Mythology For The Millennial: On the elaborate adventures of Indian Cupid Kamadeva, and his enterprising wife, Rati
Since we are so conveniently placed between Valentine's Day and Holi, it would be a good time to talk about Kamadeva, the Indian Cupid, god of love and desire, or his enterprising wife, the goddess Rati, who also rules over sex and sexy feelings, but like many happy marriages, her story is entangled deeply with his.
Mythology for the Millennial: On the origins of Kali Yuga and the vindictive gandharva who led us into a dark age
Some of the trademarks of the Kali Yuga are that rulers will become a danger to the world, humans will be angry with each other and that there will be climate change. Kali, the cause of this age of darkness, pops up every now and then and causes trouble by possessing someone or the other. He's the colour of soot and has a long tongue
Mythology for the Millennial: From feisty goddess to earthly river, navigating the rich lore of Ganga
Ganga came into our universe thanks to that little meddler, Vamana, who we last saw torturing Mahabali and making him give up his entire kingdom and die because the gods couldn't handle his success. While the Vamana was counting his steps across the sky, his toenail poked the edge of the world and a hole appeared in the universe, causing a divine ocean to flow out and become Ganga as soon as it reached our atmosphere. The river, not yet a person, stays in heaven until an enterprising guy called Bhagirath asks for it — now her — to come down to earth and wash away people's sins and what not.
Mythology for the Millennial: On the absurdity around karwa chauth, and blaming women for every wrong
Karwa chauth is sanctioned romance, a way for a woman to be the centre of attention in a way that she is not on every other day of her life.
Mythology for the Millennial: On Mahabali's fate, and the politics at play behind the story on the origins of Onam
The gods in Indian mythology frequently show up as more human than human. In the case of King Mahabali, son of Virochana, grandson of Prahlad, yes, that Prahlad, the same one who invented Holi basically, he was, unfortch, also an asura.
On Shakuntala, the heroine of perhaps one of the best-known love stories in Hindu mythology.
Mythology for the Millennial: How Lakshmi, a fierce, Beyonce-esque creature, was transformed into a 'good wife and mother'
Lakshmi was the first Indian woman to be exploited by men — in one of her creation stories, she emerges from the creator god, Prajapati, only to dazzle all the other gods by her beauty and power, who immediately want to murder her and appropriate all her gifts.
Mythology for the Millennial: From Gujarat's folktales, a strange fable topped with backwards feminism
As someone who likes to look up old folktales, I can tell you all stories are the same, whether they're from Greece or Britain or France or India | Read Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan's new #MythologyForTheMillennial column
Mythology for the Millennial: On Devyani, a sage's daughter, and Kacha, an undying man who would not commit
This is the story of one emotional f*ckwit, all the way back in ancient India, when the world was divided into devas, the gods, and the asuras, the demons.
Mythology for the Millennial: The magical power of an old woman's story, and a baby girl who heard it
In this edition of Mythology for the Millennial, a look at a Telugu folktale about an old woman telling stories in praise of the sun god — and the consequences of not listening to her. Ramanujan's English version is called A Story In Search of an Audience but really, it could also be called You Too Could Be An Influencer, Just Follow This Easy Step.
Mythology for the Millennial: Narada may be a trickster, but he deserved better than a life of illusions
While the Norsemen have Loki as their trickster, Hindu mythology has its very own Narada, not a god, but a sage hobnobbing with the who's who of the divine world.
Mythology for the Millennial: On Aravan, Arjun and Ulupi's son, who is celebrated by the transgender community in India
Aravan, a young man born of a clever mother and an absent father, who decided to give up everything, just because he wanted to help his family.
Mythology for the Millennial: Why Kaikeyi, the Cersei Lannister of Ramayana, is the epic's most interesting character
Kaikeyi is a flawed woman, the most human of all the characters you encounter in the Ramayana.
Mythology for the Millennial: From vetalas to chudails, terrifying supernatural creatures abound in Indian lore
I love a good scary story — and I think this is universal, because mythology is full of random supernatural beings who are legit terrifying. I took a closer look at some of the more spooky ones, because apparently, I'm a sucker for punishment and now I might never sleep again. Here's my list of the most horrific creatures in Hinduism:
Mythology for the Millennial: This Holi, it's time to re-examine the story of the seemingly villainous Holika
The myths around Holi have a lot more to do with hubris than with evil women, and yet the festival is named after a wicked aunt whose only crime was to help her brother get what he wanted.
Mythology for the Millennial: The image of 'angry Hanuman' does a disservice to his vast and varied mythology
You can't divorce Hanuman's simian nature from his godliness. In fact, the very thing that makes him such a perfect ally to Ram in the Ramayana is his monkeyness; his long tail, his ability to leap great distances.
Mythology for the Millennial: The rise and fall of Sarama, dog of the gods, or why you should feed your neighbourhood stray
Sarama rose to fame when a gang of robbers called the Panis, stole Indra's cow herd, and she helped him get them back.
Mythology for the Millennial: Anasuya's story deserves to be told, not forgotten in the margins of myths
Anasuya is one of the Chaste Women of Hindu mythology — so pious, she became kind of magical in her own right.
It's really all because of Shurpanakha that the Ramayana even became an interesting story, if you think about it
Mythology for the Millennial: Soma, the moon god, and why you should raise a glass to him next time you're drinking
Soma was Hinduism's Bacchus, our Amy Winehouse: they tried to make him go to rehab, he said no, no, no and eventually was shunted out of his duties as the god of all intoxicants, to become the god of the moon instead — a gig no one else wanted.