Often we try to find science in mythology to satisfy our internal battles and keep juggling between the two. But mythology itself has something peculiar which at times draws ardent disbelievers through its gripping stories strikingly weaved some hundreds and thousands of years ago, in the contexts as fresh as dew even today.
Simple writing is the toughest and I admire Sudha Murthy as an author who has been able to carry this craft with sheer grace. The Upside Down King is a book of stories related to the two most renowned and revered mythological characters – Rama and Krishna, both considered to be the reincarnated avatars of Lord Vishnu. Born these characters were not just born in two different eras but were also quite different than each other as well. Sudha Murthy exquisitely writes down these stories highlighting their dissimilarities, their associations with their families, friends, society, kingdoms, and world at large. The book will surely carry you to the times when Gods and Demons visited humans on the earth quite often when animals talked and curses and boons had an immediate effect.
The book will also make known to you to a wide range of mythological characters, sages, time travel, and the lineages of Rama and Krishna in the form of fascinating stories. My favorite ones being – The Power of a Name, where Narada tricks Sage Vishwamitra and Anjana leading to a futile battle between Rama and Hanuman; Krishna’s Consorts which tells us of Krishna’s wives Rukmani, Jambuvati, Satyabhama and many more and their relations with each other; Three and a half diamonds again describing mischief played by Narada Muni leaving Duryodhana, Bhima and Balarama transfixed and Rukmani and Satyabhama who were tired of Narada’s usual stories entertained. The stories related to The End of Rama and The End of Krishna are touching but comes with a strong message which I leave for you to discover after reading the book.
This book is apt for children’s bedtime stories but adults shall enjoy it likewise. If you pick this book to read, you won’t be able to stop until you finish reading its last page, that’s the beauty of this author.
Review by: Nazneen Kachwala