Gangamma's Gharial
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
friendship conservation
fiction, fantasy


Gangamama’s Ghariyal is a story of two women, Jayanti and Ondu. The book traverses through myth, mystery and murder and a journey of more than a thousand years, keeping the audience thoroughly enthralled. Giripuram seems to be the quintessential village complete with women who could turn out the crispiest dosais, tanks with the most beautiful blue lotuses and of course the occasional gossip monger. However, it is also inhabited by Yakshas, mythical creatures who could take any form they wanted.

Jayanti, a Yaksha who dwells in a palace beyond the North Pole is on a journey to find her brother who has mysteriously disappeared. Ondu’s story begins with her losing her parents when her entire village is destroyed because of a landslide. Their individual paths finally merge towards the end because of the personal tragedies they have suffered. These omnipresent characters connect them in their journey towards self discovery Simulteanously, Gangamma, Giripuram’s best lotus grower can travel anywhere in the world because of a ghariyal shaped earring which can speak. On one of her adventures she meets Ondu. An unlikely friendship springs between the two and Ondu, eventually becomes her apprentice.

Shalini Srinivasan has your imagination to run wild and the illustrations in her book help facilitate it. The illustration uses the pencil shading technique which uses light and shadow that helps visualizing what the author is trying to portray as well as understand the book better.
Blue lotuses, Journeys to Jupiter’s moon, a girl who looks twelve but is almost Two Thousand years old. Want to know more…. Read the book!!


Reviewed by Denise D'Souza