Via The Hindu
Akbar and Birbal bantering, the battle of Kurukshetra, the witty Tenali Rama, the Jataka tales — these are stories most Indian children over the ages have grown up hearing and reading. “As a child during vacation time my cousins and I would sit at our grandmother’s feet while she would tell us stories from the Ramayana and the tales of Vikram and Betal,” says architect Shilpa Kumar. “The great thing was the stories were entertaining while also being educational.”However today it is a steady diet of comics, video games and television shows that sustain most children in India, including Shilpa’s two sons.But that doesn’t mean these stories are not around.They are being repackaged and brought to the attention of children through mediums they are more familiar with. “Cartoon shows based on the life of Krishna and Hanuman among others are introducing the characters to a whole new generation.” says Shilpa. In one such cartoon set in the present, Krishna is shown as a youngster attending school with Kanishk as the nasty principal of the school. Shilpa adds “My sons cannot get enough of these shows.”Traditional and mythological tales are also being worked into comic books as well as edgier graphic novels. Amar Chitra Katha was one of the first to bring out these stories in comic form, making it accessible and interesting to youngsters.Ramayana 3392 A.D. is a graphic novel brought out by Liquid Comics. “Ramayana 3392 A.D. is slick and full of fancy art work,” says engineering student Vinod R. “it is such an interesting take on the classic by basing it in the future and adding the concept of technology to the story line.” The same company has also come out with graphic novels on Buddha, Ganesha and even the Panchatantra. Another player on the market is Campfire which has come up with graphic novels on Sita as well as the story of Eklavya and Dronacharya.
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