The Amazing Moustaches of Moochhander the Iron Man and Other Stories

2011, Puffin Books (India)

2013, KITAB (Pakistan)

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A giant sets up shop in a perfect little town and immediately runs into problems with the townspeople. A monkey successfully conducts his business in town until he runs into someone who is not good at monkey-math. The Iron Man learns that his moustaches love him as much as he loves them. And little Profundus meets someone very frightening after working very hard to put on weight.


Supriya Nair in LiveMint

  • “The warmly hilarious story of Molka the Giant forms one of four stories in Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s newest book, The Amazing Moustaches of Moochander the Iron Man and Other Stories. Farooqi, whose writing for adults, notably 2008’s The Story of a Widow, has moved critics to call his style Austenian, writes in the matter-of-fact narrative tone of fairy tales here. Each of his tales shares the fairy-tale quality of absurdity...The collection’s title character, Moochhander, has to face the existential crisis of his luxuriant facial hair failing him—talk about a little Philip Roth of a children’s fable. In Monkeyshines, based on an old Urdu story, an enterprising monkey finds that his rudimentary barter economy teeters on the brink of collapse when he tries to swap a tray of sweets for a bride. Unlike fairy tales, however, none of Farooqi’s stories are didactic. Instead, they are written to charm and amuse, and all of them succeed, the read-aloud quality of Farooqi’s narratives beautifully complemented by Michelle Farooqi’s comic illustrations, thanks to which baking giants, sarcastic tiny pigs, cunning monkeys and moustaches full of character dance through the pages with aplomb.”

Jai Arjun Singh in The Sunday Guardian

  • “The Pakistani writer Musharraf Ali Farooqi has one of the most diverse oeuvres of any contemporary author I know...his latest book The Amazing Moustaches of Moochhander the Iron Man and Other Stories is a charming collection of four short stories for young readers, with illustrations done by Farooqi's wife Michelle...Farooqi is no traditionalist in his views on what sort of literature is appropriate for children...'Children are tougher than we give them credit for,' he says, 'and in any case, if something scars them, it won't be stories – it will be the hypocritical and aggressive behaviour they regularly see from adults in the real world around them.'”

Shobhana Bhattacharji in The Book Review

  • The Amazing Moustaches of Moochhandarthe Iron Man and other stories has four terrific stories... The stories are the right length for five year olds (mine sat wide-eyed and silent throughout). They have room to pause and explain an unfamiliar word like ‘applause,’ for which there are familiar synonyms, and so the child learns a new word. There’s no dumbing down of vocabulary, nor of emotion. The sadness of Moochhander when he is old turns into hope and joy just as the five-year old listener’s eyes become round enough to fall out of her head. Michelle Farooqi’s delicious illustrations have an imaginative life of their own, almost, but they always match the stories and are arranged to figure at the right point rather than coming much before or much after the event they picture. Absolutely fabulous...”