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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Moustache Man (The)
by Priya Ramanathan
Age Range: Under_5
Nekgaon was the perfect village; the men were clean-shaven, the children well-behaved, the women never gossiped, the cows never wandered away and the rooster always crowed at exactly 5.00am every morning. The problem is that nothing ever happened in Nekgaon.
Every day the Golden Temple Express ran between Bombay and Amritsar and one day a stranger called Mustaki, with an outlandish moustache and a mysterious wooden box, got off the train at Nekgaon. With the aid of his magic box Mustaki encouraged the villagers to reveal their deepest secrets that they had hidden from one another. The impact of his visit transforms their lives for ever. Now Nekgaon is filled with chaos and disorder, but perhaps the strangest thing of all is the appearance of the people – every villager has a moustache!
Indian author Priya Ramanathan has created a story that can have a variety of meanings. The humorous prose and rhythmic rhyme of how the townsfolk learn about differences, acceptance and forgiveness also has a serious message underneath. Garima Gupta’s illustrations in vibrant pink, blue and black watercolour compliment the text perfectly.