Friday, September 14, 2012

EBooks on Mobile Phones?

Parents, imagine the following plausible scenario:
It is vacation time. Maybe this is a long-haul flight or a long road trip. In the madness that is last-minute packing the story books for kids are forgotten. Horror of horrors, the tablet device is forgotten too! Kids have no recourse to "infotainment".
This does not happen at vacation time alone, there are other "real" scenarios that are very common:
Parents spend a ton of money and buy paper books, especially picture books for small children. The small children then proceed to mistake the book for a chew toy, rendering it pretty much useless for any future instructional or entertainment value.
The solution:
Now, imagine if parents could buy books just one time and have it delivered to any digital device - tablets and smart phones, regardless of the operating system powering it, the display size or the display type. Mercifully, such a solution exists!
Umachi Books has partnered with Mobile Veda to revolutionize the way kids read books.
Mobile Veda's flagship mobile content publishing platform, Fublish – Futuristic publishing - enables books, magazines, journal publishers to publish on digital formats suitable for Apple iPAD, Android Tablet, Amazon Kindle Fire,… and setup digital store fronts to extend global readership, almost instantly!
Umachi Books run on Fublish and can be accessed on all devices, rendering the above nightmare scenarios obsolete. Umachi picture and adventure books on Fublish have in-built DRM, razor-sharp text and images and integrated social media rating/comments. The Apple iPad/iPhone, all Android tablets/smart phones and the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet are supported.
This is how it works:
1. Download Fublish from the mobileveda site - or from the iTunes store
2. This installs Fublish on the handheld device
3. Look for the category “Umachi Books”
4. Purchase the books online
5. Turn it over to kids to enjoy!
Sripriya(Priya) Sundararaman, founder and CEO of Umachi Books says: "Umachi Books is creating a partner ecosystem of the best in the business to bring a superlative reading experience to our young and impressionable readers. We're very happy that Umachi Books and Mobile Veda are changing the way kids will read books. Given the number of trees we're saving, I'm sure Mother Nature is happy too."
This is good for the environment and a fabulous reading experience for impressionable kids – who could ask for more!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Umachi launches Picture eBooks for kids on Infibeam

Parents looking for attractive picture eBooks based on Indian mythology or a gripping adventure book for their elementary school kid will find Umachi Books refreshing. (Image from the facebook fan page below)

The Umachi picture book stories are about 24 pages which will just about hold a kid's attention. Currently there are 15 titles with stories that would make a good bed-time reading for parents with children.
The eBooks are available as PDF on Infibeam's website. Infibeam is the largest online book retailer in India. You may purchase the Kindle or iPad versions from Amazon or the iTunes store. Infibeam will carry the paperback versions as well in the near future.
Umachi Books is a brand of contemporary picture and chapter books for kids. The picture books focus on interesting stories from Indian mythology, supplemented by eye-catching images. These are meant to be for children between the ages of 3 and 7.
Got Umachi? Get your Umachi book today at Infibeam!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Children's adventure book with a twist

Umachi releases its first adventure/mystery fiction book, "Super SAVERs to the Rescue", for kids between the ages 7-12. Here is the link

This is a story of five kids from a multicultural background, who call themselves the Super SAVERs. The kids receive a mysterious email followed by clues which lead them to India. The events of the story build up suspense and finally the kids manage to save the Bengal Tiger from getting extinct.

The story is unique because apart from being entertaining, it makes kids aware of the current affairs in the world. This first book talks about endangered species and the Bengal Tiger. The book also talks about interesting things like Chess, Scrabble etc. Kids are exposed to the culture of different parts of the world. The first book talks about India. The other books in the series will be based on different countries.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where there is a will, there is a way

The book talks about the story of Dhruva. Even though Dhruva was only five years old, he was determined to find God. He had no idea about meditation or penance. But he was fearless and set out anyway. Narada, the celestial sage taught him how to meditate and sent him to Madhuvana. In the end, Dhruva attained the blessing of Lord Vishnu.

Where there is a will, there is a way and God shows us that way. So true, isnt it?

Kindness to nature

This story talks about the importance to be kinds to all beings and nature in general. If you think about it, human beings are the only ones who exploit nature for their own selfish reasons. In spite of that, nature keeps providing for us altruistically through the trees, water, air and other amenities.

We have to start caring for mother Earth and all the living beings before it becomes too late.

Fall and Rise of a King

Vishwamitra was initially a king who finally became a Brahmarishi like Sage Vasishta by his sheer willpower. The story has a few points that we may be able to apply in our lives.

1. Irrespective of all the odds that we face, determination (along with God's grace of course) is the only thing that that will make us successful

2. When we read the stories of historical or mythological characters, it is important to focus on the takeaway message. For example- You could look at Vishwamitra's story and think this person does not seem to be able to control his senses time and again. But then again, the right way of looking at it would be, no matter how many times he failed, he rose back up each time. The resilience of Vishwamitra is the key takeaway from this story.

Beware of the company you keep

In Ramayana, Kaikeyi was known to be very affectionate with Rama initially. Manthara's evil council changed Kaikeyi's mind. Had it not been for Manthara, Kaikeyi would not have planned Rama's exile and Bharata's coronation. That is why this Umachi book from the Rama Series (Book 4) has been named "An Evil Plot". Manthara was responsible for sowing the evil thought in Kaikeyi's mind.

In Bhaja Govindam (a composition of Adi Shankara) There is a paragraph which mentions the following -

Sat Sangatve nissangatvam, Nissangatve nirmohatvam ....

It essentially means, Satsang or good company is the first step towards one's liberation.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Significance of Gajendra's story

The Story of Gajendra (The king who was transformed into an elephant) has a deeper significance. In this story, Gajendra enters a lake and plays with his friends when he is trapped by a crocodile. He tries to free himself but is unsuccessful. None of his friends are able to help him. The elephant surrendered to God.  God alone was able to rescue him.

The significance in real life is - all of us (humans) are like Gajendra. The lake that he entered is like this world, where we live with other people (friends, family etc.). The grip of the crocodile symbolizes the calamities and troubles that we face.

The takeaway from this story is that - while we live in this world with our family, friends and society, when we face problems, the only one who can rescue us is God.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


In the story of Mahabali, Even though Mahabali was a good person, he had forgotten humility when he became powerful. He underestimated the power of the little man who visited him, who was none other than Vishnu himself. We never know in what form God may appear before us and hence we should never forget to be humble.

With power comes responsibility

In Ramayana, we also see the sixth avatar of Vishnu, who was Parasurama. Vishnu took the Avatar as Parasurama to control the dominance of Kshatriyas. Parasurama even though born as a Brahmin, had great power by god's grace. After he taught a lesson to the Kings and the Kshatriya race, he did not stop. He continued destroying them. He forgot his true responsibility. Only after Rama defeated him in a combat, Parasurama realized his folly.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

In the presence of God

Swami Vivekananda was a great Hindu saint and philosopher. When he was very young, he had several problems at home. He went to a saint called Ramakrishna. He told him about his problems. Ramakrishna advised Vivekananda to go to the nearby Kali (hindu goddess) temple and pray to her for help.

Vivekananda followed Ramakrishna's advice. When he reached the temple and saw the idol of goddess Kali, he forgot his troubles and just stood there as though mesmerized. He tried to go back to the temple several times, and each time he was unable to ask goddess Kali for help. He was just blissful to be in her presence.

The same thing happened when Sudama went to meet Krishna.

Everything happens for a good reason

Sage Vishwamitra requests Dasharatha to send his young sons' Rama and Lakshmana with him to help him slay the monsters in his Ashram.

This sounds like a dangerous expedition. It shocks Dasharatha and makes him worried. He does not see how this can be good for his sons' until Vasishta explains to him.

Similarly in a lot of instances we do not see the big picture and get worried about the immediate circumstances. We realize only until much later that whatever happened was for a good reason.

Shiva's boons

In many mythological stories Shiva is known to give boons to a lot of Asuras. Why is that so?

Shiva is known to be a compassionate lord in Hinduism. He grants wishes despite of knowing that people will misuse them. This is because he knows that in the end people will realize their mistake and change their ways.

Realizing our fault ourselves has a greater impact than being corrected by someone else. This is what happens to Kubera in this book.


The story - "Pillar" is all about faith. Sometimes faith in a God is more powerful than God himself. In Ramayana, Hanuman had faith in Rama and crossed the ocean effortlessly. Whereas Rama himself needed the bridge to cross the same ocean.