Hindustan Times

Book of the week: Devil’s Garden 

Indrani Neogi
September 8, 2006 

Devil’s Garden
Author: Shreekumar Varma
Publisher: Puffin
Price: Rs 175

When spirits of the past come calling, the world of ours shivers in horror awaiting for that mystery which shakes us off from our humdrum sensibilities to confront the unbelievable. Shreekumar Varma, we believe in you and in your tales of Pappudom and willingly accompany you to the Devil's Garden.

If you have got tired of reading Goosebumps, then how about an Indian experience? Varma’s Devil's Garden is about a boy, a fat ghost, some terrifying spirits and a sacred pact about to be broken.

In the run-of-the-mill village of Pappudom, there lives a boy called Pappu who knows the mysterious beyond that which seem obvious in his little village by the river Txarangam.

The forest adjoining his village, Chekunthan Thodi or devil's garden hides most horrific spirits known to humankind. However, a pact between the the humans and the phantoms had so far ensured that the tacit ‘no-infringement’ agreement is honoured by both.

But someone from the village had violated the pact to enter the devil’s garden! And what now? Will the spirits let the inhabitants of Pappudom live in peace? Hardly! Soon a boy from the village goes missing and the villagers face the fear of annihilation.

After all, who can withstand the wrath of the mystic forces disturbed in their lair? Well, there comes our little Pappu who had visited the past once with the ghost of his grandfather to defeat the British Army using the ‘forces of the future’.

This time again when Pappu goes into the devil’s garden he is shocked by marching armies of trees, spirits that can sap the human soul and of course the scheming Transformer Spirit. Will Pappu be able to save himself let alone the missing boy and his village? Nay, these pages will not reveal all.

Look for the answers in Devil's Garden and who knows what you come across! Living in this real world of real dangers, Varma’s book is a wonderful opportunity to lose ourselves in this surreal world of imaginary perils.

But dear readers, when we ponder with insight, we realise — aren’t all of us required to abide by the boundaries erected by parents and the school? Ask this to yourselves and think what can happen if each of us do not honour the promises made to our teachers and parents.

Just as Pappu restores peace in his village similarly it is for us to build a society based on the twin pillars of courage and friendship.

the review page
Sunday Express Review
e-mail me
Sign InView Entries
Dawn Review