42 Years of Mowgli

As long back as I can recall, the jungle book and Mowgli has been part of my life. Rudyard Kipling’s enchanting tale of a little boy brought up by wolves, befriended by the friendly but dangerous when provoked Bagheera , the lovable Baloo and the terrifying Sher Khan!

It had all the elements of a block buster, come to think of it, and I remember being enthralled by it. I remember reading the book, coming across abridged versions in English text books, brought to life by my wonderful teachers, who knew just how to modulate their voices to enact the vicious, bitter Sher Khan, the sweet cuddly Baloo, and the cutest of them all, Mowgli!

One time, we had a huge production of the Jungle Book, as part of our school Annual day celebration. It involved students from all the classes and Mowgli was my classmate. All of us who had itsy bitsy roles were delighted! I was a firefly and though all I had to do was dance around wearing a black dress, holding a torch – I loved it! It was amazing – a whole lot of fun. As part of the preparation, we used to get to watch the original animated movie of the Jungle Book and that was the biggest treat of them all. I remember being totally zapped by it. This was before Jungle Book came on DD – so it was a totally awesome experience for all of us.

Today, I read in the that it has been 42 years since that animated movie came out.  Reading that article brought out a torrent of memories.. of reading Jungle Book, of watching the movie, fond memories of teachers trying to get us work on the annual day adaptation of the story and a lot of memories of the Jungle Book on DD.. After the ‘Chaddi pehan ke’ song came out, my classmate who played Mowgli had a tough time in class, with all of ribbing him for it,even though it had been some years since he enacted Mowgli.

Now, daughter has fallen in love with the Jungle book stories and was delighted to see the above video today. Every time I read the story to her, I relive my childhood memories. Although, I normally love books more than the movies adapted from books, I guess, Jungle Book is one exception, where I love both the book and the movie.

PS: Belated Happy Diwali to all of you! Hope you all had a lovely time!

Edited to add: The Bare necessities song. I don’t know how I missed out putting that up 🙂 Thanks guys, for reminding me 🙂

Thanks Hitchy – Jungle Book Part 2