Sahyadri Adventure – Anirudh’sDream
by Deepak Dalal
Deepak Dalal chucked up a career as a chemical engineer to write stories forchildren. He lives currently in Pune with his wife, two daughters and severaldogs and cats. He enjoys wildlife, nature and the outdoors. The Sahyadri Hillsof Pune are a short journey
from his home. When not at his desk writing, he iseither trekking their slopes or cycling their valleys.
The VikramAditya series of books are ideal school readers. It is breadth of theIndian experience they provide that appeals to schools. The stories take thereader on a magical journey from Ladakh to Lakshadweep, from the AndamanIslands to the Sahyadri, and across
the great forests of India. Importantly,the stories deal with critical issues like environment, wildlife andconservation. The stories create a connection between schoolchildren andwilderness areas – adding a dimension that is sorely lacking given the urbannature
of their lives today.
Once upon atime there were fields in the city of Mumbai. In its heartland there wereforests where panthers roamed. In those days the sea flooded the channels thatseparated the seven islands of the city.
On one of the islandsthere was a Fort guarded by cannons that bristled from its black ramparts.
Vikram had no idea ofthe existence of this fort. Nor did his friend Anirudh. But in a cave, on awindswept mountain in the Sahyadris, Anirudh had a dream. He dreamt of a boynamed Irfan who once lived in this Fort.
Chitra joins Vikram andAditya and their new friend Anirudh, in the Sahyadri Mountains, where theyembark on their strangest adventure yet.
In Deepak's own words
"Animals and birds are doubtless the main draw of a forest, but there ismore. No forest experience is complete without absorbing the peace andtranquility of a wilderness area. Imagine the absence of the rumble of traffic,of the bustle of humanity, of the drone
of engines and motors that run ourworld. Take in instead the rustle of the wind through the trees, the call ofbirds and animals, and the serenity of a forest. Understand what primal humanbeings enjoyed and what cities and civilisation have robbed us of – the
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