Jun 092023
Review: Dakshin-South Indian Myths and Fables Retold
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Book Title: Dakshin: South Indian Myths and Fables Retold

Author: Nitin Kushalappa MP

Illustrator: Pari Satarkar

Publisher: Puffin Books

Type: Paperback

Pages: 240

Age Group: 9 years+ (publisher recommendation is 10-12 years)

Hello! Sharing the review penned by my 11-year-old.

The term Deccan originates from the Sanskrit word Dakshina, meaning “South.” This captivating book, Dakshin, comprises 15 enchanting tales that have been either translated or retold from the myths and fables of the South Indian states, with the exception of one story from Odisha.

The book cover by Pari Satarkar was very inviting that I felt compelled to delve into its contents immediately. I loved the black-and-white sketches on the inside pages too. The stories are a retelling of folklore that originated in the languages Kodava, Tulu, Badaga, etc., which are some languages I only learned about now. Through the stories, I got a glimpse of the culture of Southern India, especially the coastal regions. It was fascinating to see how so much of nature is intertwined in each story.

There are fascinating and unbelievable stories of how a woman turns into a river, how a giant kangaroo can take mighty leaps, a clever mynah who exacted her revenge, how a cat loses a  friend because of his greed and so many more such stories. Also, the names of the people in the stories were so different and unique, like Elluraya, Kunnutaiya, Arbuta, Punyakoti, etc. something that’s not heard of in the city side.

I particularly loved the stories “The Tale of the Mynah Who Never Gave Up” and “The Cat and the Fly’s Delicious Congee” as they reminded me of the story my paatti tells me. The storytelling in the above stories is more like looping one thing with another and it fascinates me like a Tamil folklore ‘kozhu kozhu kandre’ story my paatti narrates.

Overall I loved all the stories for their unique and creative plots. Also, the stories teach you about values like honesty, kindness, fearlessness, etc. in a creative way. The author’s notes after each chapter are informative and useful. To sum up, it’s a wonderful read for both kids and adults.

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Disclaimer: We got this book as part of #kbcReviewerSquad and we feel happy and privileged to be part of it as we are free to have our opinions and give an honest review of the book.

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