We asked our authors to write about a favourite book, which they think more people should read.
RamG Vallath is the author of Oops the Mighty Gurgle, a science-fiction/fantasy novel about travel on the trans space travel and adventure.
Chuk and Gek by Arkady Gaidar
This is a Russian story set in the Soviet era. I read the translation in Malayalam, thanks to the soviet government’s desire to spread soviet culture and literature across the world. Some old prints are still available in English.
Chuk and Gek are two boys who stay with their mother in Moscow, while their father is working in deep Siberia. The story starts with the mother receiving a telegram from the father asking them to visit him in Siberia. The mother and the two children set off on the long journey, travelling by the famous trans Siberian railway.
Even though I read this book for the first time about thirty-five years back, I can still picture in my mind’s eye the train winding its way through the forests of the Taiga, its long trail of smoke cutting through the crisp and clear cold air. They encounter many adventures on the way and at last reach their destination, only to find that their father had gone on a long expedition. The telegram he had sent informing them of his departure was never received. The three of them continue their adventures staying in a lonely cottage in the middle of the forest.
The book left an indelible impression in me. I know that one day I will visit Russia and travel on the trans Siberian railway, snaking through the white, snow-clad forests.