The vampires are up to something. It’s the best kept secret of Naystaf…until a 21 year old human boy says it out loud.
Tipu Finds Magic is a fantastical story about a 21 year old college boy from Lahore. In the midst of a life of boredom and monotony, Tipu finds a gnome and ends up following him into the flip side of our world. There he unwittingly stirs up a revolution to end the tyrannical dictatorship of the rulers (vampires) and start an era of democracy.
The ‘Other Side’, as it is called in the novel, is a place where vampires, wizards, gnomes, and werewolves all live together. The particular country the protagonist goes to is called Naystaf. It is a fantastical place, although not a happy one. Different roles have been assigned to different species. Vampires are the authoritarian rulers. The head of state is a vampire named Sarkaar. Wizards form the admin. Werewolves are the night guards, and gnomes the labour. Jinns and Churails are known to be wild, untamed beasts which have been captured by the rulers and are kept caged. Furthermore, there are caretakers all across the Other Side who are supreme conciliators in time of conflict. Naystaf falls under the jurisdiction of Malika who is also known as the Lady Who Wears The World.
Tipu meets Nomi at a secluded corner of one of his university ground and, bored of his life on this side of the planet, follows him back to his world. He only realizes the severity of his actions when he finds himself facing imminent execution at the hands of the fascist government. The only way to overthrow the government is to appeal to Malika. As a last resort, Tipu and some friends gear up to take a long and hard journey through a forest and a mountain on both of which they encounter deadly monsters.
The group of adventurers includes Tipu, a wizard (Nazim), a witch (Farishta), and three gnomes (Nomi, Bibi, and Pappu). They all become friends on this journey and learn things from each other. One night they even visit the human world and Tipu finds his chance to acquaint them with his side. The conversations they have and the things Tipu learns from them makes this a coming of age novel of sorts, even though unlike most YA novels, the protagonist is not a high schooler but a college student.
In the end, they reach their destination. Malika summons Sarkaar and sets things right. Naystaf is a democratic country now. Shahi, a witch, is appointed the Senior Minister by the people’s vote. She gives Tipu a magical pin as a reward. It has the power to summon anyone from the magical side at any time. Tipu returns home.
The novel is relevant as a comment/point of view on how the boundaries of myths, folklore, and imagined worlds are blurred when speaking from a globalized and postcolonial standpoint. It is hoped that the novel will serve two purposes: First is the instigation of discussion on the hybrid subconscious and imagination of the postcolonial subject. The second hoped-for purpose is the story providing an amusing reading experience to any young adults in a state of ennui looking to suspend disbelief and enjoy an easy escape.