Mangtu Baba's House and other stories
by Deepshikha Mehta
When I finished reading the book Mangtu Baba's House and other stories by Deepshikha Mehta, a deep pang of remorse settled in my heart. So many innocent memories of my childhood got lost as nobody thought to pen them down. Now, what remains are the fragments of those memories. The idea of maintaining a journal or diary never occurred to me. But after reading this book, I realized the importance of doing so.
You must be wondering if Mangtu Baba's House and other stories is a journal. Well, the answer is both yes and no. It is not exactly a journal but inspired by it. The author Deepshikha Mehta chances upon a diary maintained by her father Ramesh as a teen. This book is a collection of stories or anecdotes inspired by those entries. I envied the author's luck as she received a golden chance to visit the formative years of her father.
Deepshikha Mehta wrote the anecdotes as if she was witnessing them. It was like Harry Potter entering into Pensieve to see the memories. Here in the book, the author gives a small backstory about each anecdote before retelling it. Sometimes she retold as a spectator, and other times she was in a reflective mode. I loved the way she drew a comparison between her father’s days and her time. The social changes were gradual and apparent, but few things will remain the same only the level could differ.
I enjoyed reading all of them. But one particular story struck a chord. It was about Ramesh accepting and loving his mother with all her flaws. For children, parents are their first superheroes. And embracing flaws in your heroes further strengthen bonds between parents and children. A few shortcomings are nothing in comparison to the unconditional love of parents and the feeling of safety that comes with it.
The stories come with varied elements like adventure, sensitivity, spookiness, humor, love, and sacrifice. And above all, a deep understanding of relationships and people. The spooky tale got my heart racing. I read it with bated breath and it lived up to my expectation.
Mangtu Baba's House and other stories are light but an impressive read. There is something to learn from each anecdote transmitting a deep impression on the mind. Adults like me will immediately relate and feel nostalgic. Children might get inspired to write their diary. Overall, these anecdotes of Ramesh were a treasure, and I'm so grateful that the author thought to share it with others.
PS - Just now received a million-dollar idea. I might have missed penning my childhood, but how about doing it for my son.