Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fun in Devlok

Fun in Devlok series

Author: Devdutt Pattanaik

Illustrations: Vishal Tandon

Publisher : Puffin- Penguin

Ages: 5 plus

To say that Indian mythology is rich would be an understatement. Having said that, as a parent, I have some reservations on some of these stories in terms of the relevance in our times. For example the King wanted a son ( though he had 10 daughters). But no one can deny the wonderful lessons and meaning many of these stories have.

Devdutt Pattanaik, a favourite in our household in his early days, has recently published his work Fun in Devlok through Puffin. This series is a light, contemporary take on mythology- but not to be taken lightly. Hidden are nuggets of wisdom and social consciousness, backed by fluid story telling.

There are three books in the series- An Identity Card for Krishna, Gauri and the Talking Cow and Indra finds happiness. You do not need to read them together or in any particular order. In two of the stories, the protagonist is a child of today.

Gauri and the Talking Cow Gauri, a curious city girl on her first visit to a farm discovers how animals and the earth need looking after. She befriends a talking cow, Sweety and in the process learns a few stories including those on Surabhi, Kali and Gauri and Indradhyumana, a King who did not realise how much good he had done. Gauri understands that even good intentions can backfire and forgiving is not always easy. And she even offers tips on hair grooming to Goddess Kali!

Indra finds happiness Harsha, a boy who feels he is the unhappiest person in the world, meets Indra and discovers the story of Vashishta and all the wish granting things possessed by Indra. He realises that true happiness comes from being contented. He also demonstrates impeccable behavior when he refuses to steal even at Indra's behest, rightly observing that even Gods could make bad decisions.

An Identity Card for Krishna Anushka's favourite story was this one, where lovable Krishna Bhagwan dons a teenage avatar yearning for his first plane journey but is stopped by an earnest security guard. Krishna's aged devotee, tells Krishna the story of Anasuya and the Ashwini twins, and why Rishi Chavan made a rule that all gods should carry a flag with their symbol- sort of like the ancient form of an ID!!

A wonderful introduction to mythology, in a contemporary context, you can see that there are multiple stories in each book. There is enough humour to engage children and the stories are interestingly illustrated as well. Aided by the large font size, they will find it an easy read and give you a lesson or two on not just mythology but also on values.

Posted earlier at my personal blog.


nanands said...

I have known Devdutt for many years now. He has a way with words. The most complex concepts can be easily understood once they are reporocessed by his agile brain. Sometimes we fail to appreciate the best in our friends... ghar ki murgi dal barabar!

Devdutt said...

Thanks for reviewing my first attempt at children's book writing....feels so good

Artnavy said...

You introduced us to his books after all

Wonderful to hear from you- we loved the books- waiting for more

Sudeshna said...

Hi Artnavy, lovely to see the reviews here. Puffin is planning 3 more books in the series soon, so do look out for those!

Artnavy said...

Will surely look out for the next set in the series

Vishal Tondon said...

Hi, guys. You may read up more about these books on this link:


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing it.

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