I still remember those late afternoons of my summer holidays, when I lay plonked on my favourite arm chair that I “strategically” placed right under the fan for hours of comfort. More often than not, I held a copy of Amar Chitra Katha. That too, that special one with the many-handed Goddess Durga in her “Mahisasurmardini” avatar on the cover. When I opened the book, I stepped into the fantastic world of gods and goddesses, of demigods and demons, of sages and apsaras. One ended and another one was opened. Durga was followed by Shiva, Shiva by Tapati, Tapati by Agatsya, Agatsya by Drona and Drona by Vasantsena. A battle here, a battle there, a demon killed, a princess kidnapped, an apsara cursed, a sage angered – pages after pages of enthralling adventures from the lap of mythology. Powerlessly succumbing to the irresistible beckoning from within these pages, I dreamily read them over and over again through the years.
Each passing moment of those afternoons made way for an everlasting memory sealed with magic to remain fresh forever. What else would I call it but magic when even the Amar Chitra Kathas I had not read have become part of my memories? How I longed to dive into the mysterious world that lay on the other side of the cover pages of Ganga and Shiv Parvati and how it remained elusive (courtesy, the perennially limited collection at the lazy book shops in my area)! How I regretted losing the one with the comical Narad on the cover page after reading it only once (having read it once actually did more harm than good, leaving me pining for more of it)! Today, finding these gems online has been a blessing no less than one by Shiva himself. All I have to do is pull out those lazy afternoons and that arm chair from my memory casket and I’m all set for a journey in time.