Monday, September 25, 2006

Hanuman's Adventures in the Netherworld

"A 600 year old classic retold ..."

"The master magician, Mayil Ravana, hascast a stupendous spell! He’s kidnappedRama and Lakshmana. Now, no one canever find their way to the Lotus Kingdomto rescue the princes.But, wait! There goes Hanuman, the sonof the swishing wind and a trusted friendof the princes, gliding across the bluestsky in search of the nether world. Hedares through crashing waves, fire-sparksand mirror-demons to blow out theslithering flames under the sea. Slip into your invisible diving suits for a splashing,big adventure!"

The New Indian Express
(School Magazine, September 13, 2006)

The book is about Hanuman and his various adventures while rescuing Rama and Lakshmana from the clutches of evil magician, Mayil Ravana. This is a 600-year old story, an offshoot of the epic Ramayana, retold by Madhavi S Mahadevan.

When Ravana sees that he's going to lose the war against Rama and his vanara army, he summons his younger brother, Mayil Ravana, king of Pataala Lanka, and asks for his help. Ravana orders Mayil, who is a master magician, to get rid of Rama and Lakshmana. When the news of the evil magician's plan reaches Rama's camp, Hanuman (the son of Vayu, Lord of the Winds), is given the task of protecting the princes.

Hanuman builds a fortress with his tail. This fortress can only be entered through Hanuman's mouth. The evil magician disguises himself as Dasharatha (Rama's father) and Bharata (Rama's brother). When his plans fail, he disguises himself as Vibhishana and Hanuman allows him to enter. Hanuman realises his mistakes when the real Vibhishana returns, but by then, it is too late. The princes are kidnapped.

To correct his mistake, Hanuman goes into the nether world to rescue Rama and Lakshmana, braving crashing waves, firesparks and mirror demons.

Hanuman encounters many hurdles in his journey. During the course of his journey, Hanuman meets his son Macchavallavan. Being a true warrior, Macchavallavan does not let him inside Pataala Lanka. So, Hanuman has to render him unconscious. He encounters millions of rakshasas but he kills them all.

Inside the fortress, he meets Turatanti, Mayil Ravana's siter, who helps him kill the evil magician.

The writings are simple and interesting enough to hold the interest of readers. Illustrations by Srivi are beautiful and modernistic. The drawings of Hanuman resemble that of a child, probably in order to hold the interest of young readers. The expressive illustrations are the plus point of the book.

- Dilip Kumar Shaw

The author

Madhavai S Mahadevan

The illustrator


Publishers: Katha
Also available in Hindi.
40 pages, size 11 x 8.5
Age group: 5-9 years
ISBN 81-89020-30-7 [HB]
81-89020-29-3 [PB]
81-89020-36-3 [Hindi]
Price: Rs 175 [HB]
Rs 100 [PB]
Rs 95 [Hindi]
Hindi: Rs 150 [HB]
Rs 95 [PB]


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