Funny, lively tales of chaos

‘The Couch Potato Who Said Ouch’, the latest from Khyrunnisa A, is a tad different. Here, she has packed humour, subtle yet swaying doses of it.
Khyrunnisa A with her book ‘The Couch Potato Who Said Ouch’
Khyrunnisa A with her book ‘The Couch Potato Who Said Ouch’

KOCHI: Khyrunnisa A’s books have always been lauded by many for their lucidity, innocent narratives, and above all liveliness that brought back memories of carefree childhood where a mix of sports and fun and school joined hands to create a world, not of fantasy, but one many have lived and tasted.

Yet ‘The Couch Potato who said Ouch’, the latest from her desk, is a tad different. Here, she has packed humour, subtle yet swaying doses of it. The easy flow of words makes the book unputdownable for those who relish hints of satire in tonnes of life.

Yes, the stories are chips off the block from everyday and everyone’s life, be it the intricacies of having strange names such as Stellanathan which foreign-born colleagues would find a tongue twister, or funny exchanges of a rat that later turned out to be a cat, or of a boy famously known as ‘The Tale Carrier’ who was mistaken to sneak out stories about others when he was just the one that bore a tail tucked away inside his clothing.

The book opens with the tale of the politely rotund, shiny, perky potato that found its way into the lavishly luscious couch of a household where it cuddled worrying if it would rot. The entry of an earring saved it from that fate, and together, the duo made a pair, which was scooped out with much fare. The couch potato, in contradiction to its literal meaning, was found as a fountain of life and activity, exhibiting a sprout that prompted the family to plant it.

Each story in the book opens with such abstruse play of events, which smacks of chaos and confusion. The scene then slowly paves the way for an interplay of humour and light emotions, which deftly takes the whole narrative to a spurt of positivity, rather child-like revelations, finally breathing an amazingly refreshing air into the read.

Lively writing comes alive in children’s literature quite naturally, and Khyrunnisa has, with her earlier ventures, proved she is quite a storyteller. But for someone who grew up reading Jerome K Jerome, and Enid Blyton, Khyrunnisa is not a surprise. And neither are those who grew up reading the same authors and now read her. Children live safely, stoically in all adults afterall.

VERDICT

For someone who grew up reading Enid Blyton, Khyrunnisa is not a surprise. And neither are those who grew up reading the same author and now read her

The Couch Potato Who Said Ouch and Other Funny Stories

By Khyrunnisa A

Published by Red Panda

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