Author: Meena Arora Nayak
Publisher; Rupa Publications
Rating: 4/ 5
Indian folklore and mythology comprise a lot of marvelous creatures, who, by their wit and selfless nature, have helped the world (then) run smoothly. Whether it is Jatayu from the Ramayana or Hiraman, the talking parrot from the 12th century, each creature has a story of its own and plays an imperative role.
Adbhut is, quite literally, fascinating owing to the selection of names and the taut narrative that forms the scaffolding for each of the creatures. There are 55 in all. One might have heard about some of them like Hiraman, Chitta Baaz, Phoenix and Kaka Bhasundi. But this is not all. There are creatures of the sea, sky, Earth and the creatures who rule all the elements of life as well. What left me awestruck was the number of magical creatures that the author could manage to research about and find. Who knew Indian mythology was so rich! What didn’t quite work for me was the proofreading that couldn’t pass the muster this time.
Adbhut has stories of trust and faith. Most of the creatures are shown to be inclined towards the worship of the Lord. Hence, they are devotees but in a different form! Many times we come across a name and forget about its origin soon after we finish the book. This book helps in knowing about those untold tales where curses and boons determined the new form of life that would be granted and where creatures could deceive through their looks and prove to be the cog in the machine. The illustrations further aid the imagination and stimulate the interest in knowing more. This book should be read by everyone because, at no point, it is boring.
Best wishes to the author!
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