Last year, I didn’t realise until I was well into writing that I would be working on two books at the same time, each from a text that could not be more unlike the other. The Ramayana (which is the basis of my book Maryada), offers us the hope that we can be good, while the Mahabharata (which I have just retold for young adults) cautions us that being good might actually be beyond the reach of humans all together.

To make matters even more confusing for me, the books have been published within weeks of each other because of the pandemic that has kept us all captive, searching for that pinhole of light which will allow the plans we had made to blossom as they should have, even as flowers do, however late or mild the Spring.

I was doing the final edits on the Mahabharata for Children as the lockdown set in at the end of March. Who knew then that it would last months, that we would be separated from our homes, our families, our friends, our places of work? Who knew that we would live through an uncountenanced disruption, the likes of which our longest living memory has never seen in terms...

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