Hindu Epics and Near Eastern Fables

Rama Epic

(See the Oct 2016 – Jan 2017 exhibit  “The Rama Epic : Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe” at the Asian Art Museum.)

Mahabharata Epic

(See Fairest : The Return of the Maharajah in the Fables series for the character Nalayani.)

This Hindu epic has multiple versions and interpretations.

Draupadi is a main female character in Mahabharata.  She was born to Drupada, King of Panchala; in a previous incarnation she was Nalayani, daughter of Nala and Damayanti.  This past life leads to her marriage to the five Pandava brothers.

Rudyard Kipling

(See Fairest : The Return of the Maharajah in the Fables series for the characters Mowgli, Tabaqu, Nathoo, and Buldeo.  Mowgli and Bagheera (and Shere Khan) make several appearances in the Fables series.)

Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book

Mowgli, ‘feral child’, Naked Frog, is a human child raised by a wolf pack in the jungle.

Bagheera, a black panther, is Mowgli’s mentor.

Tabaqui, a golden jackal, ‘Dish-Licking Dog’, is a spy and messenger for Shere Khan.

Shere Khan, a Royal Bengal Tiger, is Mowgli’s archenemy.

Nathoo was the son of the richest man in the local village; he was snatched by a tiger.

Buldeo is the chief hunter of the local village; he’s not a Mowgli fan.

Dholes are a native Asian canid; also known as a mountain wolf.

Kaa, an Indian rock python, is a mentor to Mowgli.

Baloo, a bear, is the strict teacher of the wolf pack cubs, including Mowgli.

King Louie, an orangutan in the Disney adaptation, is the ruler of the Bandar-log, monkeys who kidnap Mowgli.  (In Kipling’s works, the Bandar-log have no leader.)

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