‘The Adventures of Mowgli’ by Rudyard Kipling

The Adventures of Mowgli, as its title describes is the story of Mowgli, the boy who grew up in a Wolf pack. The Wolf boy, child of the jungle, he stands for innocence, nobility, purity of heart and mind. This book brings together all the stories of Mowgli. It begins with Father Wolf rescuing an abandoned baby boy from the tiger Shere Khan, the terror of the jungle. The boy grows up with his wolf-brothers in the Seonee Wolf pack. He befriends some of the animals in the jungle. His friends and companions in the wild – Baloo, the bear; Bagheera, the black panther; Kaa, the great rock python, represents all that is good and generous. Mowgli, the jungle boy, makes mortal enemies with Shere Khan, the tiger.

When the Seonee Wolf pack first held its pack meeting at the Council Rock, Mowgli was not accepted. Later, Mowgli was entered into the Wolf pack by the active support from the other animals in the forest who thought no harm in keeping a man child. When Mowgli was first accepted in the pack, he was taught the Laws of the Jungle by Baloo, the bear who teaches the Laws to all the wolf cubs of the pack. He was indeed a good student of Baloo who followed and obeyed each and every Law of the Jungle.

But, after a few years, he is exiled by his own Wolf pack for being a man. Before leaving, he makes a promise that when he comes next to the Council Rock, as a man should come, it would be with the hide of Shere Khan on his head. When Mowgli left the jungle after the fight with the pack at the Council Rock, he goes down to the lands where the villagers lived. He is accepted by a lady named Messua as her son and spends many days with her in her hut. But Mowgli finds it uncomfortable to live with men. During his days with the men, he makes a plan to kill Shere Khan. But, at the end, he is disowned by humans, till he finally vanquishes Shere Khan and returns to the forest. He fights against a pack of two hundred fighting dholes, he is kidnapped by monkeys, but his adventures never end.

At the end, the call of his own kind grows stronger, and he eventually finds his own, tenuous place among men and animals. Years afterwards, he becomes a man and gets married. Rudyard Kipling’s creations have mesmerized, entertained and educated generations of children.

This book has an affectionate, heart – warming introduction by that other favourite children’s writer, Ruskin Bond. This book is a must for all those who love adventure. I rate 4 out of 5 for this book.

Reviewed by Anakha Anil

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