Monkeys On A Fast / The Monkeys And The Capseller (2008)
"Will you read with me?" is an Indian audio book series by Karadi Tales. Stars of the Hindi Cinema are reading tales for children, and the children can read the tales together with them thanks to lovely designed colourful booklets. In addition there are some cheery songs with every tale. Promoted by UNICEF and NDTV, these audio books are meant to exalt the children’s imagination and to popularise the reading habit. Some stories were created specially for this series; most of them, however, are based on Indian folk tales or legends, thus creating an atmosphere every Indian child is acquainted with.
In 2007, Sanjay Dutt read two tales in English, each 15 minutes long, for "Will you read with me?" – or better: he played them, and there is no mistaking that he had a lot of fun himself by bringing the stories to life.
Monkeys On A Fast (by Kaushik Viswanath) is a tale about a horde of monkeys living near a Shiva temple. As these monkeys are always eating they grow fatter every day. So their chief Chakrapani decides that on Ekadasi, his monkeys are to have a day of fasting and meditation like the human beings. It’s only with great difficulty he manages to make the monkeys accept his decision, but then the clever monkeys Bonnet and Macaque step by step quash Chakku’s plan. All this Sanjay Dutt tells in an adorably hilarious way. He gives every character an own identity, makes a racket as the sometimes authoritative, sometimes despaired Chakku and creates loads of other sly and cunning monkeys. And as the narrator he leaves no doubt that he finds the tale very amusing himself – making you not just read but also laugh with him.
The Monkeys And The Capseller (by Anushka Ravishankar) tells about Takku who has been bald since the day he was born. To hide his baldhead, he invents loads of headpieces, and as people love them he becomes a capseller. Once a horde of monkeys steals a bundle of caps from him while he walks through a forest. For their chief Metro, a vain monkey who just has discovered a first bald spot on his head, Takku’s caps are a gift sent from heaven, and only with a trick Takku manages to get his caps back. Again you can hear the fun Sanjay Dutt had by telling about the clash of poor Takku and the thievish monkeys and making it visible to his young readers (and surely older ones, too).
Sanjay Dutt and children, this has always been a kombination which works: Sanjay loves children, and children love their Munnabhai. And when this Munnabhai with a twinkle in his eyes and in his voice asks, "Will you read with me?", then he can be sure about an excited audience and big fun for everyone. My recommendation? Listen, read and enjoy!
Here you can buy the audio books with Sanju: Karadi Tales Company Ltd.