Indian mythology is full of wonderful lessons for children. These stories have been passed on from one generation to another mainly orally from grandparents to grandchildren. Now, there are a few writers trying to give these stories a new twist and present it in a way that makes them relevant to the present generation.
Let's learn more about these writers.
Looking at Indian Mythology in a New Light
Unlike other mythologies around the world, Indian mythology is relevant even today as we still considered it sacred. Stories from the Ramayan and Mahabharata are told to children from the time they are toddlers to invoke devotion in them. Indian myths are also full of sage advice and moral stories that teach our children the difference between right and wrong and show us the righteous way to live.
Most of us would have experienced Indian mythology in the laps of our parents or grandparents while they try to coax food into our mouths or put us to sleep as children. Stories, like the ones about young Lord Krishna and his mischiefs, fill us with a sense of familiarity and warmth.
In today’s world, where children have information from around the world on their fingertips from a very young age, they look for logic and science in everything around them. Mythological stories get reduced to mere works of fantasy written hundreds of years ago. It is important that the relevance of Indian mythology be introduced to children at a young age. We have uncovered a few Indian authors who are doing just that.
She takes an interesting route to tell mythological stories. In her series called Amma Tell Me, instead of centring her stories on characters, Bhakti Mathur has centred her stories on festivals, narrating the stories behind the celebrations. This not only simplifies mythology for early readers, it also gives them an explanation of why we celebrate so many festivals in India and what their significances are. Her other series called Amma Take Me, introduces the different religious shrines to children and narrates the stories based on the gods there.
He has studied medicine and is a leadership consultant, but he is most well-known as a mythologist. Pattnaik has written over 30 books and 600 articles on mythology. His books highlight the relevance of mythology in modern times. In his books for children, the Gods themselves show his modern day characters how to deal with real-life situations by introducing them to the mythical world. This way, he not only highlights the relevance of mythological stories in the present day but shows how to use these stories in day-to-day situations.
Her books combine mythology with history and fiction. Anu Kumar’s books for children bring forth the lesser known characters in Indian mythology and shows their relevance in today’s world. She has been awarded by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the Little Magazine for her stories.
Her books for children aims to make mythology magical. Apart from retelling the stories itself, she infuses a sense of wonder and mystery into her style of writing that makes her books more akin to a fantasy novel. She is considered an expert in Valmiki’s Ramayan as she has translated it 30 years ago. Both her books for children also talk about Ramayan.
She has written fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults. Her book on mythology for children is called The Gita: For Children. This book aims to demystify the Bhagvat Gita and its teachings. The way the book has been structured is that there is a brief translation of the conversation between Arjun and Krishna, followed by the significance of the words said between them and then a short note on how this is relevant even in today’s world. The translation of the conversation itself makes it sound like a conversation between two modern-day teenagers. The explanations also are written in a light and playful manner so that the younger audience can relate to it. Roopa Pai has also written a fantasy series called The Taranauts which draws from mythology, history and pop culture.
We hope this article has given you a few names to look for next time you are at a bookstore.