A Poetic Engagement

Although the first part of the title of Alexander Riddiford’s book is not put within quotation marks, the phrase stands out, so that even the lay reader unfamiliar with Madhusudan Datta would guess that it is, in fact, a quotation. For the reader acquainted with Madhusudan’s oeuvre, the word ‘madly’ would seem typical of the exaggerated phraseology so beloved of him, and it is, in fact, taken from a letter to his friend Rajnarain Basu, describing his state of excited creative composition at the time.

Vibrant colors and a quirky illustration of a pink monster with autorickshaw horns, draws you in. Flip through the book to assess it, and the Indian names gladden your heart. Ah! A children’s book set in an Indian scenario. Awesome. Anushka Ravishankar does a great job of narrating the interesting incidents in Moin’s life as he deals with the ownership of a monster.