For readers who enjoy reading on-screen, a new Juggernaut release, Jambavan, King of the Bears brings forth an interesting tale.
By the time most Indian children reach their tweens and teens, they are aware of the epic stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Even if they have not read the numerous translations and interpretations of these texts, there are cartoons and TV shows based on the same. They would be aware of basic stories from these ancient texts.
However, Jambavan, King of the Bears takes a dip into the realm of Indian folklore and mythology, and tells many tales on the side line. The story of Jambavan begins with the popular scene in the court of King Bali, when Vamana, that is, Vishnu disguised as a poor Brahmin requests for land from the king. He asks for a mere stretch of land that his three footsteps will cover. The king obliges. Little does the king know that the three steps would cover three worlds and Vishnu would claim everything! Right here in the court is the just, fair and very intelligent bear Jambavan.
The story follows Jambavan from here to the forest where he has a role to play in the larger scheme of things. He interacts with Hanuman, opening his eyes to his immense powers. But, a greater turn of events is to come. When he spots a lion carrying a jewel in its mouth, he senses something amiss. He takes the jewel away from the lion and gives it to his children to play with. Who comes to claim the jewel? What implications would this have for humanity? What lessons does this hold for humanity?
The author Arshia Sattar has a PhD in classical Indian literature from the University of Chicago. In this short rendition she charms the reader once again with an interesting tale elicited from the sidelines of the great Indian mythical works.
These two tales show a side of Indian mythology that has been eclipsed so far by larger and popular narratives. Quite short and simple to read on the Juggernaut website or App, these two stories are a quick-read for children between 7-14 years.
Read the story on https://www.juggernaut.in
Title: Jambavan, King of the Bears
Author: Arshia Sattar
Genre: Fiction/ Short Stories
Age group: 7 – 14 years