The Enchanted Saarang
Asha Hanley
Proiti Roy
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
nature and wildlife kashmir around India
fiction, fantasy


A splendid collection of myth and folktales carefully selected and
exquisitely presented to the little readers, who can read over and
over again and still be enthralled by it all. Asha Hanley’s deep
connection with Kashmir is spelt out in every word; her intimacy with
Kashmir – the heaven on earth - is streaming in every sentence. The
illustrations flow along in absolute harmony with the narration,
adding their allure to the grandeur of Kashmir and its tales.

There are seven tales in this book – Drin, a Kashmiri Marmot, The
Enchanted Sarang, Horse Thieves, The Secret of Traamkhazaan, The Black
Calf, The Power of the Snake and Gulal - a Kashmiri Pony.

The tales contain deep insight into the lives of Kashmiri people.
Their values, faith, customs and beliefs are seamlessly encapsulated
in these tales. The love and reverence for nature is the base for all
the stories. The portrayal of unity of humans with nature and their
bonding with animals is exemplary. The author has given detailed
description of life in the valley. The terrain, vegetation, weather –
the narrative simply reassigns the reader into the valley. Minute
details about their diet, homes, attire and simple possessions provide
fine lessons about the hidden valley.

A must read for all children to understand the mountain life of the
people of Kashmir. Do grab a copy. Don’t be surprised if a child
insists on a holiday to Kashmir!

Reviewed by Ruhi Gurjar