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Lord Ganesha's Feast of Laughter

These illustrated tales of Lord Ganesha are told with sparkling wit, like the God himself, says Benita Sen.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 16:27 IST
Benita Sen

Lord Ganesha's Feast of Laughter
by Meera Uberoi
Paperback
Puffin
Price: Rs 160
ISBN: 0143335243

There’s certainly something different, something special about Ganesh. His elephant head, the cute pot belly, the rat by his feet, there’s so much about Ganesh that gets you thinking!

Every Durga Puja, we would wake up to the sounds of his wife, Kola Bou, or the banana plant, being taken for a bath, before being stood next to him, with a red-bordered white saree draped over her. And for years, we would wonder why he had a banana plant for a spouse!

And so, you sit down happily with Meera Uberoi’s Ganesha’s Feast of Laughter, illustrated by Agantuk. Whether it be a child reading the stories for the first time or someone who has read and heard from grandmother several versions of Ganesh’s stories, this makes an interesting read. Of course, the story about how he got his elephant head is important, but I loved the ones about how he got his pot belly and how he got the rat for a mount. In fact, I’m glad there are two stories, distinctly differing versions, of the rat becoming Ganesh’s mount. Rather than confuse the child, these two stories of the rat would probably excite the imagination of the young reader further. Then, there are stories like The Clever Girl, and How the Tabla Was Created, that I haven’t come across before.

The language is easy, in most parts, and would be familiar to today’s children. And that’s just why you don’t expect a stray sentence like, "….and both spied the laddoos at the same time." 'Spied'? Wouldn’t 'spotted' have been more with it? Or even, 'saw'?

Meera Uberoi seems to have enjoyed ferreting out this unusual collection. I guess, she’ll pass the joy on to her young readers, of the age group 8+, as the book recommends.

First Published: Mar 02, 2006 16:23 IST