Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Gift of Ramyana...!

Over the Christmas vacation, we got to spend time with my cousin Vijay, his wife Supriya and their son Vikranth who were visiting from the US. Vijay has been one of the biggest influences in my life as I was growing up and in many ways he still is! Being an avid reader himself, Vijay encouraged me to transition to chapter books while I was still hooked on to comics at the age of eight or nine. Had it not been for the Famous Five/Nancy Drew/ Hardy boys series, I would have never known the pleasures of reading…and for that I guess I have Vijay to thank! J So it’s not a surprise that this time when he came down from the US, he got Abhay a wonderful book, a book that my six year old can’t seem to have enough of! Thanks once again to Vijay for introducing Abhay to “Ramayana” and more so with Abhay’s new found  fascination being mythology, he simply couldn’t have asked for a better gift from his Vijay Mama!

 Ramayana - Divine Loophole” is a brilliantly illustrated book  by Sanjay Patel, an animator and a storyboard artist for Pixar Entertainment living in Oakland, California. This book presents Ramyana like never before and is a treat to both the kids and adults. Narrating the Hindu epic in three acts and 120 chapters, Sanjay Patel,  an Indian American, dedicates his version of Ramayana to his dad Gopalbhai, mom Ramleelaben and bro Amulbhai. The author uses the technique of graphic storytelling that not only captures the imagination of young minds but also provides an interesting perspective to this timeless epic. For instance, I was quite intrigued by his uniquely titled chapters like “Cosmic Bully” that explains how Ravana, the scholar transforms into a ten headed walking one man army on Brahma's grant of his wish, "Vishnu's Loophole" that has Vishnu thinking about a way to work around Brahma’s grant to Ravana and   "Fatal Attraction" and "Nosey Demon" that features the subplot of Shoorpanaka during Rama's exile.   At the end, the author even provides an illustrated glossary of all the Devas and Demons who make their appearance in Ramayana. Though the book’s size appears to be daunting to read to a six year old, the chapters therein are short and concise serving as a perfect introduction to the story and adventures of Rama which in Sanjay’s own words “explains just why Hindus honor a Blue Warrior and Mountain moving Monkey!" However, a small caveat before any of you decide to make it your bed time story,  make sure to set the expectation at the beginning of the book or else you would be doing an “Arabian Nights Style” storytelling the whole night!

1 comment:

  1. It is a wonderful book. Sustains interest in the kid reading it. Pictorial presentation is different from the one usually found in Amar Chitra Katha series or Indian books. Different perspectives even for elders reading it for children.