Amish the famous author of Shiva Trilogy, now ventures into the second of the Godely trio Brahma- Vishnu- Mahesh with the story of Rama (Ram). This InAmish the famous author of Shiva Trilogy, now ventures into the second of the Godely trio Brahma- Vishnu- Mahesh with the story of Rama (Ram). This Indian mythological genre is clearly less explored in the literary world. My generation has grown up on Ramanand Sagar's version of Ramayana, so to visualise another interpretation of one of the greatest mythological Gods of India - Ram is not an easy task for the author or the reader. But Amish does a decent job scripting his own interpretation of the events that unfolded around 3400 BC with the Suryavanshi Ragul clan of Ikshvaku.
In true Amish style he keeps the cards hidden, leaving the reader confused and speculative of the future events. In evidently the suspense is unnecessary given that everyone knows how the epic ends with Rams victory and Ravans defeat. But it's the underlying plot and scheming behind these events which is part of Amish's imagination and his job as an author which makes you read his books still. Especially for a complete fiction reader it's a treat to get myth and legends presented in my favourite genre of Indian Fiction.
I particularly liked the description and use of Masculine and Feminine ways of life. After all Hinduism is considered more as a way of life than a religion. There is only one God and the others are just representations of the same. To believe only yours is true and the others as non believers is probably the biggest problem with human beings. Sometimes I feel it's better to be an atheist. It's the way of life and it's cyclical ways with no ONE perfect way of living but evolving or balancing the opposites. Where Feminine signifies freedom, passion and beauty. At best it is compassionate, creative and nurturing towards the weak, in decline they tend to be corrupt, irresponsible and decadent. Masculine is defined by truth, duty and honour. At best it is efficient, just and egalitarian, and in decline it is fanatical, rigid and harsh towards weak.
A universe which is characterised by solo or all, rigid or freedom, passion or strength, Ram tries to brings in a balance by imposing rules and boundaries showing the perfect way of living. But despite authors attempts at showing the point of Ram, I fail to relate to it. Everyone believes that the faltering, gullible, the rules and the law abiding Ram is the next Vishnu. But not on a single occasion he looks or feels like the all mighty Vishnu. Everyone is either his enemy or in the garb of a friend, but clearly he has no idea as he is used as a puppet in the scheme of things by the more clever players. This is probably how politics work, what seems is not always the truth. The truly powerful are behind the scenes and the poster boys are the so called heroes.
The part I hate is the Ram- Sita love interludes which are cringe worthy Bollywood style. Who flirts or romances like this except in Bollywood? Hear this,,,,
He reached for her hand, pulled it close to his lips and kisses his fingers, gently. Sita turned towards Ram and smiles. 'what's on your mind, husband?' 'Very husbandly things, wife..'
Ram laughed. "I'm not trying to start a trend. I don't want to marry another woman because I will be insulting you by doing so.'
This is so typical of an intellectual man who thinks about right or wrong in love but doesn't do it for love. Like he will not marry another woman because it's wrong to his wife,
The author portrays them as strong intelligent beings capable of intellectual conversations and do cheeky Bollywood romance at the same time. Something is amiss and I can't put my finger on it exactly. You can call it breaking stereotypes or character mismatch.
In all Amish makes a good attempt at presenting a myth in a popular fiction style. This is a commendable topic as well as initiative. To make the essence of scriptures to be made available to masses. And when you say masses there is something for everyone. ...more
Book: The Last Poem Author: Rabindranath Tagore translated by Dilip Basu Rating: 3/5
Poetry is 'life's commentary in verse'.
This book stands testimonial Book: The Last Poem Author: Rabindranath Tagore translated by Dilip Basu Rating: 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Poetry is 'life's commentary in verse'.
This book stands testimonial to these words. Life and love are best explained in poetry. Mathew Arnold has called poetry the "criticism of life". I feel poetry is appreciation of life, even sadness, ugly and tragedies in poetry become beautiful.
Rabindranath Tagore is known for his various feats as an artist and philosopher - but it was poetry that reflected in all his fields of creativity and thinking. He has given us many gems of poetry along with national anthem which defibes our soul! His works have been critiqued and appreciated for so many decades that it's impossible to challenge his wisdom. He might have been a favourite with the west to get so much recognition for his works, but his brilliance and diversity is unquestionable.
Like all writers who draw from their personal life we find Tagore's life in his novels, poems and art. Other than the characters, stories his thoughts are quiet evident and glaring. He infact critiques his own work through the words of his own protagonist. The poetic war ensues and as a reader only you know he is only competing with himself wether as Tagore or Nivaran Chakravarti. The book also touches upon Tagore's political ideology where he presents his opinions on those times Democracy, Home Rule and British Raj through brilliant analogies.
"When Vishnu cut Sati's lifeless body with his discus, a hundred or more sacred spots sprung up wherever her dismembered limbs had fallen. Democracy today is like the scattered aristocracy. Petty aristocrats have popped up all over the world: we have political aristocrats, literary aristocrats and social aristocrats."
The protagonist Amit Ray, is a clever fellow who uses his intelligence and knowledge beautifully to present arguments probably the way Rabindrabath Tagore did too, winning over his admirers and opponents both. Like Amit's sister comments aptly, "You really don't have your own opinions. You always say what sounds clever at that particular moment." Yati quotes Amit in one of the discussions - "The inclination to do what one shouldn't is a great human virtue." and the most profound of all, the words to live by "Happiness should be simple." The frivolity and complexity of Amit meets its match in seriousness and simplicity of Lavanya. Even the matriarch Yogamaya enhances the verses and word playing with her wisdom. This book is for anyone who enjoys a good conversation, as they say in Hindi, tark-vitark!
The book is primarily about love. A well read and traveled man with his big words and ideals falls in love like an ordinary and how that love transforms him and brings him to the reality which had no space is his previous idealistic world. What is love, one wonders. Quoting from the book -
"Love that freely floats in the sky is our soul; love that informs our daily life illumines our homes. I want both of them. There is a day when I can spread my wings and reach the heavens;then, I find my little home, where I lie in my little neat with my wings folded. But I still have my heaven."
This story is a love story, fulfilled or unfulfilled is not important, ending is not important, what's important is the poetry of romance. Anything I say would be considers judgemental, but some books are like that. They are not about stories or characters or plot - they are about words, stringed together like poetry. As a reader you take away that experience and it stays with you forget.
This book will be special even more so being a gift from a friend. Thanks Hope! ...more
India and Pakistan World Cup Butterfly reads a book
Finally I Broke my book fast with what a lThe return of the butterfly
Author: Moni Mohsin Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
India and Pakistan World Cup Butterfly reads a book
Finally I Broke my book fast with what a lovely book. You Toh know how much I love books. For past 6 months I had been struggling to finish even one. Each book I started ending up being half read taunting me from the shelf. So in these tough times I returned to my old friend, dear butterfly. Hai! Don't you know butterfly? Apni shweetu si Moni!
She has written two books earlier on butterfly escapades - 'the diary of a social butterfly' and 'tender hooks'. You must be wondering why I am talking like this. Well this is called "Punglish" a mix of Punjabi and English, most widely spoken in and around Punjab on both sides of the border, from Delhi to Lahore. This type of Punglish is spoken and understood amongst the Punjabis across the world from London to Canada, India to Pakistan. And I just love Moni's style - intelligent writing from the eyes of an innocent unaware BTM protagonist.
The book is a satire, a touch of ignorance and arrogance, looking at the world from the rose tinted glasses of butterfly. Her world starts from ghairat ness and khandani ness, and ends at show offers and rich ness. From the world of flashy weddings, to GTs (get togethers), to London and Dubai summer trips, to page 3 parties, to beauty parlours and soothsayers.
She depicts the dilemma of upper class housewife in a country in political and religious turmoil. It wants everything but gives nothing. It lives in a glass palace with inside tints. Doing nothing about it means it's not happening. Underlying the humour of upper class society, family drama, and kitty parties there is a strong current of geopolitics and conflicting ideologies.
Somewhere we all have a butterfly in us who pushes the negative thoughts and opinions on politics and strifes across the world to live a comfy colourful life flickering from one day to another. ...more
This applies to Aatish Taseer's 'Noon' completely. In this book, he beautifully traces his journey frYou write what you see, yet tell what you don't!
This applies to Aatish Taseer's 'Noon' completely. In this book, he beautifully traces his journey from India to America to Pakistan as an audience as well as a participant. His journey from confused and insecure childhood to an adult searching identity and roots, from the corridors of ever changing power house Delhi to a volatile and extremist Port Bin Qasim, from a Hindu/ Sikh upbringing to the Muslim roots. There are gaps but they don't matter as he beautifully explains...
"The gaps in my life were too many, the threads too few. And though I knew this, knew there was little to string life together, the tendency was still to appear as a whole before the world, to let the imagination fill in the spaces that experience had left blank."
I had previously read Aatish's, Manto's short story translation, which was well done, but this novel gives a brilliant picturisation of him as an author. His observations are sensational yet true, oblivious yet deep, close yet far, secret yet public and fiction yet truth. Each character is real, strong and grey - from the servants in his Delhi farmhouse, or royalty in his step father's power struggle, or feudal lords of his real father's extended family and business. I loved the way Aatish went into the backstory of each character rather than staying at the surface or in the moment.
Take it as a compliment when I say Aatish has the renditions of Manto - a bitter man who looks at the world in a bitter way, because there is no other way he knows!
And clearly NOON is the ideal title... the book does what Noon does to you... makes you wonder about the past...
Some grey lines from the book...
Going blindly to college in America from India was an extension of other forms of entitlement, like summer holidays in the west or buying a nice car.
He was the most bendable unbending man I ever knew!
What royalty? An occupying power comes to your country and appoints some local chieftain the king, and two hundred years later once the power has left, we're still saying "Hukum this, Hukum that."
When someone puts forward the cup of friendship, it's not right to spit in it, no matter how bogus the wine might be.
He is present in my life as an absence, and that if u were only able to fix him in my mind physically, that sense of absence would diminish.
That which is not to be found is what I desire. - Rumy ...more
In Iran your father's good friends are referred to as uncles.
Crank Calls Harassing people on the phone is a fashionable thing to do among young IraWIP
In Iran your father's good friends are referred to as uncles.
Crank Calls Harassing people on the phone is a fashionable thing to do among young Iranians. Ahmed changes tone of his voice and asks if this is Mr Rezai's residence. Faheemeh's brother says no and hangs up. He calls again asking for Mr Rezai, and Faheemeh's brother abuses and hangs up the phone again. Ahmed calls the third time and says. "Hi. This is Mr Rezai. Has anyone called for me today? This time Fahemeeh's brother explodes into a rage.
Life was a random series of beautifully composed vignettes, loosely tied together by a string of characters and time.
Whether the darkness is black or so deeply blue that it just appears inky in comparison.
There was a common superstitious belief that if you accidentally point a knife at someone, stab the earth three times, or that person's blood may drip from the tip of that knife someday.
Nothing makes you a better person than the love of a woman!
Love is more faithful than an old dog.
Don't take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive!
School and love are two diametrically opposed phenomena.
Isn't an accusation of wrongdoing as compelling as an admission of guilt to you?
That's the way of the Persians - we are masters in the art of implication, sometimes at the cost of the point getting lost on an unsophisticated listener. Facts seldom matter. The meaning and message are always woven into the fabric of our discourse. Deep in each knot of a Persian rug is a statement of the hands that patiently drove the needle and the thread.
I miss the old days, when doctors made house calls. You got to know your patients, their family, their kids, where they lived and how. It's all about business now.
I know you are one of those kids who enjoys sitting by the fire and reading philosophical bullshit instead of learning proven formulas that might save this nation from the grip of backwardness. During my honourable years of teaching, I have seen herds of pretenders like you who deem their burp to be a revolutionary manifesto. ...more
Kafka, this is my first read and very clearly its not as simple as it feels. Reading it would make you think its a children's story of one incident onKafka, this is my first read and very clearly its not as simple as it feels. Reading it would make you think its a children's story of one incident on a particular day. But the heavy title and the underlying theme is so strong that you can not help but wonder how Kafka does it. He pushes you to think and feel like the vermin in the story - confusion, sadness, drudgery, misery of a life wasted. I say very little because I have more to discover...
Thanks to Brain Pain for introducing me to Kafka. He is one of those writers who are not storytellers but reflect the politico-socio-economic history of a country. They are revolutionaries not writers who bring about the change with their writings. They influence the minds of people and entire generations to bring about the change!! To Kafka!!...more