‘Mahagiri’ is a visual book in every sense of the term; the illustrations rendered by Pulak Biswas successfully capture the details and essence of the south Indian village.
Mahagiri is a kind and hard-working elephant. He helps people by lifting heavy loads, transporting the groom in a wedding party or leading the temple procession. However, the children of the village are scared of him because of his huge size.
When villagers decide to host a temple festival, they realize that they need a flag-post for the temple flag. The villagers lovingly make a flag-post but it is long and heavy; Mahagiri carries the flag-post and is directed by his mahout to place the flag post in the hole. The elephant refuses. Even when the mahout beats him, the elephant stubbornly refuses. Finally, in frustration, the elephant throws off his mahout; the people of the village panic and run away, afraid that the elephant has gone mad.
Mahagiri gently goes down on his knees and carefully puts his trunk inside the flag-post hole. What did he see there? What was the reason for Mahagiri’s inexplicable behavior? What didl the villagers do now? How did the children react?
This book is an attempt to bring Indian children a step closer to their roots. The story subtly extols the value of kindness to animals to its young readers. The ubiquitous presence of the elephant and the important role they play in South Indian life is well brought out by the story and the illustrations.
A must read book for every animal lover.