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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
The Mahabharatha: A Child's View
by Samhita Arni
Age Range: 9-11
The Mahabharatha is one of the major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and is the longest known epic poem. It is a compelling chronicle about the Kaurava and Pandava princes, about ambition and destruction and gods and humans.
The Mahabharatha: A Child’s View was originally published in the UK as two separate volumes but it is now available as a single combined edition from Tara Publishing.
Samhita Arni's re-telling - written when she was just twelve years old - is unusual and refreshing, particularly her depiction of the characters. She acknowledges both the good and bad in everyone and manages to convey the message that no one is perfect as well as the critical tone she adopts towards the epic's main theme: war.
Divided into two parts the book also includes an introduction by the author thirteen years after first writing the book; a Foreword to the First Edition by V. Geetha and Gita Wolf; a Preface to the First Edition and a Glossary at the back of the book.
The Mahabharatha is an easy read and is ideal for introducing to a younger audience as well as being a perfect way to approach the epic and some of its more complex themes. Together with the charming childlike line drawings by the author, it offers a fresh and accessible perspective on this timeless myth.