Loki Takes Guard
Winner | Book Awards 2021 | Writings for Young Adults
Loki Takes Guard
An entertaining coming-of-age story about a girl determined to play cricket, the people who stand in her way and a viral Twitter sensation.
Eleven-year-old Loki—Lokanayaki Shanmugam—is cricket crazy. She wants to play on the local cricket league team, The Temple Street Tankers. But they have a ridiculous ‘boys only’ rule that they aren’t willing to change for a girl. And her parents seem to be too involved with her brother’s studies to bother with Loki. So she takes matters into her own hands and begins a petition to
fight for her right to play cricket.
But very few people are willing to sign this petition—even her parents refuse Nobody takes much notice till anonymous Twitter sensation @_poetic_paati takes up Loki’s cause. Soon, Loki’s petition goes viral and the entire nation is rooting for her. But will her parents, the team, and the guardians of tradition change their minds? And more importantly, if they do, will Loki be able to deliver the runs?
Witty and fast-paced, Loki Takes Guard is as much a story about the joy of sports as it is about breaking outdated rules and standing up for oneself.
As a child Menaka Raman used to write far-fetched stories about birthday parties, water parks and floating cake disasters. Since then, her life has been a series of fortunate events that led her far away from becoming a software engineer and set her back on the path of writing. She is a former advertising copywriter who chucked creating ads for plastic chairs and time share holidays to write about other things. She has been a newspaper columnist for over a decade now and enjoys working with non-profits. She is the author of nine picture books for children including Gappu Can’t Dance, Lenin’s Guests and I Love Me. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published by Talking Cub, Scholastic India and Penguin UK. She lives in Bangalore with her husband, two children and dog. When she is not killing plants and walking Woody the dog, she is eating Nutella straight from the jar.
I’m not sure when or how I started playing the game. It’s not like anyone else in my family is into it—or any sport for that matter. Vasu used to play a bit till he was in 7th standard but once he started attending coaching classes for IIST every waking minute of his life, he stopped. It’s not just Vasu, no one else in our family has even the slightest bit of interest in cricket. Forget playing the game, they don’t even follow it. If you asked Amma who Virat Kohli is, she’ll say she once knew a Samrat Kohli in Sowcarpet. It’s unfair that I, Lokanayaki (Ugh!) Shanmugam who never drops a catch, and is a decent bowler and has been known to hit more than one ball out of the corporation school playground and knock people unconscious, should be born in such a family.