Friday, January 4, 2019

My Storybook Favorites

Because I am in the Indian Epics class this semester, I'm focusing on the Indian Epics Storybooks. I clicked on the randomizer to find some favorites from past semesters! Here are the three I picked:

Horses Divine: I really like the way a focus on horses in this project allows for a combination of both Buddhist and Hindu stories. Hayagriva is in here, the horse-headed incarnation of Vishnu, plus a really cool retelling of the Buddhist jataka about the shipwrecked sailors and the man-eating rakshasis. I'm pretty sure I want to do a Hanuman project this semester, but it would also be so much fun to do an animal-centered project that could include both Hindu and Buddhist stories, like maybe one about turtles, which could include Vishnu's turtle-avatar, Kurma.

(screenshot of Horses Divide)

To Love and Lose: Hidimbi's Story. This was one of my favorite projects last semester. I'm a fan of the traditional fairy-tale-like version of Bhima and Hidimbi's romance, but this project showed me a totally different way of imagining their relationship, with Bhima as a heartless villain and Hidimbi as a woman (rakshasi) scorned. She ends up in a role something like Thataka, fighting together with her sons against their human enemy, Bhima this time, not Rama.

(screenshot of Hidimbi's Story)

Post Secret Sanskrit: The Panchakanya. This is an old project, and I'm afraid all those "classic" Google Sites are going to go offline later this year or in early 2020... I will miss them! The real Post Secret at is an amazing storytelling project (, and this project has Post-Secret-style postcards to go with each story. It is a beautiful storytelling style, and perfect for all the drama in the lives of the Panchakanya, the "Five Ladies" of Indian legend.

(screenshot of Post Secret Sanskrit)

For example, check out this intense one for Tara: My husband doesn't know that I had sex with his brother while he was away at war. I thought he was dead.

How intense is that??? It really conveys the total emotional drama of the whole Sugriva-Vali-Tara triangle.

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