There are books which you pick up with great expectations, read few pages and place it in your cupboard and forget about it or talk to others how difficult it was to even complete those few pages.
There are some which you read few pages at a time like a peg of whisky every day.
And there are those few books, which you read almost in single breath, like “To the Elephant Graveyard” to me in recent days. The reasons are simple –
Firstly the subject. Being born and brought up in Assam, I had heard many stories of elephants in my childhood days. After moving to Delhi, I had the opportunity to make frequent trips to the Corbett National Park to watch the wild elephants closely and also get to hear lot many other stories from the local guides. There is a kind of attachment towards elephants. So when Anshul recommended the book, I instantly ordered.
Secondly and perhaps the biggest reason, it is based on an elephant from Assam itself. Most of the characters in this books are people from the simplest walk of life with varied background. They are funny at times but as you go through the pages, those characters become so vivid in front of you.
Lastly, the broader message the book carries. The way the author has portrayed the elephant behavior, the man-animal conflicts and how we have destroyed their habitats in the past many decades (or centuries) and the outcome.
Name: To The Elephant Graveyard
Author: Tarquin Hall
Publisher: Penguin Books
Price: Rs. 299