The holy book of Hindus, the Bhagvad Gita, or simply the Gita is a 700 verse Hindu scripture in Sanskrit which is part of the Mahabharat. It is written in the way of a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna which is essentially a dialogue between God and Man. Krishna asks Arjun to do the right thing even if it seems wrong to him at a personal level. The Mahabharat is defined as the Dharma Yudh. It is the war between what you should do and what you can do. Krishna says one must follow the path of righteousness and do what one should do. It is a thick and dense book, but it is a truth which Hindu followers abide by. No, it is not necessary to read it. See, I haven’t read it too. But it is essential to understand the 2 itihaasas which are Ramayana and Mahabharat. I am not really sure if it is ‘history’, but it is called as ‘itihaas’. In earlier times, the stories of the Mahabharat and the Bhagvad Gita were told by wandering minstrels during village festivals. There would be plays enacted with the Gita as a theme. Continue reading
I had never read this author till I read the blurb in one of Penguin’s newsletters. And the blurb pulled me right in. I am grateful to Penguin who provided me a reader’s copy. So, here is the blurb.
I call her Bella because she is the dark side of me. Its’ Ella but not. Its Bad Ella. Bella. I thought of that a few years ago and it made it a bit better because before that I called it’s the Monster. Anything is a tiny bit better when it has a name.
Bella is better than the Monster.
Bella is desperate to own the whole of me: I am alert and battling all the time. Sometimes, I have to let her out before everything explodes, but after that happens I feel calm and peaceful and, I think, kind of happy.
I liked ..
The blurb held good promise. I thought of it to be a novel of psychoanalysis with insights into schizophrenia. The girl Ella is a seventeen year old school living a normal life in UK. Everything is picture perfect. But, the initial chapters tell us that it is not so. Ella she has a dark side to her which she keeps hidden from all. She has her alter ego Bella in her head who threatens her and forces her to do bad things. So far so good. The real story starts when her parents whiz her away from school to leave their life behind and to start a new life in Brazil that things change. Ella, is a typical teenager, rebellious and attracted to the unknown. When her parents try to protect her from an unknown evil, she rebels. She escapes into the night with some teenagers she meets at the hotel she stays and has loads of fun. She feels her parents do not trust her. They are over protective. And never let her be alone.
Its when she knows the real reason why they want to protect her, that she runs away fro m her parents. For the first time in her life, Ella finds herself living alone on the streets with no money. This is in complete contrast to the life of privilege she is used to.. The book further shows how she survives living in the favelas / slums of Brazil so that she can hide from her parents. She makes some glaring mistakes as she is not practical. This is something I see in the current generation of kids They know the internet, the mobile phones and computers. They sound very confident when you ask them something. But, when it comes to life skills, I see them lacking. It was a good reflection on the generation now.
I did not like..
- that Ella fell in love with the perfect guy. It absolutely defies logic that she falls in love with a boy at first sight and he is such a perfect boyfriend. No, it may happen in some romance. But, they also have flawed and humane characters. But, this guy is God. No. I do not take it.
- The end. The story started off at high steam.. It kept it up with its twists and turns. But, the end becomes just mundane. A bit more of thrill would have made this perfect.
Overall, its a good book but do not expect it to me a memorable one.
Name: Stand Strong, Author: Shubha Vilas
Genre: Mythology / Spiritual
Publisher: Jaico Books, 2017
Number of pages: 326
The book ‘Stand Strong’ is Book 4 of The Game of Life Series written by Shubha Vilas. I had read the previous books and loved it. And so was looking forward to read this. The book is based on the Ramayana which is one of the ‘itihaasas’ for Hindus to understand the way of living. Ramayana shows its character Ram as ‘Maryaada Purushottam’ that is the ideal man. As the story is familiar, I will not analyse further. But, it is a great story. It is simple as compared to the Mahabharat with its multitudes of characters, yet has deep impact.
The story starts where book 3 has ended with the appearance of Vanaras or monkeys. In this book, Hanuman finds Ram and Lakshman in the forests searching for Sita who has been abducted by Ravana. Hanuman is currently serving Sugriva who is the Sun God’s son. Well, the book tells us the convoluted way in which the Sun God got Hanuman to serve Sugriva. As Guru dakshina, the Sun God asked Hanuman to serve and protect his son Sugriva from his brother Vali, till he meets Ram. Sugriva is hiding from his brother Vali in the Rishikesh mountain where Vali is not allowed to set foot due to a curse. Well, the curse came about because… but that is another story. Continue reading
After a forced sabbatical of two months from reading, I finally read ‘Big Little Lies’ by Liane Moriarty. To say that I loved the book is an understatement. It was one of the best books I read recently. Though it is not as classy as say ‘Homegoing‘ or ‘Em and the Big Hoom‘, it is a book which has got its priorities right. I have seen the now popular HBO series of the same name and also read some reviews of the book. Some reviewers have even dismissed this as ‘chicklit’. I am not sure since when did murder mysteries and domestic abuse become chicklit.
The author has in a light manner touched upon some very serious topics. Big Little Lies highlights domestic violence, deceptions, the fake world of Facebook. The Indian politicians should watch this series to understand ‘marital rape’ which they are in denial in India as we they claim ‘it is against our culture’. At the end of the book, Celeste sums it up nicely when she says. ‘It can happen to anyone’. The thing that disturbed me more was the ordinariness of it all. It is all written in a matter of fact way with no flowery language or sensationalism. Continue reading