Punchtantra: Parables for the 21st Century
A wacky take-off on Vishnu Sharma's Panchatantra, as the back cover proclaims. I am glad to see that the same back cover finds this work inspired by James Finn Garner's Politically Correct Bedtime Stories because the comparison is apt. This work presents in short form one story after another from the Panchatantra and then adds to each a parallel contemporary work heavy on social satire, perhaps five to eight pages in length. The flavor might come through best if we dive into the story of the two crows who could not have children because the eagle kept stealing their eggs. They were friends with a jackal. Over drinks and snacks the crows revealed to him everything about their life: their desire for a normal two-parent-two-children household, their wish to live with dignity in a neighbourhood of their choice, their abhorrence of urban violence and religious fundamentalism, their hatred of hatred, their fears about racial discrimination, even their worries about the fluctuating stock market (30). The social satire here, I believe, has less to do with India than with cutting-edge trend setters anywhere in the first world today. I read half of the book and enjoyed it thoroughly. There is a T of C for the twenty-six stories at the beginning.
Penguin Books India