I remember one rainy monsoon afternoon when I walked into my friend’s house dripping water all over the floor. Their mother (one of my favorite aunts) looked amazing in a saree and I complimented her – ‘makes you look dashing’ I said. She was reading a Sidney Sheldon novel which I found cool in and of itself since I knew very few adults who read the same novels we did. She looked at me and said, “Oh my! Isn’t that nice? I am 43 years old – so I will accept the compliment.”
I thought 43 was ancient then- I mean I knew people are old, but to have a prime number that big as an age must’ve been quite the thing. The sentiment must’ve showed on my face for she laughed and said, “You think that is very old don’t you?” And she patted my cheeks lightly and laughed her way out.
I am in my forties now and feel that way when the daughter and her friends look at me like I am ancient but holding up pretty well. When I tell them about taking reading choices from the daughter and son, I see their look of incredulity for one trying to be the cool reader even when that old, and I can hardly stop a full-throated laugh from escaping my heart and gurgling up through my nostrils and mouth. I hope these children will remember these little scraps when they are in their 40s and chuckle to themselves. The circle of life and all that.
So, it was that I was sitting on the verandah one evening noodling the daughter on the phone and telling her about a book that she’d suggested a few months ago. The House in the Cerulean Sea – By T J Klune.
“You were right! I really liked it. I really like visiting the magical world my dear. Ever since All the Young Dudes from earlier this year, there’ve been so many nice little trips to magical realms, and I feel younger up there thanks to all that. Even as the neurons doddle and wither, I see them perk up with some magic and decide to stay zippy for a bit.”
She laughed, and I was happy with that.
“Did you know they are remaking the Little Mermaid movie again? Better graphics and live action?” I said and moaned.
Why do we keep going back to the same movies over and over again? It isn’t like there is any dearth of stories in the magical realm. Here are a few that I would love to see made as movies.
- 🐉The House in the Cerulean Sea – by T J Klune has excellent characters, beautiful storylines, and the redeeming quality of beings : love and sense of belonging in a world that constantly is shaping and drawing graphs of absurd belonging all the time. Who doesn’t like a story of children fighting to belong? So what if the children are garden gnomes, sprites, wyverns, or even the child of satan? If all one wants is some heart-warming action, this story has it all.
- 💊The Apothecary – By Maile Meloy. This booklegger award winning book has a good dose of intrigue, history, potion making, and old magic. Do you want to know about how to create a potion that makes you a bird? Or a nursery that has such rare and unheard of plants that every civilization is aching to get their hands on them? Or a book that has the learnings of generation between its respectable covers? This one has your covered.
- 🦆Twelve Topsy-Turvy Very Messy Days of Christmas – By James Patterson. This story has whimsy, humor, and magic woven from the lyrics of the Christmas song. The hilarity of the increasing chaos of receiving these gifts in a suburban home makes for pleasant drama and I am sure will make for a fairly gripping movie.
On the 12th day of Christmas My true love sent to me 12 drummers drumming Eleven pipers piping Ten lords a-leaping Nine ladies dancing Eight maids a-milking Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying Five golden rings (five golden rings) Four calling birds Three French hens Two turtle-doves And a partridge in a pear tree
- 🌝 The Girl Who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill : If you are looking for poetry writing dragons, and love in starlight and moonbeams, here is a story for just that.
These books are charming, witty, intriguing and so, so open-hearted that you can’t help developing alongside them. To accept our fellow beings with all their quirks, flaws and weaknesses.
“Like in school y’all have literature, math, science, and history, we should have literature, art, engineering and science in our jobs! Help us stay young and all that. What do you think?“
“You are itching for a compliment aren’t you? Fine ma! You are young and remain kooky even at your grand age!”,said the daughter and I chuckled as I headed towards another meeting in which we may not have magic, but the magic from the books and the forced compliment was enough. The qi to the yin and yang of life and all that.