Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Written Affair : Her Beautiful Eyes

Her Beautiful Eyes is a poem about a blind girl... usually when we see a physically or mentally challenged person, we tend to be biased towards them. We think that those people are incapable of thinking, behaving or doing things the normal way... But God when takes away something from someone, he makes it a point to bless that person with other strengths. In this poem, I've tried to bring out the fact that even a physically challenged person is as much capable of doing normal things as we are... here the blind girl has same mysteries, same questions, similar dreams in her eyes... but we cease to notice them coz we are so full of our preconceived ideas...

No one saw her beautiful eyes...
No one saw
The depth in her eyes,
No one saw
Her curious eyes,
No one saw
The secrets hidden in her eyes,
No one saw
The questions rising in her eyes!

No one saw her beautiful eyes...
No one understood
The mysteries of the depth,
No one understood
Her curiosity towards life,
No one understood
How she hid her secrets,
No one understood
The questions in her eyes!

No one saw her beautiful eyes...
No one seemed to notice
The loneliness in her eyes,
No one seemed to notice
The pain in her eyes,
No one seemed to notice
The sad expression in her eyes,
No one seemed to notice
Her craving for the truth!

No one saw her beautiful eyes...
There was so much to be seen
In her beautiful eyes,
But those eyes could not see...
For she was blind!

No one ever noticed
Her beautiful eyes!

Book Review : Jaya

Book Title : Jaya - An Illustrated Retelling Of The Mahabharata

Author : Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik
Genre : Mythology
ISBN : 9780143104254
Publisher : Penguin Books India
Publication : 2010
Pages : 372
Binding : Paperback

Plot :
High above the sky stands Swarga, paradise, abode of the gods. Still above is Vaikuntha, heaven, abode of God.
The doorkeepers of Vaikuntha are the twins, Jaya and Vijaya, both whose names mean 'victory'. One keeps you in Swarga; the other raises you into Vaikuntha.
In Vaikuntha there is bliss forever, in Swarga there is pleasure for only as long as you deserve. What is the difference between Jaya and Vijaya? Solve this puzzle and you will solve the mystery of the Mahabharata.
In this enthralling retelling of India's greatest epic, the Mahabharata, originally known as Jaya, Devdutt Pattanaik seamlessly weaves into a single narrative plots from the Sanskrit classic as well as its many folk and regional variants, including the Pandavani of Chattisgarh, Gondhal of Maharashtra, Terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and Yakshagana of Kamataka.
Richly illustrated with over 250 line drawings by the author, the 108 chapters abound with little-known details such as the names of the hundred Kauravas, the worship of Draupadi as a goddess in Tamil Nadu, the stories of Astika, Madhavi, Jamini, Aravan and Barnareek, the Mahabharata version of the Shakuntaiam and the Ramayana, and the dating of the war based on astronomical data.
With clarity and simplicity, the tales in the elegant volume reveal the eternal relevance of the Mahabharata, the complex and disturbing meditation on the human condition that has shaped Indian thought for over 3000 years.

My Rating : 5 ☆'s

Review :
How many of us have read Mahabharata (excuse me elders, the question was intended for the teenagers and people in twenties) - guess, not many of us. No shame in that - I tried reading bible, trust me I couldn't read it. Truthfully, its not even our age to bury ourselves in religious scriptures - well that was what I thought, till I came across this author and his beautifully written books.
This wasn't my first book and it wasn't the last either. This book was recommended to me by my sister-in-law, who by the way, is 5 years younger to me about an year ago(the reason I mentioned the age difference was to point out how teenagers are finding the book interesting too).

Well, Dr. Devdutt's writing style is so different, that you will get hooked to the book. He doesn't narrate it like a religious scripture, but breaks down the story into smaller anecdotes and passages. What's even more interesting is, he adds his own perceptions and his own ideas at the end of each chapter that makes it an ever more interesting read. 

People who have read Mahabharata, the original religious scripture i.e., even they will find some new and interesting bits in this retelling. I read the book and then I asked my mom to read it and trust me, she found it interesting too - and she found something new in there too.
As if, this wasn't an inspiration enough to pick up a copy - reading these books and later discussing them leads to some real awesome discussions and chats.

And to add to the fun, pick up Ajaya (by Anand Neelakantan) before or after reading this one and you would really have some food for thought.
So, here's to hoping, these books would get a chance...

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Personal Musings : Materialism

Most of us, whether we accept it or not are materialistic, true the degrees vary - but how many of us can really accept our materialistic natures? Live with this fact? Or maybe try to keep it under check, curb it?
I am one hell of a materialistic person, and though it's not something to be proud of, I'm happy that I can at least accept it unlike most of the people. But is accepting enough? Shouldn't I be doing something about it? Can I even do something about it when it is a part of my nature, a part of who I'm?
But then again, what I'm most materialistic about is books - yes I'm a book hoarder. So how bad can materialism in my case be, if it's about books? How can surrounding oneself with books be a bad thing? 
I collect books - collector's editions, box sets, hardbound illustrated editions etc. etc... but I also read them - I have at least one suggestion for almost all the genres though I definitely haven't read all the authors - so there is scope for me to still be materialistic and hoard more books. So how bad is my materialism?
But then I also like to own latest gadgets (not that I always do our have everything - a laptop, a mobile, a decent pair of earphones - that's where my gadget list ends), have a cupboard full of clothes and 6 to 7 good pairs of shoes - but aren't those like basic necessities. Will owning these things make me materialistic?
True I may desire a lot more, my amazon wish lists would be a living proof of that - but I also know the difference between 'want' and 'need' and I have the strength to walk out of a store empty handed. I would call that an achievement - to have that much self-control when I'm materialistic.
Having said that, I also know that I'm neither reasonable nor that strong when it comes to books. Walking out empty handed from a bookstore is near impossible for me or spending humongous amounts on buying books is not beyond me... it won't be wrong to say, I'm obsessed when it comes to books.
And this eventually leads me to the internal debate with myself, how is being materialistic about books bad, for isn't it good to surround oneself with books? A debate, neither side of me will ever win - and thus I tuck it away in one corner of my big head and go on giving in to my temptations and buying books. And when I have the time to rattle my brain, in moments like these, these thoughts come rushing back to me where I once again never reach a conclusion - and this becomes an ongoing vicious cycle...