A retelling of the story of Krishna, drawing from the puranas, folk tales and legends. Krishna means the dark one; it also means the one who attracts us to him. Divine, at the same time endearingly human, Krishna is at once the beloved child, the stealer of hearts, the loyal friend, the astute stalesman, the king, the valiant hero. This retelling in by Shanta Rameshwar Rao is simple enough to be understood by young readers, and evocative and thought provoking enough for adults.
The author tells the story in such a way that we are both moved and charmed. There is a sense of the Divine here, at the same time, the retelling makes it very relevant to contemporary life. The book includes 16 paintings by the celebrated artist Bulbul Sharma. The line drawings are derived from the Sanjhi motifs of Vraj.
Shanta Rameshwar Rao (1924–2015) wrote and told stories for most of her life. For her, story-telling was as natural as breathing; she believed that stories emerged from deep within and that in the telling and writing, they changed both teller and listener. She wrote for children and adults, and indeed her works have been enjoyed by people of all ages. She is best known for her retelling of Indian myths and legends. Her wide repertoire includes books like Tales of Ancient India (translated into several languages), The Bulbul’s Ruby Nose-ring, Seethu, Bekanna and the Musical Mice, Chathu—The Elephant Boy (co-authored with Karoor Nilakanta Pillai), In Worship of Shiva, and her retelling of the Mahabharata (now used as essential course material in story-telling courses in universities in the UK). Her novel, Children of God, was published to critical acclaim. She was invited by the Sahitya Akademi to write on the life and teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti.
A dedicated and inspired educationist, Shanta Rameshwar Rao founded the Vidyaranya School in Hyderabad in 1961, a space where, as she believed, children could learn with joy, creativity and in a spirit of questioning.