Mahabharat is one of the great ‘itihaasas‘ or histories of Indian culture. The other being Ramayana. Is it real or not, I am not the expert. But it is an amazing story. The Mahabharat is supposed to hold the answer to all our problems. It deals with a multitude of issues, dilemmas, lessons. If it could be a soap, it will last for centuries. It has stories and then backstories, then backstories for the backstories. Which has been aptly reflected in the book Forest of Stories by Ashok Banker. I can remember my mother quoting so often from the Mahabharat when faced with a dire situation. Like if we lost a dear one. Mom will immediately say, Draupadi survived the death of her 5 young sons, we will too.
Yudhishthir who is the epitome of righteousness had still made many mistakes even though he walked the prescribed path and never deviated from Dharma. Krishna who is God also commits cheating but he justifies saying it was the only way to win the war. He tells us to focus on the ultimate goal and not on the means to achieve the goal. There is no preaching in the book. Every character is flawed. And many more.
Almost all Indians are familiar with the Mahabharat thanks to TV Serials of the same name. Books retelling the Mahabharat have been around for centuries. Every story has its own elements, spiced with local flavours. It is the ultimate book of war between cousins for gaining power, to become the King.
Another of my favourites is Randamoozham by M T Vasudevan Nair. It is in Malayalam and has an English translation. But the translation is terrible and so not included in this list.
But here, I am selecting three books which have different takes. Continue reading
Zero sat in a corner of the room looking at his cheery mates. They all looked so purposeful. They had some value. Even teeny weeny One looked arrogant. He looked down his nose to peer at Zero, making him cower. The thought brought back a fresh set of tears. Zero sobbed into the shadows. He was here first. But that statement is itself contradictory. When he was nothing, how can nothing be first? Maybe these numbers are correct. he is really nothing.
Something hit Zero. He looked up to see the regal Nine. He was holding a set of darts. Six, his cousin was by his side. A few numbers younger than Nine but with all the characteristics of Nine but in reverse, they made a perfect pair.
The only human, Aryabhatta sat in another corner of the room, unaware of the goings on behind him. Zero wanted to shout, call him out, fight with him. But he was nothing. How could nothing fight with someone? Another fresh set of tears. Continue reading
As a bride, when I entered my matrimonial home, surrounded by strangers, to say I was nervous and scared is an understatement. Being from a region very different from the new home, I did not know what to expect. At 23, there were only stars in my eyes. I longed for an ideal home, just like my own home. But now this was home.
One of my husband’s cousin’s wife had taken over the kitchen. Just a few years older than me, she was a champion. Doling out regular cups of tea and coffee, snacks and dinner, she worked round the clock, with a smile.
I could only imagine myself in the future at some other cousin’s wedding going through the motions. I felt it was no safe zone. Not like my home, tch tch.. mom’s home.
Then I saw my husband, sitting in a group, laughing away at jokes and being teased by the cousins. I sought him. At that moment, he looked up and our eyes met. With the slightest motion of his head, he acknowledged me. I knew then, that everything will be alright. He will be my pillar of strength in this world.
Have you ever faced a moment like that? where you could instantly connect with someone?
Author : Gunjan Jain
Version : Hard copy
Genre : Biography, Inspiration
Source : Author
Author website : www.GunjanJain.com
Pages : 556
The book She Walks, She Leads is quite an attention grabber. With its red hardback cover with golden letters, it is instantly attractive. To add to that it is also bulky. I love bulky books. It does look good on the shelf. Continue reading