Ritika Kochhar’s Ghosts of Landour is a captivating cultural fiction tale set in the picturesque town of Landour, where young adventurers Seher, Warris, and Maya embark on a journey that unveils the ecological costs of development and the charm of a pre-globalized hill-station. This article is a review of the book.
Once you are a ‘grown up’, the ghosts in your life are very different from the likable, nonthreatening ghosts and fairies of our childhood stories. With this book I was looking to go into the childhood world of fantasy, ghosts, and adventures…and I was not disappointed.
It was such a delight to lose oneself in the world of Seher, Warris, Maya, Pongo & Perdie and go looking for adventure in Landour…down the roads with the Church and cafes like Char Dukaan and the Cemetery…which, oddly enough, was the most unthreatening place to me, while I was there. I spent hours leaning against a tree with the sun on my face engrossed in the book I was reading or wondering what life must have been like for the people whose names I read on the graves there. I dreamt of so many stories in my mind…but never of ghosts coming out of those graves and creating a whole world of adventure.
Ritika has created a whole world out of that cemetery ..made me feel like my 10-year-old self craving for adventure that only existed in an unfamiliar world of Secret Seven and Famous Five. Here the adventure is set in our familiar world where the children can identify with everything around them.
At that age, you want to be able to lose yourself and feel you are part of an adventure – the reason you can never tear a child away from an adventure book to even come to the table for meals! And in the world of this book, you can catch ghosts in a very unfrightening world peppered with the ghosts of a swashbuckling Colonel, and lovely delicate ladies with parasols…the children will never be frightened of ghosts after this!
The book was a very interesting read. Children as well as adults who want to revisit those carefree, fun days of school holidays when the families would visit friends or families in the hill stations, and all the children would run around looking for fun and adventure, safe in the knowledge that it was a safe world out there, would enjoy reading it.
A lovely adventure book for children, which I would happily get as a gift for my young friends!
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Anu is a trained Child Psychologist and an artist with 2 exhibitions under her belt. She loves traveling but insists the best gift she ever received was a subscription to Kindle Unlimited.