Like most children I was introduced to mythology through my grandparents’ stories. It not only kept me from getting into trouble, but wove magic that fed my imagination and quenched my curiosity.. This love has been further nurtured by the books I’ve read.
Indian myths and I have a different bond, that emerged due to books like ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ and ‘Ramayana for kids’ and such. When I was around 6 years old there was a T.V show about Lord Krishna that was shown every night at 7:30. I remember this well because I loved it so much that I agreed to watch T.V only for the duration of the show, a feat that still surprises me. There was also a brief period when my mom would read out to us from The Mahabharata at bedtime to get us to sleep. She achieved the exact opposite of what she hoped, my sister and I were more awake than ever asking her dozens of questions by the minute, which she would be unable to answer. The reason being that she would be en route to the Land of Nod.
But my true love for mythology blossomed when my grandfather bought me a book of Greek mythological stories. This collection of stories unlocked a door to a realm so captivating that there was no turning back.I loved reading about Arachne angering Goddess Athena and becoming the first spider, I felt bad for Persephone who got stuck in the underworld, I rejoiced when Perseus saved Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus. The story of how Zeus and his siblings came to be left me perplexed, since except for Zeus the rest five were eaten as infants by their father who was the Titan Kronos. Later Zeus comes to save them and his siblings are regurgitated as fully grown individuals. Hercules’ adventures never enthralled me as much as the other stories.
We have a book called ‘The Visual Dictionary’ whose pages I’ve pored over for hours. I gazed at various constellations, explored the Earth with the dinosaurs, and met the Egyptian Gods in their printed avatars and reunited with the Greek Gods. This book holds a special place in my heart and I still go through parts of it.
As I grew older Rick Riordan and his books took me a long way. The Percy Jackson series, Kane Chronicles and the Heroes of Olympus series were funny and at the same time informative. I started to read more on Egyptian and Roman mythology. Around the same time, I became interested in Manga, and Naruto lead me to research and learn a little about Japanese legends. My recent fascination with Korean culture acquainted me with some of their folklore too. Now if only school taught anything comparatively interesting, my life would be a lot more fun. I don’t know why mythology interested me to such an extent, but I’m glad it did. Even after reading fables and mythical stories of different cultures, my favourites remain Indian and Greek myths.