Rhymes of Whimsy: The Complete Abol Tabol

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Two books in one: With a total of more than 250 pages, this is a book in two parts: the first comprises the translated poems and original illustrations by Sukumar Ray. The second contains investigative analysis and some never-before-published commentary on the symbolism and hidden meanings woven skillfully into the poems.

Translations: With amazingly rhyme-accurate rendering that reads as if the poems had been penned in the English language to begin with, this translation preserves every single rollicking rhyme and the exact same cadences as in the originals. Each translated poem is one hundred percent line-accurate and evokes immediate nostalgia of the original in both rhyme and rhythm.

Analyses: Abol Tabol is, in fact, cleverly disguised socio-political satire, written to mock the state of society and administration of early 20th century colonial India. The book provides groundbreaking analysis, linking the poems to specific historical events and uncovering the targeted satire hidden in many of the poems. It answers questions like: Who is Knotty Woodoo (Katth Buro)? Which scandal in English parliament is the poem Sense of Essence (Gondho Bichar) about? Which Bengal-school painting is mocked in Ghostly Play (Bhooturey Khela)? Which three Indian statesmen were the The Delighted (Ahlaadi) in real life? The analysis is beautifully clear, concise and logical, and cites more than 50 separate bibliographical references .

This second edition includes minor revisions in translations, for improved correspondence to their originals and enhanced reader-experience in English. It also introduces substantially revised and entirely newly discovered information in the analyses. Original illustrations by Sukumar Ray have been incorporated by popular demand, replacing those in the first edition.

About the Author: Niladri Roy is a self-described dyed-in-the-wool dabbler in writing, with varied interests.

An engineer by training from Bengal Engineering College, Sibpur, in India, he is a full-time practicing technologist based in Silicon Valley, California, USA.

His interests, outside of his profession and occasional experimentation with writing, include piloting single-engine aircraft and high-altitude trekking in the Sierras, Himalayas and equatorial Africa.

Roy, a naturalized American, was born in Assam, India, to Bengali parents, grew up near Kolkata, and emigrated to the United States in the mid-1990s.


  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Haton Cross Press; 2 edition (2020)
  • Author: Sukumar Ray
  • Translator Name: Niladri Roy
  • ISBN-13: 9780998655734
  • Product Dimensions:  13.9 x 1 x 21.5 cm

Indian Edition available on:


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