So, I have been re-living my childhood dream of reading all Amar Chitra Kathas (ACK)…this time along with my 9-year old daughter. Thankfully, she’s developing a liking for the wonderful stories, and hence, I can get a chance to re-read the stories I grew up with.
We have developed our own way of reading the Mythological / Epic stories of ACK – a way which reinforces the core story around which the “stream / family” of stories revolves. Basically, there are four families of stories in our Indian mythology / epics :
There are 35-40 ACKs that fall in the above four families of stories.
“Our” way of reading these 35-40 Amar Chitra Kathas is to read the Core Issue first and then read all the related issues of that particular family one by one, each day after that. So, first we read the issue “Mahabharat”, followed by Tales of Arjuna, Bheeshma, Drona, Karna, Draupadi, Abhimanyu, Gandhari, Ghatotkacha, Jayadratha, Tales of Yudishtra and finally, the Gita. Each of the “feeder” story brings us back to Yudishtra losing everything in “Chausar”, the exile and finally, the big war of Kurukshetra. Each of the stories reinforces the main story, while bringing out more detail to the summarised “Mahabharat” that we started off with.
At the end of this 10-day read-a-thon (30 mins a day), I think we know each story and sub-story and hopefully, should remember the key learnings from this Great Epic for years to come.
Similarly, we started off the next family with reading the issue, “Rama” and followed it up with reading Dashratha, Hanuman, The Lord of Lanka, Vali, Kumbhakarna and finally, the Sons of Rama.
So on for “Krishna”, followed by Krishna & Rukmini, Krishna & Jarasandha, Krishna & Shishupal, Balarama and Sudama.
Our last family was a bit of clubbing of some sub-families, but with a very celestial common strand, comprising stories of the main Hindu Gods and some of Indra, Devas and Asuras. Here too, we started off with 2 core Issues, Dashavtar and Shiva Parvati. Then, we followed that up with reading Churning of the Ocean, Prahlad, Garuda, Sati & Shiva, Ganesha, Tales of Durga, Harishchandra and Indira & Sachi.
A bit of a Virtuous ChakraVyuh strategy…we have got in into the core of the story…hopefully, we remain there now…