To be able to read complex tomes, absorb their essence, and render it in an accessible manner that is appealing and relevant to an audience that is encountering the ideas for the first time is practically an impossible task that Roopa Pai achieves with a spontaneity that I can only attribute to sadhana in previous lives, not just this one.
I am amazed by the insight that her writing of the Vedas and Upanishads reveals. For example, take the introductory preface, Before We Begin. In her astute categorisation of which kind of reader you may be - the agree-r, the disagree-r, or the one sitting on the fence, and the response of the sages to each (which is equal parts welcoming, thought-provoking and stimulating), she has defined the completely open, non-judgmental, non-didactic nature of dialogue in the Upanishads.
This sets a general background to these texts that can otherwise be utterly misinterpreted in different political contexts. The openness and universal appeal of these texts emerges powerfully in Roopa's telling, and is a great service she has rendered to all of us, adults and children in the present, and to future generations. A service to our heritage and to humanity that involves 'roadmaps' and keys to living joyfully and in harmony.