10 Day You Challenge- Day 3: 8 Fears

So I am back with 8 fears I have; which is a bit tricky because I am not sure that I am actually afraid of that many things or people.

1- God– actually it is not God that I fear, but the fact that I believe that I have to face him after death and justify my actions and their purpose makes me afraid of doing something which I believe I won’t be able to justify to my lord.

2- Death– Though death is an ultimate reality which everyone has to face one day or the other, but the thought of losing my family & close ones to death is very scary.

3- Physical Incapacitation- I have always feared the prospect of taking care of myself physically because either being disabled due to an accident or old age. I have been pretty close to the first one when I met with an accident when I was 12 years old and met a major accident, and the doctor told me that had there been some more complications or injury they would have removed my left hand, the prospect of it though it never happened leaves jitters down my spine.

4- Fear of disappointing people who matter, I have done it before and that too more than once. There is nothing worse than letting down people who put their trust and faith on you and your abilities. I have been lucky to have been blessed with people who love me and put their trust on me and there is always a fear that even by mistake I shouldn’t let down that trust and faith.

5- Fear of Social Gatherings– I am not sure if I fear social gatherings or despise them. But the fact of the matter is if there is a plan to go to a social function I would always find an excuse to excuse myself.

6- Fear of snakes and other venomous animals

7- Fear of missing a flight or train– If I have a flight or a train for a journey, I am always afraid that I might miss the same. As a matter of fact there have been times I have not been able to sleep through the entire night just because I had to catch an early morning flight.

8- Fear of handling small babies– I get very psyched out and avoid holding very small babies. I have a great fear that I might hold the babies incorrectly or might drop them or hurt them. So I always ensure that if there is small baby around I do not hold him or her.

10 Day You Challenge- Day 2: 9 Loves


So day 2 of the 10 day you challenge is to post about 9 loves. Actually when I decided to do this challenge I thought it would be quite simple but as it seems now it wasn’t. I mean there are so many things one loves, and choosing 9 of them is indeed difficult.

1- My Parents, needless to say I am what I am because of them. And how much I love them cannot be described in words.

2- The Wifee since the time we got married ours have been a “give and take” relationship. She generally gives her piece of mind and I seem to be taking it most of the time. Now that I am taking all the pieces of mind (wondering what would happen when she wouldn’t be left with any) and storing them safely in my mind despite all the storage constraints in mine is only because I love her so much.

3- My Friends, now I couldn’t have survived without them. I am lucky to have a very close bunch of friends who I can depend on with my life. I am so thankful to lord, that my paths crossed the way they did and I could collect these pearls of friendship during the journey of my life.

4- My Car – There as in entire post dedicated to my first car. You can read about it here

5- My house– Again there is a post about it if you want to read it in detail here

6- My gadgets, I am a gadget lover I have an Ipod Touch, WII, PSP (recently gifted by Radio Indigo), Home Theatre, Canon Rebel T1i, and the list continues. All of the gadgets are something which I totally love and I can spend hours fiddling with them.

7- Coffee, now my love for coffee has been previous talked about on this blog and some other forums. I actually have a make shift coffee bar at home with an espresso machine, single origin coffees, flavors to enhance coffee and a collection of mugs.

8- My books, the readers of this blog would already know the amount of reading I do and I can assure you that I do not subscribe to a library or a rental service. So for the most part the books I read are purchased and I have a mini library at home. And as with all book lovers I am very possessive about my books.

9- My writing and this blog. All the stuff which I have written in this blog or in my books or outside it, I wrote them because I actually loved writing it. The writing is my way to express and unwind myself. I wouldn’t have been the person I am had it not been for my writing.

So these were the 9 people/things I love. Now on a different note, the narcissist I am it is very difficult not to love myself. So I love myself, for one simple reason I am effin’ awesome. Now those of you planning to debate that please look at the image below, by a “trusted website” who does a facial recognition and matches you to celebrities. I am 53% like George Clooney. So you know I AM AWESOME (readers are requested to conveniently ignore the fact that there is a 55% match with Omar Sharif). So I just need to lose these extra 20 kilos around my waist to become the female magnet what George Clooney is, right people?

10 Day You Challenge- Day 1: 10 Secrets


Preeti started doing this series of tags which is to posts interesting things about her. The idea seems interesting to be on the blog; so I start with 10 secrets (things which the readers of the blog won’t know) about myself-

1- I once disposed off my school test notebooks when I got terrible marks and later claimed to the teacher that the notebooks were stolen. (I was caught 3 months later when one of the neighbors whose empty house I had thrown away the notebooks came to inspect the house and duly returned the notebooks to my parents after spotting the name)

2- I have a sweet tooth; it is very difficult for me to resist something sweet. Some years back when my weight wasn’t a concern I would not even throw away the sweet syrup from the gulabjamuns and rashogollas but rather drink them or have them with bread or chapatti

3- On the same note, I can have almost everything vegetarian with bread, which includes things like chocolate, butter jam, fruits, sugar syrup, lentils, milk, cereals etc. I can eat bread for 7 days a week 3 times a day.

4- I have never been a sportsman or followed any sports religiously until I started working and started playing squash and following cricket, and tennis.

5- I wrote my first poem when I was in class fourth, my class teacher told to my parents that I am good in writing. Though I couldn’t figure out what one can do by writing poems. Thankfully I didn’t choose it as a career given the state of English poetry writers in India and sadly I don’t have a copy of the first poem I wrote.

6- The following sets are in my wish buy list for ages- Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert and Amar Chitra Katha.

7- I hate watching TV.

8- I created an Online game for my college fest which got some 1 million hits on the day of its launch. The entire experience of designing that game was so close to me that I still quote it as one of the most satisfying experience.

9- I have never touched a drop of liquor till date.

10- I hate people who do not take ownership and responsibility of their work.

Life is What You Make It- Preeti Shenoy

Author: Preeti Shenoy
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Price: 100/-

Life Is What You Make It (LIWYMI) is the latest book by Preeti Shenoy, and I was more than looking forward to it; not only because her last book was a bestseller but also because this was the first time she was moving away from (my perception of) her comfort zone. I have been following her blog since long and her last book was non-fiction 500 word blog-post like articles. So when her new book, LIWYMI was a piece of fiction I desperately wanted to read it and with Blogadda sending the book to me, all I had to do was sit on the couch and read it.

The book is a story of a girl named Ankita, and her life battling with conservative parents, multiple guys who fell in love with her, shifting her entire life from Cochin to Mumbai and on top of it an unknown ailment which was driving her life crazy. The story starts with Ankita’s first step in the adult life starting in the college. The story swiftly moves into her first experience with the love in a long distance relationship and a second with another guy she meets during her college. Her life changes when she gets through her MBA and her entire family shifts to Mumbai, where she attains the high point of her entire life and becomes a super achiever like nobody could keep her spirits down.

This is where the story changes track from the usual college tales, the protagonist, Ankita, gets in the grip of one of the most complicated and unheard of mental condition leading her to quit her visions of a great future and a successful corporate life. The book proceeds to become a tale of struggle to reclaim oneself, a tale of courage while fighting an unknown within, a tale of a survivor. The story keeps you engaged throughout the book while beautifully portraying multiple shades of the personality of a protagonist.

LIWYMI is an easy and pleasant read but what makes it outstanding is the message and intent behind the story which has more depth then usual college tale. The idea of spreading the awareness about a mental/psychological illness and the process of how it is cured makes this book great in real sense. Characterization and narratives are very real and are the strongest point of the book, the reader can relate so well with Ankita and her plight that one feels they the character is known to them since ages. The pace of the book is uneven, where first half of the book is a bit slow and goes in great detail while her time in Mumbai and the period of her illness are pretty fast paces, which keeps it interesting but on the same time leaves the readers with some unanswered questions around the condition and the character.

Overall LIWYMI is a fresh tale with substance, from an Indian Author, without losing the charm of the story. The book ends on a positive note giving a message or optimism and hope in most difficult of circumstances. The book leaves you with a sense of empathy and concern for people suffering from various psychological disorders and makes you aware of the plight a patient of such condition might face.

Summary: A nice realistic tale with substance around psychological ailments. A light but still substantial read. Every bit worthy of the time the reader would spend reading. A must read for people who prefer realistic tales of courage and internal struggle told through fiction.

Rating:  4 / 5

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

MF Hussain And Freedom of Self Expression

So this renounced artist MF Hussain, who was a citizen of Qatar when he died yesterday. Though my heart prays for his soul to RIP, but I have never been a fan of him or supported him. To set a brief context, he is an Indian who supposedly had to leave India to escape from arrest which was due to some court cases against him. There was a lot of agitation and legal retaliation against him because he painted Hindu goddesses in nude and sexual manner.

This had time and again in our country created debates on freedom of expression. So before I discuss my views on freedom of speech and expression, I would also like to quote where legality stands on this particular issue does. So this is what our constitution says about Freedom of Speech & Expression-

 

(1) All citizens shall have the right—

(a) to freedom of speech and expression;

(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;

(c) to form associations or unions;

(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;

(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and

(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

(2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

So coming back to my point I respect our forefathers to include the freedom of speech and expression in our constitution; but my respect trebles on their foresight when I read the clause 2. Now coming back to case of MF Hussain, I see these areas where I think whatever happened to him weren’t totally unjustified.

 

Firstly if he painted some goddesses in a naked and sexual way his freedom of speech and expression was clearly shaky on the grounds of morality, decency and may be secularity too. When there were cases against him, he left the country, if one is convinced that whatever his expression was it was not indecent, immoral or affected the secularity of the state then he always had the option to fight the legal way out running out of the country is not an answer.

Secondly, he chose Qatar as the place where he would belong after separating from India; did he try and attempt to do an illustration which might have been a bit controversial for the people of Qatar. I am sure that would not be the case but instead he worked on the project under the ruling family glorifying the Arab history. Not that I have a problem with that but then my problem lies with the fact that between India & Qatar there is a drastic change in his idea of creative expression through art.

Now, coming back to a deeper question which a lot of people have been demanding, the creative freedom of expression should not be restricted by the rider in the clause (2) is where I have a huge problem. My entire argument in this regard is based on the premise of non discrimination and equality in the constitution would hold true. So when you waive off the rider for someone like MF Hussain to allow him to paint whatever he wants no matter how offending or immoral or indecent it may be, but he should be allowed to do as it is his form of creative expression. This is where my problem starts, now a good for nothing guy is standing on the corner of the crossroads and making lewd gestures to women passing by. Now he doesn’t say anything nor physically touches them. So technically he is performing an art form which can be a mime (or we can call it something else) which is offending, indecent & immoral to a lot of people (while it might be funny to some idiots standing around) but our constitution would allow it in the absence of the clause (2). I would accept a lot of arguments on this, but I would not accept an argument which is based on the premise that the laws of this Good-For-Nothing-Guy should be different from MF Hussain and I would not accept that Art & Paintings need to be given more rights than Mime (or whatever you want to call those lewd gestures technically).

He no doubt was one of the best painters India ever had but then he was a pathetic movie maker too (If I would have met him I would have asked my money back for GajaGamini).To conclude I would only say, my Hussain saab’s soul rest in peace. I have no issues with him or what he did; he paid a hefty price for it in his life time.It’s not an easy thing to live in self-imposed exile. I am sure the majority of the Indian population is gracious busy enough to forgive and forget him as they would soon forget the likes of A Raja & Kalmadi to elect them back in power then I guess the best painter of India deserved the “Saare Gile Shikwe Maaf” from us.

 

Redefining The Blog

Warning: Long Rant Ahead

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been in a lot of introspective mood lately. There has been something which has been putting me off blogging, or rather making me rethink about one of my favorite areas where I spend my time. I have been blogging close to 6 years and I have been following other blogs since then. Over a period of time the blogosphere has changed dramatically, and somehow I started to feel that it might not be an as interesting place as it used to be.

I don’t know why but I too face the problem which D faced and mentioned it here. Though I followed a lot of bloggers without any gender bias, but over a period of time a lot of male bloggers have disappeared from the block leaving my readers dominated primarily by female bloggers, which I don’t have problem with but my Google reader opinions are lot more female centric as they used to be. I don’t know the reason for this sudden disappearing of the male species from the blogging, some of the very good India male blogs I used to read are simply gone or are not frequently updated- Twisted DNA, Hitchwriter, Rajeev Karwal, Sidin, Amit Varma, Desi Pundit blogs, Nariyal Chutney are some which I miss reading on regular basis.

Another factor which has lately been a cause of disappointment for me in the blogosphere has been the quality and type of posts. If I would generalize the posts which actually carry me away from the blogging world would be-

  • Feminist & Male Bashing: There would be a lot of posts on how the women are being mistreated or some piece of news/article how males raped women or tortured them etc. Now don’t get me wrong I too feel towards the cause of the women and support it whole heartedly. But its kind of boring reading similar posts and similar comments on a lot of blogs but not a single blog about actions being taken; a lot of blogs wrote on “Why Shiny Ahuja should be hanged/ castrated etc for what he had done?” but I didn’t see a single line on any of those blogs “I had a conversation with my husband/ brother/ son/ father on how to maintain the decorum when our maid is working in the house?” Some how all the talk without an action makes me disappointed. Similarly when lots of blogs were supporting Pink Chaddhi campaign over the top but I missed a picture of a set of Pink Chaddhis which were sent by those bloggers. All this makes me questions are we just the high society who would sit with a hot cup of coffee and discuss how much problems the world is in and then go back to our home without doing anything?
  • Wordless Wednesdays : As far my knowledge of the concept goes it supposed to be wordless because the pictures posted should be expressive enough and shouldn’t require words to describe the photograph. But somehow Wordless Wednesday has become more of filler posts which would be schedules for weeks with actually no thought going in what goes into the posts. Though I am all for the awesomeness of the abstract art in photography but then may be its not such a bad idea to write a line or two about the photograph and set a context where the reader of a low IQ like me can get it too.
  • Too Many Filler Posts: I am sure most of us have been guilty of posting posts without any actual content in it. But lately the filler posts have started exceeding the posts with actual content on the blog. So if three consecutive posts were only on how you didn’t have time to post and you would start doing it from tomorrow may be you should have combined the three posts into one and written something which would have satisfied you as an author and the readers too.
  • Celebrity Posts: which are primarily about announcing to the world when and what they ate, generate controversies and then address them for free publicity. Having been on the block for a long time, I also know that most of them might not be even managed by the so called celeb themselves, but a trained PR professional might be doing it for them creating the so called “Public Image”.

So in short I was having what I would call crisis of faith on the blogging itself because either the world has changed or I am not following the right people, which led me to a point that I was considering that I should formally quit blogging. What brought me back was a series of posts from Sayesha (who from now I claim to be my blogging idol) whose blog I have been following since so many years. She underwent through a very difficult phase while giving birth to her baby where she also had to consider an option of terminating the baby. All the while in the hospital when she was struggling amidst difficult time she held on and never blogged about it and this is the reason she mentions on her blog which she also calls her barSome of you have asked me why I never mentioned all of this on the blog when it was happening. Well, here’s the reason. The bar is a happy place. It has always been and it will always be. I wanted our story to reach at least a small positive point before sharing it.”

It was reading these lines from her made it all come back to me “Why I started blogging/ Why I kept on it even when people around me were letting it go/ What do I owe, if I do when I Blog?”

So I guess its time to establish revisit the tenets which form the core of my blogging-

What is Ginger & Cardamom?

Ginger & Cardamom is a place which is open, fun, creative, humorous and happy while still being reflective on life, India and the world view.

Who are the people to which Ginger & Cardamom is responsible to and what that responsibility means?

  • The Readers: Since they are the primary consumers of the content posted on G&C it is a responsibility to ensure the readers get the quality posts which maintain the Ginger & Cardamom character of fun, creative, humorous and happy
  • Authors of the Post: Should allow the authors to reflect experiment and feature their creativity without editing or post processing the original posts.
  • Aggregators: Any people (other bloggers or non bloggers) or forums (like Blogadda and indiblogger) who recommend G&C or a post on G&C; the G&C should strive to live up to the recommendation.
  • Blogging Community: G&C would always be ethical and responsible to the basic tenets of the blogging community and would neither entertain evil practices like Plagiarism nor support people who indulge in these evil practices.

How do we plan to achieve the characteristics defined above?

  • Open: The blog would be open about the authors’ identity and contacts while allowing the reader community to have a voice in terms of comments on all posts without moderating or editing.
  • Fun & Humorous: The blog would strive to be a fun place retaining a sense of humor in posts, comments and replies
  • Creative: The blog would be a mix of fictional, poetic & non fictional posts allowing multiple areas for creativity
  • Reflective: The blog would constantly try to keep a perspective on things happening around us (events, news, politics, books, movies etc) to give the readers an opinion to rely on.
  • Happy: The blog would be a happy place where the reader should be either happy with the effort put in or because the post left a smile on the face. (Thanks a lot Sayesha for this)

So this is what I think Ginger & Cardamom stands for and this is what I would be trying to achieve through this blog. However, since this is a changing world I would be revisiting this post again and again to chart out the future course till then see you when I see you. Meanwhile if you as a reader have some views on how can I improve this space or what can be a better direction for this place I am all ears.

Life Lessons from a Paani Puri Wala

I have been away from this blog for a long time but that is not what is troubling me right now. The reason for the lack of updates is not that I have been terribly busy, which I have been, thanks for asking by the way. I have been thinking about lot of things about my life, the stuff I do at work and otherwise. Its good to introspect some time and raise questions about life and the direction of it. A lot of questions were raised including the reason for existence of this space, and the relevance of it in my life.

 

This month of May has been more of a learning experience for me. I have met a lot of new people travelled to a totally new place, but I witnessed something today which brought on the surface a lot of things which were simmering down under my mind. To set the context I would summarize about myself and my life a little. I am a 29 year old guy (man still sounds too old) with a business management degree from one of the finest B-Schools in India (No it is not my usual satire and I am not a shining diamond from the Chaudhary & Sons vulture venture) employed with one of the best known consulting firms in the country.

 

Coming back to today’s incident, I was returning from office early evening and it started raining cats & dogs. I was in a hurry to reach back home and log back in for work, but the lack of visibility from rain and the additional craziness of the Bangalore traffic slowed me down and I was actually observing the roads and surroundings while driving. This was when I observed a Paani-Puri wala on the side of the road. He had a small round stall of thin bamboo sticks like generally the street vendors have and he had a red cloth and a piece of plastic tied around to support Paani-Puris. He was standing on the footpath holding another huge sheet of plastic over his Paani-Puris to make sure they don’t get wet and spoiled. I could see him his hands keeping the sheet tight protecting his stall and getting drenched in the process.

 

The fact that it rained with utmost intensity and it kept raining till 2300 hrs it was highly unlikely that he would have got any customers for his Paani-Puris. Also given the highly windy rains for such a long period would have ensured that his Puris were all damp and he won’t be able to reuse them in any case. The way he was standing in the rain getting all drenched he also might have gotten sick. I think he knew all of this all along when he was sticking out in the rain protecting his business out there in the middle.

 

When I see people like him, is when my mind questions the littleness of things I do in my life. I tend to question my own work ethic in front of the dedication of this Paani-Puri wala, his love for his work & business compared to mine. I am saying this all in the light of that I have had one of the busiest months in my career and I haven’t slept for more than 4 hours since last few days. I have heard from so many colleagues that consulting is a high pressure industry and how we need to slog (which is true) but still I feel I have it lot easier compared to guys like these.

 

I also tend to wonder that what exactly holds me back to stick out like that guy for my work. I don’t think this has got to do anything to do with follow your heart and do what you love fad which is going around; I don’t really think that guy is following his passion of being a Paani-Puri wala (possible but too hard to believe). Is it because I have a qualifications that give me a comforting factor that I will be able to earn my living while he fights for his earnings everyday? Or is it because that irrespective of his size of business he owns it and feels responsible for it and I look and argue for every task that whose responsibility and job description it is? Or is it that despite being a Paani-Puri wala who might not even be educated has a clear sense of direction how he is going to move to the next phase of life by selling Paani-Puris while I clearly have loss of direction where I am going with all my work and what I intend to do with my life?

 

I really don’t know the answer, which might be simple or may be a complex mixture of everything above, but I am glad that two seconds of view of that Paani-Puri wala gave me a set of questions to think about and may be seek answers to them. So what do you guys think of these grass root level entrepreneurs, don’t they have a lot to teach us and make us ponder?

 

Rantings on Osama and Launch of a Friends Book

So my feed reader, newspaper, televisions, and both real and virtual discussions are all packed with the same event. The untimely death of Osama Bin Laden, untimely as it happened tad too late. So while the whole world is going gaga over it finding conspiracy theories if he is still alive, was he killed after being captured yada yada, I really feel how it makes a difference to my life. Though it does makes me feel like I am in the middle of a Jeffery Archer novel (not that I love being in one) but then the significant events happening over a time difference of 10 years do take the pace and steam out of the story.

However, the events and the way they unfolded were quite ironic, or rather laughable. So if I recount the series of events, there was a covert operation, which involved breaching the air space of an “important” ally and conducting a critical military operation right in the heart of a civilian area. Obviously this was done without informing the “ally” and was ordered by a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who incidentally also interfered in the local leadership of Egypt, bombed Libya, deployed additional troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, way to go for peace.

Coming back to the most wanted terrorist of the world, who was living in a million dollar mansion in one of the posh Abbotabad area at a stone’s throw of the military academy of the “ally”. This shouldn’t come as a surprise that this “ally” is also receiving critical 3 bn USD aid in terms of war planes and other military supplies to strengthen their military and intelligence agencies for war against terror. The minor fact that the mansion where Osama was living since past 5 years, is owned by the agencies funded by the same army and intelligence is not really relevant. I guess its high time Oxford dictionary needs to revamp their definition of peace and ally.

What is really funny is, that the same American government doesn’t wants India to follow their suit and take down people like Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed, who are openly living in Pakistan and appear on National television every other day. So to cut a long story short the message is while US can kill terrorists attacking their soil and India should act restraint against their terrorists and their ally. Not to mention our honorable government who is a step ahead of US and is currently singing melancholy of bilateral ties and discussion, I mean can’t you learn from 3 wars and effin 60 years of discussion dance?

Anyways as I said all this doesn’t make a difference to my life, I hope the truth of what happened that night would emerge to the world sooner or later.

One of my co-authors in Urban Shots has come up with his own book titled “The Lotus Queen”. The book is set up in Medieval Rajasthan and is a historical fiction based on the mysterious life of queen Padmini and the rather infamous siege of Chittor. So if the genre is your type do give it a try.

Worth of Husband & A Book Launch

Recently, PhoenixRitu posted on her blog about estimating the worth of a housewife (I would use the term homemaker instead of a housewife. I somehow don’t feel housewife is an appropriate job description and the term is sexist too), where she assigned a monetary value to the chores performed by a homemaker. Though I really don’t think a monetary value can be attached to the role of homemaker, because of a simple reason once you attach a value to her it makes the person behind replaceable(which as a concept doesn’t go well down my throat).

Anyways, I thought it would be only fair if a similar post assigning the worth of the odd jobs which a husband does is done. So here I list some tasks which are thrust on the docile species known as husbands-

1- Driver- 5,000
2- Security Officer- 10,000
3- Forced Shopping Companion – 10,000
4- Shopping Bag Carrier – 5,000
6- Peace keeper between the MIL & Wife- 2,00,000
7- The person who bears the six month long headache when “Nothing” has happened- 50,000
8- Official rat, lizard, cockroach and other insect killer – 30,000
9- The official Liar who is supposed to answer the question “Am I Looking Fat”- Priceless.

So the fact remains you cannot assign the worth of a husband or a wife in monetary terms. The worth lies in being with each other and existing as a couple more than individual task accomplishers.

Now coming back to some other important events, my second book “Down The Road” has been launched last Saturday. The event was a very successful one and was grace by the presence of Ambassador from Denmark along with some well known Indian authors Vineet Nayar and Kulpreet Yadav. The event was an important milestone as an author for me as I was sharing the stage with Abhijit Bhaduri, Ahmed Faiyaz and Nikhil who all have their works in “Down The Road”.

Here are some snapshots from the event-

You can read more about these events in the press coverage which followed-

Interview


Feature

Over all “Down The Road” is another chapter in my journey of life as an author, can’t wait for the next chapters to come. Meanwhile if you would like to share my joy of going “Down The Road” you can buy the copies on Flipkart, IndiaPlaza, Landmark, Crosswords

RashmiRathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar

Author: Ramdhari Singh Dinkar

RashmiRathi

Publisher: Lokbharti Paperbacks

Price: 95/-

Though I have labeled this post in the category of reviews, I don’t think it is a review.  Why? For a simple reason that I don’t think I am eligible enough to review work of the great author. But the post is being featured here just to make sure all my book loving readers know about this one and the reasons why I think they should read this book.

So basically the author of this book is not your normal author, he is a winner of Sahitya Academy Award, Padma Bhushan, and also the central hall of the Indian parliament adorns his portrait as a mark of respect. Coming back to Rashmirathi, as a composition it has two things which have caught imagination, my fantasy and my delight the first being poetry and the second being the epic tale of the Mahabharata.

The elegance or the uniqueness of the poem lies the way the old tale of Mahabharata has been captured. In most of the illustrations, the Mahabharata always gives the perception through a third person’s eye or the victors’ (Pandavas) eyes. Rashmirathi provides an insight into the battle through the eyes of Karna, one of the most influential yet ignored and unlucky character in the tale.

The literary value of Rashmirathi is simply brilliant, the poetry never ceases catching your attention and delves you inside the mind of Karana and presents his side of things and his view of the Dharma. However, in the current age where Hindi as a literary language has taken a lot of backseat readers might find understanding of some words difficult use of a hind dictionary or internet might be required.

Summary: Overall a brilliant read, totally mind boggling and makes you think and capture multiple perspectives and the ethics of right and wrong. However, if a long Hindi poetry which spans across 176 pages is not your forte then this might not be the book for you.

Rating: 5 / 5

Ps. I have tried my hands on translating some poems of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s Rashmirathi here and here. Should make a good impression on what the book has in store for you.