Karadi Tales retrieves some old favourites and gives them a new voice and a new look
Even if your child didn’t know how to read, the illustrations are enough to keep him hooked. The stories of “Bhasmasura” and “Bakasura” are the latest from Karadi Tales. The tale of the wily Bhasmasura, his trickery, Lord Shiva’s predicament, Mohini’s artful seduction of the asura, and how she vanquishes him, is narrated in a lively style that has one all ears. And when it is Girish Karnad telling you the story that is accompanied by suitably exciting sound effects, the result is pure entertainment.
The famous story of Bakasura is as captivating. The Pandavas, during their exile, find themselves in a village where everyone is in a pall of gloom. The reason is Bakasura. Every day, one of the villagers has to offer himself as a meal to the demon. Otherwise, he has promised to come down to their village and create mayhem.
Of course, Bhima can’t resist the challenge and he sets off as Bakasura’s prospective lunch, only to tease, infuriate, madden and finally kill the rakshasa.
Again, the coherent and expressive narration by Karnad is impeccable, and the illustrations simply marvellous.“Bakasura” and “Bhasmasura” come attractively packaged.
They are glossy, attractively designed and beautifully illustrated. And, in the case of Karadi Tales, they are accompanied by amusing songs and foot-tapping music. The twin pack with two books and two CDS is priced at Rs. 200. Talking of its packaging, Kalidasa’s “Abhijnanashakuntalam” brought out by Charkha Books is striking. Packed in attractively-designed corrugated cardboard, the illustrations in the audio book are works of art.
A slightly grown up tale the story of Kalidasa’s Shakuntala is narrated by Shobhana. Her voice and the music is mellifluous as are the Sanskrit shlokas and verses that effortlessly merge with the English text. The story recreates Kalidasa’s greatest composition written two thousand odd years ago. Being a story of romance, courtship, heartbreak and reunion of valiant Dushyanta and the beautiful Shakuntala , it should interest young readers. The text is by Lakshmi Lal who has also translated the Sanskrit verses. The songs are composed and sung by Sriram Parasuram. Art is by Uma Krishnaswami. The book and CD costs Rs. 295.PANKAJA SRINIVASAN