Saturday, August 2, 2008

Quest for yet another book - Chuk and Gek

I was about 9 when I read this book. As stated in my profile, I am from Kerala. Kerala had the first elected communist government in the world. It continued to have a strong presence of communists and Marxists. Due to this, Kerala always had strong ties with the communist USSR. As a part of a well orchestrated propaganda, russian books-translated into Malayalam -used to be available in Kerala at absolutely rock bottom prices. And that is how I came across Chuk and Gek. The story of two children and their mother, who set out to cross Siberia in search of their Dad. My memory is now quite hazy. But the book has left me with one great desire - to tarvel by the Trans Siberian Railway. All the way from Kieve to Vladivostok.
I have been searching for this book also for 20+ years. Never managed to get hold of it. But i am confident I will manage- sooner or later. And I am sure I will also make the journey- over the Taiga thru the great Trans Siberian Railway. Someday..

25 comments:

Krishnakumar said...

Hi Ram G !

I too have nostalgic childhood memories about this book "Chuk & Gek". And that's the reason why while browsing thru the 'net I stumbled across your profile!
And I too hail from Kerala, for the same commie reasons you told I've also read this book (courtesy: my father who was an active member of "Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad") and quite enjoyed it.
Now I am in quest of this book after nearly 20 years of reading it for the first time. I'd like to grab this either in English or Malayalam!
Would request, if you happen to stumble across this book and if you could forward the source to my email id (krisrs@rediffmail.com), I'd be greatly indebted to you ! :-)

Cheers!
Krishnakumar

Ramgopal Vallath said...

Hey Krishnakumar,
Sorry, just saw the comment.
My dad was also in the KSSP!!! I have also done all the Shaastra Jaadhas and such stuff. I even headed a Eureka Club!! I might even know you!!! Send me a mail at rvallath@yahoo.com and let us see how we can organise the book!!

Cdt Tom Alex said...

Hei
I grew up reading those stories especially CHUCK AND GECK.I have found them in English at a russian website. Please let me know if you want them.Also plz sent me if you have the malayalam copy. Thanks.Tom

Ramgopal Vallath said...

Hi Alex,
Thank for the comment. i have found Chuk and Gek with some other short stories.
the next one in my list is Yuri Olesha's three fat men.
No, i dont have any of this in Mallu.

writer said...

hi...the book Chuk & Gek has now been published by mathrubhumi books...grab it:)

Divya said...

Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!.......Its available here........
for all those who miss this....just get it from here
http://www.mathrubhumi.com/books/story.php?id=1245&cat_id=509

Ramgopal Vallath said...

nice one, Divya

Martin said...

Dear RamG,

I am Martin and I hail from Cochin Kerala.
I was doing a google search for chuk and gek when I hit your blog.
I was fascinated as a child by chuk and gek. I got it from my father's friend who had several Russian story books I am so gald this book is available again from mathrubhumi.
I rememeber another book with stories of animals I remember the name franthic and chubari
Those days fantasising reading these books were magic. Thanks for reviving those memories.

martin.george@nhs.net

Martin said...

I rememeber reading chuk and gek as a child of 10 yrs. I was fascinated by the description of the winter in Russia and the long journey.I got it from my father's friend.
I remember readinga few other stories , one of them with a family kids and their animals I remember the names franthic and chubary Can't remember the name of the story though. Nice to know mathrubhumi is bringing these books out. Thanks for reviving some fond memories.

NSP said...

Hi ,

I am from Kerala, India too. I also have nostalgic memories about this book. I read that book in Malayalam. I still remember the black and white photo like pictures in the book. I use to dream about their journey in the tram, the snow etc. I think I cannot clearly express my emotions attached with that book in mere words. I luv that.... I would like to get that same malayalam book once again. I had so many russian stories in my collection.I remember the books 'Russian Nadodikadhakal' and 'Kadalorathoru Balan'.I miss them too much:(. Really!!!!

Ramgopal Vallath said...

Hi NSP, The books I used to read were russian nadidi katha, soviet nattile nadodi katha, chuk and gek, moonu thadiyanmar etc.

I still remember Alosha Popovitch, Dobrinya, Iliya, Vasilisa the beutiful, Andrei the archer etc. Also Chudo Yudo and Baba Yaga.
They were magical.

Nick said...

If you are still looking - here is the english version of this book:
http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/13r.pdf

Nick

Anonymous said...

Hi, I grew up in Kerala and one of my fondest childhood memories is reading Chuk and Gek. I was so fascinated by the description of the Taiga and the Russsian winter. I ended up going to college in Russia. Spent 6 years of my life there and I speak fluent Russian. This book is available on Amazon.com (I live in the US) in Russian but I am looking for a copy in English since my son doesn't know Russian. He asked me to tell him a story last night and thats when I thought about this beautiful story of Chuk and Gek. If anyone knows where to find English version aof this book, please post. My name is Divya.

Anonymous said...

hi ,this is arnab ....not from kerala but from kolkata.....well....same story here....communist party sympathisers at home...so these books were easily available....not only chuk and gek...but 'blue cup' by the same author....and 'the girl from town'(may not be the exact english title as i read all these in my mother tongue..bengali)by lubov varancova...'adventure of two friends'..by vosvoledo nestoik....'story of a real man' by boris polevoy....and many others....i was so much familier with....russian childhood in ussr as depicted through these books...that even today ...mention of these names brings a worm feeling.....i don't know about the future of communism...or russia....but those book(i don't care if they were propaganda or not)gave me a beautiful childhood....and a life long yearning to visit the soviet heartland russia....it was very much comforting to stumble upon these blog....and lastly i must mention about the illustrations of those books...mainly pencil sketches....they opened a world of wonder to me.....sitting in the lush green bebgal...i never once failed to visualise the snow storm in taiga...the blue Dnieper River....the steppe....thank u all for bringing back those memories....i still have all these books with me(in bengali)

Anonymous said...

hi arnab ...this is samik ....i too read chuk and gek , amader parar team and other russian books for children that have left a permanent mark in my memory ... i would say that you are lucky as i have lost my copies during the duobble house shiftings in quick succession ... even to this day i look for copies of these books in bengali bou to no avail ...

Siddarthan said...

I am a Tamil and so read them in Tamil. One of my all time favorites was Nikolai Nosov's 'Vilayattu Pillaigal' (literal translation-Playful Children). It has lots of stories from the English anthology "Jolly Family". After a long search, I was able to find the Tamil version.

Then the unforgettable Malchish Kibalchish by Arkady Gaidar. Chuk and Gek's Tamil version hardcover was very impressive or may be I felt so as I was a small boy. Had lots of pictures. I am sure Malayalam and Bengali versions were of the same design except the language.

I also vaguely remember a title by Nosov which I did not remember the story entirely. It goes like 'When Daddy was a small boy...'.

Then another large format very colorful book that had a story about a kid having a magical flower with 3 petals. She wishes for balloons and then toys. Just a beautiful story! I even remember the smell of these books. There were several colorful large books which I have forgotten. Then lots of wonderful math books by Perelman.

I wish Putin would revive those presses. :)

Sid

Siddarthan said...

I am a Tamil and so read them in Tamil. One of my all time favorites was Nikolai Nosov's 'Vilayattu Pillaigal' (literal translation-Playful Children). It has lots of stories from the English anthology "Jolly Family". After a long search, I was able to find the Tamil version.

Then the unforgettable Malchish Kibalchish by Arkady Gaidar. Chuk and Gek's Tamil version hardcover was very impressive or may be I felt so as I was a small boy. Had lots of pictures. I am sure Malayalam and Bengali versions were of the same design except the language.

I also vaguely remember a title by Nosov which I did not remember the story entirely. It goes like 'When Daddy was a small boy...'.

Then another large format very colorful book that had a story about a kid having a magical flower with 3 petals. She wishes for balloons and then toys. Just a beautiful story! I even remember the smell of these books. There were several colorful large books which I have forgotten. Then lots of wonderful math books by Perelman.

I wish Putin would revive those presses. :)

Sid

Ramgopal Vallath said...

Hi Sid,
Another favourite of mine was the three fat men (Moonnu Thadiyanmar) which I thoroughly enjoyed.

azeezkunnappilly@gmail.com said...

I am also been searching for this book for last 20 years .. I read this book when I am 7 yrs. But still remembering each pages and drawings

Ramgopal Vallath said...

Dear Azeez, I know what you mean. I also felt the same way.

moments said...

After extensive Quest I found most of them, the original translations, but lacks illustrations.

Thanks for the post

Sriraman.krishna@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hello, Just came across this post while searching for something else. For those of you looking for Chuk and Gek, i have found pdf of english translation online and can share it if you want. E mail me at phadkesnehal@gmail.com

Raj in the UK said...

I too have fond memories of reading this book and the vivid description of the landscape and the longing of the two boys to meet their dad.

Anonymous said...

I loved this book soooo much. Reminds me of my childhood.

Rajaram Vasudevan said...

Incidentaly I saw this blog. I have some PDF malayalam books which I have shared in my Blog.

You may please download books from he below link.

http://www.booksofsovietunion.blogspot.com/

I would request you to please share any book you have with you by scanning and sharing it and by this way these trasures can be preserved

rajaramvasudev@gmail.com