An Interesting Look at India’s Historyby Opinion Express October 18, 2018 0 comments
Writers Archana Garodia Gupta and Shruti Garodia retold India’s long and illustrious history in a way children would love.
Reading Indian history is often a precarious proposition and more often than not, it has been beaten into bland and boring submission, with hardly any flavour to it and only endless pages of dates and dynasties. In an attempt to change this perception of the subject and bring about a refreshing change to its study, the two BBC Mastermind quiz champions—Archana Garodia Gupta and Shruti Garodia, have launched a two-volume set of books—‘The History of India for Children’ (Vol 1 and Vol 2), which takes the readers, both young and old, on an enlightening and entertaining journey through India’s past.
The books are sweeping in their scope, arching from as far back as the continental drift, before humans had evolved, down to the present day. The authors do not limit themselves to endless wars and politics. Each chapter delves into the economy, society and culture of the age, and also how the people lived, what they wore and ate. They are andid and chatty, peppering each chapter with unusual facts. Their deprecating humour brings India’s rulers and leaders to life with little anecdotes about their quirks like Gandhi’s witty one-liners, Akbar’s insane energy and Shivaji’s sheer audacity. However, it is important to note that one is not mislead by the title which says ‘for children’ as it packs a solid punch for adults as well. Each page yields at least one fascinating fact.
For instance, who knew that there were banks that gave loans in the 500 BC including to an Indian lady in Iraq, who then opened the world’s first Indian restaurant abroad? It is fascinating to realise that the staple dishes like chivra and moori have been around since the Vedic times, while the beloved chili pepper only came with the Portuguese, and a national favourite like paneer makhani is less than a century old. Throughout the books, there is a marked focus on the deep connection between India and the outside world since antiquity, covering facts like how Indian trade is mentioned in the Bible and that since so much Roman gold flowed into India for its fine cotton textiles that the emperors of Rome tried to ban trade with India.
These books give the students, parents and the teachers a chance to really start enjoying the Indian history and are a valuable addition to their bookshelves.
Authors: Archana Garodia Gupta and Shruti Garodia
Cost:Rs 399 each
Age: 10 to 100 years
Courtesy: The Pioneer