Showing posts from July, 2018

ACK Valmiki's Ramayana - in 6 volumes

Amar Chitra Katha has brought out a 6 volume boxed set of the Ramayana. They are packaged in a not-so-sturdy blue box with gold text and a bow and arrow. Each of the volumes covers one Kanda (book), with the 6th one including Uttara Kanda along with the Yuddha Kanda. The individual books are hard-bound, with glossy printed pages. If you have grown up with ACK, as I have, you won't find the art familiar. It's more "modern", if that's the right word. Each book is by a different artist, with some by the same ones, and that too shows, but not so much as to break the flow. In my opinion, Book 1's art is the weakest in the collection, as far as detail is concerned. The script for all volumes is by Harini Gopalswami Srinivasan . There are a couple of sections in each book where an attempt is made to explain concepts and add background detail to socio-political and mythological aspects encountered in the nearby pages. These are nice addi

Growing Up With Anandamela

Anandamela is a well-known, and well-loved, Bengali children's magazine. It used to publish some of the best children's writing in Bengali during the late 70's, 80s and the 90s. Today, the quality has somewhat declined, especially after they split the original magazine into two - one catering to "children" and the other to "young adults". I don't know how much this exercise has been successful. It did not succeed with Target, another pioneering children's magazine, which tried the same experiment by becoming more "teen-focused" and ended up killing the whole thing. But I digress. Anandamela - translated literally - means "fair of joy". My introduction to Anandamela was the Puja annual issue of 1989. The Puja issue is much fatter than the regular magazine, and it's published during Durga Puja/Dussehra. For the 10 year old me, it was like a gateway to another world. My reading material at that time consisted mostly of m