The Armenian Champa Tree
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Mato is a young Buno tribal boy of ten who is the despair of his mother, because he spends all his time daydreaming instead of doing the useful things Buno boys are meant to do; and because he is completely devoted to his pet baby goat, Arjun. When a tantric saint demands that the goat be sacrificed to the goddess Kali, Mato runs away with Arjun in a desperate bid to reach the sanctuary of the Armenian church. Hunted by the entire village, the boy and his goat struggle to evade capture and reach safety. In the process, Mahasweta Devi exposes the manner in which religion exploits superstition for its own ends. This is a tender and charming tale primarily for young readers, for whom, over the years, Mahasweta Devi has written extensively, using her considerable experience of oral history and grassroot realities to weave stories which educate future adults about an India very few of them would otherwise know of.
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