Kastura, ‘the Songbird’, has disappeared. The prime suspect of a burglary in the Himalayan foothills. Twelve-year Johnny Raut has a narrow window to find her and prove her innocence. The problem is that he knows almost nothing about the mountains as he spent most of his life in the bustling city of Mumbai. As Johnny struggles to deal with his new surroundings and his parents’ separation, he joins forces with three of his classmates and the four of them set out to find the missing Songbird.
As Johnny solves the mystery of her disappearance, he is forced to come to terms with his inner fears, understand social prejudices that affect people close to him, and develop an intimacy with the songs and sounds of his alien environment. Searching for the Songbird is a story about the curiosities of children, of young friendships, and of finding harmony with nature.
About the Author
RAVINA AGGARWAL is an anthropologist who has written extensively about the Himalayas. Her publications include Beyond Lines of Control: Performing the Border in Ladakh, India and two edited volumes, Into the High Ranges: The Penguin Book of Mountain Writing and Forsaking Paradise: Short Stories from Ladakh. She was a tenured professor at Smith College, Massachusetts, and worked for the Ford Foundation in New Delhi, before assuming her current position as Director of Columbia University’s global center in Mumbai.