Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Success can blind us to our obvious faults


This is the key takeaway of our new book - "The Seventh Avatar".

The Seventh Avatar is story of the birth of Rama. Vishnu had to incarnate as Rama to end Ravana's atrocities.

Ravana was very successful and powerful. He was very talented and learned as well. There was one problem with him, however. His success got to his head disabling him from thinking straight. When he prayed to Brahma for a boon, he requested protection from all life forms except man. He was too conceited to believe that a man could actually harm him. Hence Vishnu took an avatar as a man to vanquish Ravana.

In history, this mistake of underestimating your opponent has been made time and again...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Did Murugan get angry on losing the race?

There are several versions of this story. In some cases Murugan is known to get angry on losing the race. In my opinion, this is a mythological story and mythological stories can be interpreted in different ways to represent different learnings.

In this story, showing Murugan as getting angry would set a wrong example to kids. That is the reason I have shown that it is normal for kids to get upset when they lose. If they spend some time to think calmly, that feeling will pass. In the end, they need to congratulate the winner when the victory is well deserved.

This attitude helps kids enjoy the activity and not worry about the result. Lord Krishna explains in the Gita - we have a right to action but not to the results.

What do you think?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Umachi - Introduction

What is Umachi?
Umachi is a brand for books with stories from Indian history and mythology.

What is Umachi's purpose? 
Our purpose is to create an awareness of the glorious tradition and heritage of the Indian civilization.
Readers gain moral and spiritual wisdom from this treasure trove of stories. This will act as a framework for building effective and confident global citizens of tomorrow.

How does Umachi achieve its goal?
Our stories are presented in contemporary prose with friendly  illustrations. They will have a positive and practical takeaway message. For younger children (3-8), the stories will be around mythological characters and epic heroes. For older kids (9-15), we will focus on biographies of great people from history. In future, we plan to have a series on deeper topics for young adults.

What does Umachi mean?
Umachi (pronounced as um-mah-chee) is a word derived from the combination of Uma (Hindu goddess symbolizing the energy of the universe) and Shiva (Hindu God symbolizing the transformation of life forms everywhere). This is a common moniker used for gods by kids in South Indian (Tamil) households.
How is Umachi different?
Here's why:

  1. The content is heavily researched for accuracy using various traditional and contemporary sources
  2. The content is prudently picked and presented to nurture faith and build character in impressionable minds
  3. The prose style  is contemporary and stretches the vocabulary of kids
  4. E-Books provide ready access to meanings of difficult words and 1-click access to a glossary of Indian terms
  5. The story, characters, glossary and illustration are consistent across all Umachi books
  6. Umachi books are picture/chapter books as research suggests that this format enhances comprehension and  sentence building skills
  7. Every Umachi book has an activity page at the end, putting creative young minds to work
  8. Umachi provides social networking for parents
Where can you find these books?
Currently only the e-books will be available in the following formats:

  • PDF (on Lulu)
  • Kindle content on Amazon (you can play it on all Kindle devices, Kindle for PC, Kindle for Mac and Kindle for iPad)
  • iBooks on Apple iPad - will be available shortly
The print version will be available soon for sale in India only.