King Kubera was the greediest man in the world. Hated and feared by many, he schemed to win the love of the beautiful goddess Parvati... but learned an important lesson when he invited her elephant-headed son Ganesha to lunch one day... THUS GOES ONE OF THE MANY DELIGHTFUL TALES in this decidedly grown-up book of traditional Indian stories, retold for the modern reader. Author Kamla K. Kapur’s connection to these ago-old stories is the reverent yet individualistic kind we might expect from someone whose introduction is of her hometown, where naked, dreadlocked holy men speed about on motorbikes. To collect these stories, Kapur relied on ancient sacred texts, modern scholarship and chance encounters with interesting people who just happened to know a really good one about the time that Vishnu sank into the ocean, was incarnated as a pig, and had a really wonderful time. Like myths around the world, these are teaching stories that offer both a window into a fascinating culture that has existed for thousands of years, and a code for living that can be applied to the modern world. Whether you read these engaging tales for the monkey gods, talking toads and beautiful maidens in distress... or for an Eastern viewpoint on the eternal questions surrounding love, friendship, faith, happiness and war, this is a book that bears repeated reading and is a fine addition to any collection.