Amma, Tell Me About Durga Puja!
Author: Bhakti Mathur
Book Language: English
Read Aloud to 4+ year kids
We have been a fan of this series for a long and have read almost the entire bunch. It’s a fun way to introduce mythology and Indian traditions to the little ones, who miss out on the pomp and splendor of Indian festivals in these modern times.
This book was no exception, though I had to skip over certain lines that got a bit tricky for the little one.
The book has two parts.
The first part details the fanfare, excitement, and local traditions of Durga Puja, followed predominantly in West Bengal. Since the kids had no background in Bengali traditions and terminology, we looked up the videos of Sindoor Khela, Dhunuchi dance, Dhaki drums, and Bisarjan online. The combination made the whole enterprise amusing and educational at the same time.
The second half of the book elaborates creation of Goddess Durga and her combat with the evil demon Mahishasura. Mathur weaves the mythological tale of Mahishasura tricking Lord Brahma into giving him a self-serving boon, the consequences, and finally, the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, creating the powerful female form, Goddess Durga, to foil the evil plans to rule the universe, into a delightful verse.
The kiddo savored the many inter-braided human emotions into the story and relished the action-packed battle of the titans. The older brat even added to the narrative by sharing information he has amassed after devouring many Amar Chitra Katha titles.
The Bold and vibrant illustrations by Maulshree Somani are engaging. The stunning, detailed, colorful pages are just perfect for holding the attention of the target age group.
A feel-good book about mythology for the kids living abroad and missing the tie with the local festivals and Indian culture. The book would widen their horizons, introduce them to Hindu gods and goddesses and associated myths, and even nudge the older ones to further explore mythology.
Reading the book aloud, I remembered a quote I read somewhere—It doesn’t matter who you are and what you have! What goes around comes around. Sooner or later, the universe serves you the revenge you deserve.
Wish I could remind this to the smug and conceited Mahishasurs lurking around us in the present times.