Fun in Devlok
Reviewer- V (9-year-old)
Genre-Indian mythology /Multiple stories
Reviewer- V (9-year-old)
The stories take place in different settings, ranging from a modern airport to Mount Kailash and Amravati.
I loved this book because it teaches kids about Indian Mythology and makes it fun at the same time. Gods are not sitting in their heavenly abode, doing whatever they’re supposed to do there. They come down to the children’s bedrooms and the principal’s office to explain their history.
There are six stories in the book. Each of these tales describes God’s interaction with humans and retells their stories from their perspective.
My favorite character was Govinda because not only is he cheerful, charming, and playful, but he is also law-abiding. The part where he is refused to board a flight to Guwahati by his ardent devotee and a security guard at the airport made me laugh aloud.
I loved all the stories. If I were to mention my favorite, it would be ‘‘Gauri, and the Talking Cow’’ and ‘‘Shiva Plays Dumb Charades.’’
Apart from the main events, each of the stories hides many more tiny tales inside them.
The first is a story about a girl who thinks milk comes from plastic packets from the supermarket. Her confusion is cleared by a talking cow she encounters on a farm trip.
The second tale is about how Shiva joins a game of dumb charades played by kids. The questions, puzzles, and charades on Shiva’s mudras and his accessories were engaging and thoroughly enjoyable, to say the least.
I loved the way Pattanaik spatters children’s everyday life with the presence of Hindu gods and goddesses. It’s like a short course in Indian Mythology.
Gods appear approachable, capable of making mistakes and even suffering for their choices. By dressing them up in human garbs, Pattanaik lends wings to the kid’s imagination.
I especially liked the story- ‘‘Indra Finds Happiness’ and ‘‘Kama vs. Yama.’’
It amused me a great deal to know that I was not the only one who thought of Indra as one of mythology’s most insecure, selfish, and unscrupulous personalities.
Through Kama and Yama, Pattnaik illustrates the concept of Yin and Yang, emphasizing how everything in the universe exists as inseparable and contradictory. He juxtaposes the ideas of responsibility against pleasure, insisting that finding your balance is the only key to happiness. In a world popularizing the belief of YOLO (you only live once), probably, this is what I needed to hear.
An enjoyable, independent read for eight to ten-year-olds. The younger lot would require adult support, as they may find certain concepts difficult to understand.
Read it with your little ones, and you’d be pleased to see their eyes twinkling and a smile sneaking on their face at God’s antics.
And, as I always say, the greatest lessons and answers to life’s mystery hide in children’s books.
Read the review of other books by Devdutt Pattanaik:
The Girl Who Chose: A New Way of Narrating the Ramayana
The Boys Who Fought: A New Way of Narrating the Epics
Pashu: Animal Tales from Hindu Mythology
About the author-
Devdutt Pattanaik is a mythologist from Mumbai, India.
He is also a speaker, illustrator, and author of Hindu sacred lore, legends, folklore, fables, and parables. His work focuses mainly on religion, mythology, and management.
Read more about Devdutt Pattanaik.