Book Review: Yuganta, The End of an Epoch

Yuganta

I was drawn to this book primarily because of its name – Yuganta. The word carries a musical, soulful mystery – it is romantic, it speaks of history in gigantic (end of an epoch) terms, it promises insight into one of the greatest epics of Indian literature and religion – the Mahabharata.

Iravati Karve’s book is a storehouse of scientific and historical enquiry, of years of study and research, and deep-felt insight into the characters and the times of the Mahabharata. I confess to have found more than I had hoped for in this paperback. The Mahabharata was essentially a treatise of the life and times of certain people. It was a story told by ‘sutas’ or court bards, and further embellished by latter Brahmans and sutas, to make it an ever-growing epic.

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Book Review: The Great Indian Novel

An Exercise in Self-Indulgence or a Supremely Intellectual Modern Satire

While going through a spate of reading mythological literature and fiction, I came across Amazon’s recommendation to read Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel. Curiosity made me purchase the novel and few pages into the book I was recommending it to all readers with similar book interests. The intricacies of word play and the liberal usage of intelligent pun made this a humorous and enthralling read. It stands high on the pedestal of a modern satire and is impressive.

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Book Review: Understanding Bullying on Religious Lines

Mothering a Muslim by Nazia Erum is an important book in our times. As the world embraces Islamophobia in daily rhetoric and our own nation walks a thin line of communal irrationality, Muslims are increasingly living threatened lives. The fear embeds in the minds and hearts of mothers, who face simple but difficult choices even in selecting a socially-acceptable name, when a child is born into a Muslim family.  Do all mothers face this diabolical question – would the child be bullied and socially ostracized if the child’s name connects it to a community? Not all but a Muslim mother, surely, be it in any part of the globe.

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Window Seat – Flashback 2014

The Window Seat is a collection of articles by journalist Supriya Sharma as she undertakes a 2,500-kilometer train journey across India. The compilation is available on the scroll.in site and is aptly complemented by photos from this vast stretch of land as it readies itself to vote in the 2015 Indian elections. In this blog piece, I look at a few key elements that emerge after reading the compilation. It is a satisfying and insightful read but most importantly it is a compelling work.

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Book Review: Stories from Hindu Mythology for Young Readers

Image Source: https://www.behance.net/gallery/74431539/Garuda-and-the-Serpents-Book-illustrations

Arshia Sattar‘s collection of 18 stories from Hindu mythology is written in the genre of retelling of the myths, as popularized by Devdutt Pattanaik. When I got Garuda and the Serpents from Juggernaut publishers, I was elated to see the beautifully illustrated cover page. The inside of the book revealed more beautiful renditions in bright colors by talented illustrator, Ishan Trivedi, who loves to bring the mythologies to life on canvas. My 11-year old son, an avid reader, was also attracted by the vibrant book cover.

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