiny and gets ready to follow his line of duty to take on Ravana in his territory.

I firmly believe that the way any story (epic or otherwise) is understood, analyzed and presented has a lot to do with a myriad of factors - the time, and the mindset, customs and culture of that time. So when we experience metamorphosis of our society with time, perhaps redefining mythology is not wrong either and the manner in which Ravi handles the above mentioned variations in his book is almost like taking a firm step towards that initiative.
Overall, I am enjoying how various thinking minds are working towards appreciating, comprehending, redefining and presenting the grand sagas with their unique fresh perspectives.

However, I would have preferred if there were more of Rama's observations, perceptions and interpretations in the narrative than the story itself which we all are well versed with.
There are a few editing mistakes too, just a few, but sufficient to go unnoticed. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Review : The India I Love

Title : The India I Love
Author : Ruskin Bond
Publisher : Rupa 
ISBN : 81-291-0397-4

Ruskin Bond mesmerizes his readers yet again through his straight from the heart collection of prose and poems. This is his way of expressing his feelings for his beloved adopted country with all her animate and inanimate beings, their uniqueness, their character and how all these combine to create a unique flavour of Indian-ness.

In some chapters, he reminisces about his earlier days, the time when he decided to make India and specifically her hills his home and leave West for good. In his words, "The link with Britain was tenuous, based on heredity rather than upbringing.  It was more in the mind. It was a literary England that I had been drawn to, not a physical England. " 
He talks about the mountains and hills, rivers and its tributaries, various people and their idiosyncrasies.
He sprinkles the chapters with some nuggets of wisdom that he has processed over the years by observing people and his surroundings keenly.
"A well-balanced person : someone with a chip on both shoulders
Experience : The knowledge that enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it the second time
Sympathy : What one woman offers another in exchange for details
Worry : The interest paid on trouble before it becomes due"

His adroitness to write about himself with utmost sincerity and transparency becomes apparent time and again by the ease with which he packs self-mockery in his writings. His honesty and humility reach out to the readers unadulterated as he cloaks his feelings in simple yet effective language.  A slice of his humility and critical analysis of himself get reflected in these lines -
"I am not the most inventive of writers, and fantastical plots are beyond me. My forte is observation, recollection and reflection. "

Ruskin Bond's writings are so true to the soil of this country in its original form, it clearly displays his sensitivity in observing, experiencing, absorbing, imbibing and processing the Indian-ness in his system and what comes out through his pen is the essence of his relationship with the country and with everything belonging to it. 
The peace and serenity in his writings transport the readers to a blissful state of living the life in its entirety with every single moment registering its presence and with every single thing getting observed, acknowledged and appreciated in the same way as Ruskin Bond does on his solitary walks.
"I prefer walking alone to walking with others. That ladybird on the wild rose would escape my attention if I was engaged in a lively conversation with a companion. Not that the ladybird is going to change my life. But by acknowledging its presence, stopping to admire its beauty, I have paid obeisance to the natural scheme of things of which I am only a small part."

Whenever I get a chance to conduct interviews with the authors, I often ask them for their suggestions to the aspiring/budding authors. But without having directly asked Ruskin Bond, I got the answer from him in this book -
"If you, dear reader, have any ambitions to be a writer, you must first rid yourself of any notion that perfect peace and quiet is the first requirement. There is no such thing as perfect peace and quiet except perhaps in a monastery or a cave in the mountains. And what would you write about, living in a cave? One should be able to write in a train, a bus, a bullock-cart, in good weather or bad, on a park bench or in the middle of a noisy classroom.

While I was editing this review, I noticed that I have used so many of his quotes directly here. This clearly shows that no words are worthy enough to carry the essence of his writings and they are best as they are. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Book Review : Impeccable Petunia

Title : Impeccable Petunia (Part I : Claws, Paws, Feathers & Jaws)
Author : Katie Christine
Pictures By : Jonathan Edward

I always maintain that animal stories are a sure way to entice a young readers's heart.  Here in 'Impeccable Petunia' the readers actually get to peek into the high drama life of a chicken who happens to have unusual tastes and likings.

Petunia is a chicken who has fascination and appreciation for everything colourful and beautiful and this talent of hers makes her stand out from the rest of her mates. The other hens are happy following the regular routine and are not into trying anything new or different. But Petunia's quirky nature does not go very well with the hens at higher pecking order and this gives rise to many gossips and interesting incidents in the hen house.
Various characters join the storyline - Silkie the kind woman, Macy the house cat,  Ronald the one-eyed fox and many more. Each character is beautifully sketched and their unique personalities add flavour to the story. The adventure packed days in a chicken's life make a delightful read.

I liked the subtle message of how sometimes the pressure to conform builds too much but still standing for what you believe in and not wilting under the pressure is the best way to go about it. It is very important to appreciate the uniqueness in every individual and just because an individual is different does not make him/her bad.

A very cute, interesting and engaging story and author does a brilliant job of bringing the animal characters to life.  However I feel the vocabulary is a little overwhelming for the target readers. I like the challenging vocabulary in the books for children but it should not be to that extent where it becomes a dampener and the effectiveness of the book gets compromised. I guess, a right balance is very important. Having said that, I would look forward to Part II of this series.

The illustrations by Jonathan Edward take the story to an entirely new level and the bright colours of the pictures beautifully reflect what a palette of vibrant colours does to Petunia and her inner feelings.

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