Elbie’s Quest is a small little book by Manjul Bajaj. It takes you to Rangeeli Duniya – a fantasy world that she creates around a little big tree whom she chooses to call Elbie.
Elbie’s world runs around her café called Soul Kitchen. It remains until the maker chooses her to sort out a problem in this world. The maker chooses Elbie to go to another world where his two children Roshni and Benoor Badshah are at war and his third child is lost. In a make-believe world of trees, animals, and Rangeeli Duniya Manjul tries to share some life lessons:
- Everything tall is not wonderful and everything wonderful is not tall.
- Traveling is an act of faith. Doubters seldom make it very far.
- Everything that happens in our world happens first in someone’s imagination.
- Desire comes even before imagination.
- Nothing could come into existence unless at least two minds or hearts or bodies united to create it, till then it remained a possibility, a dream, an unproven and impossible- to- prove thing.
Somewhere in the story, Elbie thinks – If she was at the Soul Kitchen, she would have made him a cup of her Companionship brew, the generous dashes of her Forgiveness and Letting Go potions in it.
At places, she uses some words that would send you straight to the dictionary. Look at some of these words – Nidifugous, Doscombobulated, Omphaloskepsis, Dingus, Omphalopsychite. Do they make any sense or have real meanings – well read the book and figure it out.
Overall I liked the creation of Rangeeli Duniya and its characters. Manjul Bajaj always chooses the names of her characters very meaningfully. And I enjoyed her play on the names of all the characters in this little story.
In conclusion, Elbie’s Quest is a good book for children to read…. To let their imagination go beyond what they see and observe.