When Krishna got his ID card

When Krishna got his ID card

 Milk packets, of course, thinks little Gauri, until she visits a farm and sees a cow being milked. For her, the visit to the farm is a revelation in more ways than one. For there, she meets Sweety, the talking cow, who tells her amazing stories of cows from mythology. She is thrilled to know that she shares her name with a goddess, as she gleefully listens to Sweety tell her of how goddess Kali, the dark one, becomes Gauri, the radiant one.

Why can’t cows use a bathroom like human beings, wonders Gauri. If Gauri is full of such questions, Sweety is an adept teller of tales. She answers the curious little girl’s queries with new and nourishing stories. So, by the end of the day, Gauri knows how Brahma created the first cow — Surabhi or Nandini; why ancient Indians worshipped cows; how the gods gifted the first man a cow called Gauri, and more.

Can any story about cows be complete without one on Krishna, the divine cowherd? So, we have Sweety recount Krishna’s cow stories. That is not all. There is the story of the good king, Indradyumna, who went in search of proof of his goodness, and Nruga, another cow-gifting king who had to face a dilemma for no fault of his.

‘Gauri and the Talking Cow’ is part of a series called ‘Fun in Devlok’, where Devdutt Pattanaik tells unique stories that blend mythology with modernity.

In the second book in the series, ‘An Identity Card for Krishna’, we have Krishna being stopped from entering an aircraft because he didn’t carry an identity card! So, what does he do? He has to urgently visit his ardent devotee in Guwahati. But wait. Why does he have to travel in an aircraft in the first place? And does he come dressed as Krishna Bhagwan?

I won’t reveal too much and spoil your fun. Read the book to be part  of Krishna’s adventures in the modern world.

You’d also like to know what Ravana, with his 10 heads, did at the airport when he was asked for his identity card, or what forms Sesha and Garuda take at the taxi stand and in the busy skies of India!

Devadutt Pattanaik goes on to narrate the story of how each god in the Hindu pantheon has a mark of identification. He tells the stories of rishi Chavan, Sukanya and the Ashwini twins.

Pattanaik’s simple prose makes it easy for even the very young to read and enjoy these wonderful stories. To top it all, the stories within stories are all packaged in less than 50 pages.

In the third book in the series, ‘Indra Finds Happiness’, we have a little boy, Harsha, who is unhappy with the way things are going at home. But then he finds out that even Indra is unhappy about his blessed life! Not Kalpataru, the wish fullfilling tree, nor Chintamani, the dream fulfilling gem; not Akshaya Patra, the pot overflowing with gold, nor Amrita, the jar containing the elixir of life, could make Indra really happy. That’s because he had his eyes on sage Vashista’s cow, Kamadhenu. As Indra tells Harsha his fears and the reasons for his unhappiness, out tumble stories of sage Kandu, apsara Marisha, and demon Taraka. So what does Harsha do? Does he remain as unhappy as Indra or does he realise he can be happy despite the challenges he faces?

All three books have so many mythological stories within them, that you’ll get the feel that you’ve read more than one book after each reading. Since the writer relates each story to our everyday lives, it makes the reading that much more fun.

Indra Finds Happiness
By Devdutt Pattanaik
Published by Puffin Books
Pp 52; Rs 99

An Identity Card for Krishna
By Devdutt Pattanaik
Published by Puffin Books,
Pp 44; Rs 99

Gauri and the Talking Cow
By Devdutt Pattanaik
Published by Puffin Books,
Pp 48; Rs 99

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