Wow!!! To read this story after nearly 30 years!! The magic was all still there.
I could almost smell the fir trees, feel the deep snow under my feet, glimpse the bears and wolves far off and see the long stream of steam trailing behind the train as it snaked thru the crystal clear Taiga morning.
Thanks to my friend Seema, who seems as much excited as I am by the quest for classics and my childhood favourite books, I managed to get hold of a volume of short stories by Arkady Gaidar. And Chuck and Geck (I had thought this was Chuk and Gek earlier- thanks to having read the version in phonetic Malayalam) is one of the gems in this book. Now I can hardly wait to finish the rest of the stories.
Seema managed this amazing feat with her usual flair- she just bullied some of her bookstore owner friends- and out pops the volume in 2 weeks flat. What I have been looking for, for the last 25 years!!
I had spent so much time in my childhood reading up Russian and other erstwhile Soviet states’ folk tales that Chudo-Yudo, Baba-Yaga and the Russian Bogatyrs, not to mention Ivan the brave and Vassilisa the beautiful had become as much part of my imaginary world as Vishnu, Shiva, Asuras, Devas etc. To be able to read these stories from the USSR from around 1935-1945 would be a great treat.