The Secret History of the Jungle Book: How Mowgli could save the world

The Secret History of the Jungle Book: How Mowgli could save the world

by Swati Singh


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Human beings are born story-tellers, but perhaps no story teller that ever lived had quite the ability to move and inspire as Rudyard Kipling. And of all his stories, The Jungle Book has captured the imaginations of successive generations by bringing the Indian jungles alive, and has gone on to do it all over again through Walt Disney and other film-makers.

But there is a mystery at the heart of the book, both books - because Kipling wrote two of them. There is a tale hidden in the very conception of the book and its characters, for Kipling was richly enriching his Mowgli stories with the symbolism of Indian mythology. How did an Englishman, dismissed as an imperialist, who wrote the books in Vermont, and is credited with believing that "East is East and West is West/And never the twain shall meet", manage to conjure such authenticity from a mixture of Indian folk tales and dialect words, and weave them into such a magical and compelling mixture? It isn't just that Kipling spent so long in India or that he felt so at home there. This book tells the real story behind Mowgli, Shere Khan and Baloo and the Jungle itself.

Anyone who loved the characters and adored the Jungle Books as children, whether in film or book form, needs to read Swati Singh's journey into the soul of Kipling, and his own journey into the soul of India. Do that, and you will open up the real meaning of the Jungle Books, and it is as profound as it is unexpected. It will also change the way you see The Jungle Book forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780993523915
Publisher: The Real Press
Publication date: 04/14/2016
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.27(d)

About the Author

Swati Singh comes from a small town Deoghar in Jharkhand, India. She studied before her graduation in Deoghar and then moved for her post graduation to the University of Calcutta, Kolkata. She is now based in Gurgaon and is pursuing her Ph.D on Kipling in the University of Rajasthan. She comes from a family of academicians, and from a vast majority of the Indian middle class who - in the pursuit of their dreams - leave their small town homes in the search of brighter career opportunities for the mega cities of India. The transition from a small town to a metropolis involves necessary changes and adaptations to a new culture. The story of the average middle class Indian would find major similarities with Kipling's own background.

The idea for writing this book came up in a chance meeting on a Jaipur-Delhi train when, conversing with a fellow passenger, it suddenly dawned on her how Kipling excites interest even today.

In the course of her research work, she realised how this great writer is still so much in the shadows. Kipling claims universal recognition through his The Jungle Books and she wants to reintroduce Kipling to critics, scholars and the curious lay reader.

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