Books

Medication for the Cantankerous

Who doesn’t have that one grumpy, grouchy, never satisfied person in their life? The kind that wants to make you tear your hair out in frustration and listen to nails being scratched on the board over being with them. The one that makes you want to jump over a cliff and gets your blood boiling and hot that you wish you had a spout on your head like a volcano to let it out!!

George Kranky had one in his life too. She was the misery in his otherwise happy eight year old life. Unfortunately he had to put up a lot with her because she was his grandma. Not only did she have a ‘puckered up mouth like a dog’s bottom’, her nature was infintely worse than she looked.

She spent all day and every day sitting in her chair by the window, and she was always complaining, grousing, grouching,grumbling,griping about something or the other.

george1_Fotor

George’s grumpy grandmother

Not a kind word passed her lips for poor George.What does he do? Lie down and cry. Well, George was not that kind of boy. He liked to solve his problems. The thought of putting snakes, big rats and fireworks with his grandma did cross his mind but an even better and bigger idea came to him. He decided to concoct a variant of his grandmum’s medicine.

I shall make her a new medicine, one that is so strong and so fierce and so fantastic it will either cure her completely or blow off the top of her head.

George chooses ingredients for his marvellous medicine

George chooses ingredients for his marvellous medicine

The medicine he makes is marvellous indeed. Roald Dahl is at it again in George’s Marvellous Medicine.  In the centre is George who sets out to right a wrong everyone suffers quietly out of duty. George finds everything he can to put in the medicine from kitchen stocks to laundry detergent, from machine oil to hair spray and boils the lot. The medicine is given to Granny dear who becomes as tall as pine tree. To cross check George feeds it to the farm rooster, and rooster grows tall as a barn.

george3_FotorGeorge’s parents come and react differently. George’s mother is horrified, but George’s father is overcome with the possibilities. He asks George to replicate his marvellous medicine which George finds difficult. George was hardly thinking like a scientist who noted down his findings so that he may replicate it. He was only trying to make a potion to solve his Granny problem.

As in all Roald Dahl books the word play is fantastic and can be compared to at best a fireworks display. The adults as is his style come in all shapes and forms, but the child is intelligent and creative. Dahl seems to reiterate the point that ‘a person is a person, no matter how small’. Children must use their arsenal of fearlessness and experimentation to arrive at solutions, he advices, in this zany tale.

Dahl’s comrade in arms Quentin Blake delights with his marvellous drawings. All in all George’s Marvellous Medicine will push you to come up with an innovative solution to that itch of a person in your life, or atleast laugh with schemes you cook up in your mind!

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