Hanuman Chalisa is a popular devotional hymn dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It was said to have been written by the poet Tulsidas, when he was imprisoned ages ago. Even today, Lord Hanuman is worshipped by young and old alike. Many people read the Hanuman Chalisa regularly, or listen to the varied musical renditions that add a beautiful melodious tinge to the poem.
My First Hanuman Chalisa by Chitwan Mittal and Sarita Saraf, with gorgeous illustrations by Aparajitha Vasudev is an exceptional offering by Independent children’s book publisher AdiDev Press. It is a translation that kids (and adults!) can read, understand and enjoy.
This illustrated translation however delivers much more than a simple translation. Each page in this book includes the original text of the poem in Awadhi as well as English transliteration. The translation is in simple English with word meanings, with arrows neatly linking the words. The text is constructed for readability, at grade 1-2 level, and hence this is a book that is accessible to all. In keeping with new technology, it also comes with a QR code on the back cover which enables parents and kids to access verses and word meanings being read aloud. While you read the book, don’t miss the interesting trivia that also enhances the reading experience.
The rich and vivid illustrations do justice to the magnanimity of the hymn. They are captivating and in conjunction with the layered and meaningful writing, the book becomes a very engaging experience for both parents and children alike.
AdiDev Press may be just a couple of years old, but the quality of the content, exceptional storytelling and illustrations, and the brilliant book production talks volumes about the imprint that it leaves.
When I read My First Hanuman Chalisa for the first time, I also put on an audio version that I normally listen to, and read the book in conjunction with the same. The experience was surreal and I think this will become something I do often! But more than anything else, the magic of Hanuman Chalisa, and the sincerity and skill with which it is presented in this books, makes one feel invincible, strong and protected!