SCHOLATIC BOOK OF HINDU GODS AND GODDESSES
Retold By Deepa Agarwal
Scholastic Book of Hindu Gods and Goddesses is a good example of how to engage young readers and familiarise them with the treasure trove of Indian Literature. In this retelling of timeless Hindu Myths and Tales Deepa Agarwal has the unenviable task of short-listing 10 from a thousand if not more fascinating stories.
In these ten that form part of this collection Agarwal captures aspects of various epics in a manner where she introduces two main Gods and a Goddess namely Ganesh, Krishna and Durga by stories of their childhood. To complement them we have one of Hanuman too (Is the Sun a Mango?)
‘When Krishna Saved Vrindavan’ stands out as a very relevant little gem of a story. Bal Krishna is sure to catch the imagination of young readers. Here he is a Leader and not just a Prankster (Natkat Makan Chor).
Deepa Agarwal’s effort is complemented beautifully by Ravika Sen’s illustrations making it a ‘discover while you read’ for young readers the world over
It’s interesting to note Sen’s modernising of some of the characters. It is a clever ploy. These subtle changes will make it easier to popularize characters of the Hindu Pantheon. For example in ‘Too Many Modaks for Ganesh, Musika is shown riding what look like bicycle wheels!
Sen’s Ganesh has round eyes and not the usually depicted slit eyes. His trunk is shorter too.His visage is cheeky not sagely.
In ‘Ram’s Bridge’ check out Hanuman’s very modern looking bandh gala jacket , there is no emphasis of a bodybuilder ready for the akhara but a major domo in attendence.
Scholastic Book of Hindu Gods and Goddesses is a good example of how to engage young readers and familiarise them with the treasure trove of Indian Literature.