Karna’s Tragic Personal Choices and Its Outcome

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Book Title: Karna’s Wife: The Outcast’s Queen

Author: Kavita Kane

Translator:  N/A

Rating: 3.25 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

The central character is Princess Uruvi of Pukeya and she is the main storyteller. The entire novel is from her perspective. Karna as her husband is seen from her emotional view. Uruvi way of looking at things is colored with her sense of being fair towards all.

She is caught between two men, who are arch-rivals determined to fight to death, if the opportunity arises. How that opportunity arrives and how it pans out is the entire story narrated mostly from Uruvi’s view and later, the narration of war has more than one voice.

Uruvi’s thoughts are well-structured about various aspects of women’s role in the society of ancient India. Woman are used and discarded with little thought in the ancient world even if they were Princess or Queen. A woman is just a prized object to be donated like an object for fulfilling allegiance towards the winner of the competition.

Kavita juxta poses the various strong women characters and comments using the view from Uruvi’s point. The enforced choices that each woman makes in their personal and social life nags Uruvi’s sense of right. Of course, Queen Kunti’s choices directly affects Uruvi’s life.

Story in a Nutshell:

Mahabharata unlike Ramayana has many side stories, that culminated in the eventual battle, that defined the balance of justice. The novel is about lesser known stories that are not even mentioned about Karna’s life. His personal life as seen by his second wife Princess Uruvi gives an insight into this most wronged character of the epic.

Karna’s obsession to be recognized as man of honor and remove the label of his low birth, almost colors everything in this story. Throughout the novel, his view of how the society sees him plays the vital part of all decision-making. He feels trapped in his role of an adopted son of a Charioteer.

He is also unwilling to give up on his adopted family, while secretly harboring angst on his natural parents for abandoning him. At every given point of decision-making, he sides the people who had stood by him, despite the mystery behind his true identity. The fact that they stood with him against all odds, becomes the factor for his steadfast loyalty towards them.

He is so loyal to his friend, that he is willing to support him even when his friend is wrong. By way of association Karna also becomes the villain of the piece. Karna’s strength of conviction, that his friend is faultless is so strong, that he is unwilling to see it differently, even when, Uruvi points out the fallacies of Duryodhana.  

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

Karna’s life from the perspective of Uruvi might not be a complete portrayal of this misunderstood and failed war-hero. This specific aspect about Karna really captured my imagination.The motif played throughout the novel is one of societal recognition and bearing the label of being a ‘sutaputra.’ Kavita portrays Uruvi as someone who makes her choice of selecting the man she desired to wed; but even in that, the wedlock didn’t give Uruvi the joy that she hoped for; yet there was some really endearing moments in her married life with Karna.

War by any standards has elements to it, that leaves behind a bitter after taste. As you witness, how Uruvi’s simple statement, that her love for Karna was unconditional and watch how it becomes a hindrance to her understanding of her own mind, as her very choice of her man brings her morale down. Karna is forced by his principle to side the bad men. Uruvi has great difficulty accepting this and never gives up, even though she points out the fault in Karna’s processed thoughts.

At the same time, there are glimpses to Karna’s characteristics, which reveals a man of honor and integrity, that even his bad choice of friendship and misplaced loyalty, this only makes him a tragic hero whose redemption was not possible, even past his death.

Both Karna’s loyalty to Duryodhana and Uruvi’s love towards Karna are nemeses choice for them. The lead pairs make the story a tragic loss of noble beings. Yet, it invokes a pathos in the readers for Karna’s end in the battlefield, disarmed and helpless. His death was already decided by the set of curses from his tutors and other celestial beings. He is nonchalant about his actions from the past and that almost places the final wood piece on his preset pyre.   

Kavita’s voice when she used minimalist brush stroke for the Kurukshetra war in the voice of Uruvi, brought out the dire straits of war in a more poignant style.With each fall of brave warriors of the lore, the war gets to be uglier to even watch through the voices of the varied narrators. One can feel the deep sense of despondency and death of humanity in general.

My Opinion

I believe when reading ancient stories, one must treat them as literature that often reflect the past era. There are two variant contingent thoughts for me. One, do we look at the ancient past as a more advanced pure age, or two, do we see it as an era that is just pulling its way into the more advanced thought processing era.

When we use the prism of the past being much more progressive than the present, then I feel there is a lot of disappointment instore for the readers. Since, the story speaks of everything going from bad to worse. The Mahabharata war ends the Indian Bronze age and ushers in the Iron age or Kaliyuga. As per ancient text, the Iron age is riddled with all kinds of immoral activities and darkness. The story ends with a paraphrased statement about Karna and Uruvi’s son Vrishkethu being under Krishna and Arjuna’s guidance.   

So when we read the worst from the Bronze age the book leaves one hopeless of the coming age.There are no positive thoughts at all. One even feels sad for the violence in Duryodhana’s death. As a retelling and narration of Princess Uruvi and Karna’s life this book is truly wonderful to read, though it is a one bumpy emotional ride.    

Image Source: Karna’s Wife Cover page

 

Antal’s Love for the Mãl

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Book Title: Antal and Her Path of Love: Poems of a Woman Saint from South India

Author: Vidya Dehejia

Translation of:  Andal’s Thiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumozhi

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Translator:

Vidya Dehejia wears multiple caps in her profession as a passionate art historian. Much like a detailed investigator, Vidya probes deep into the past and pulls out the stories behind artifacts and monuments clearly listing the era of progress in Art history and social settings of the past.

Vidya Dehejia’s professional website provides interesting information about all her interest areas. She is Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia University. and visiting professor to the Mario Miranda Visiting Research Professorship at the Goa University.

Her Exhibition show her in-depth knowledge of the South Asian Art History. She is also a Padma Bhushan awardee, whose passion for the Art world sparkles in every one of her books published so far.

In this book, she has picked the work of the Woman Saint Antal and her center-piece theme of her poems is Krishna one of Vishnu’s ten incarnation. The Southern milieu works of the Alwars are great inspiration for sustaining the growth of Vaishnavite religion.

Vidya has done a clean translation and has been very detailed to a ‘T’ about various aspects of the poems. The translation is clean and the author had done a wonderful job of looking at the text from various perspectives, thus providing a rounded view of the age and time.

Poems in a Nutshell:

Antal is one of the 12 Alwars and the only woman alwar who is recognized and worshipped in the Temples of Srivaishanava Hindu religion. Her work in praise of the Lord Vishnu is used as text to churn the spirit of worship from within to any who reads or recites her poems.

Antal has written two poems, Thiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumozhi. The shorter poem Thiruppavai, consisting of 30 verses, is popular and is recited during the month of Marghzi (Period: between Mid-Dec-Mid-Jan) in the Srivaishanava temples even today.

Both the poems are focused on the central theme, the love of Mãl or Vishnu or Krishna. Andal pours forth her love for Krishna in her two works with such passion that the enthusiasm of her love gets transferred into the hearer of the pasuram or verses.

Between the two works Thiruppavai is mellower than the Nacciyar Tirumozhi, which is an outcry of a young maid longing for her lover. The vastness of the poem’s angle can be seen in the approach that Antal had on the verses that she rendered in praise of the lord Vishnu.

Nacciyar Tirumozhi is more erotic and speaks of a lamenting lover grievance to be with her love. But the second work Antal is more herself and unrestricted. Where Thiruppavai is restrictive to proprietary behavior in a social settings, the Nacciyar Tirumozhi breaks those boundaries. Her second work is more a personal and private conversation between her and her lover Mãl.

Vidya does a beautiful work of bringing out the huge difference in the works and Antal cannot be better represented textually. The translated text flows beautifully and there is an unique understanding of the poetess which brings out her inherent fragrance of spirituality.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

I liked the way the words flowed into each other. The translator has done a wonderful work of almost replicating the musical quality from the source language to targeted language of translation, English. Even though both the languages have a huge difference; but Vidya had done justice to both the languages.

There were places where the flavors of South Indian scenario comes out beautifully. The rustic life and Antal’s love in translation didn’t lose its quality and intensity.

My Opinion

This book opened many of my sensitive points of thoughts in my mind as I read it. I also understood that the conversation of spiritual nature when based on emotional attachment to spiritual head, it removes almost all barrier of expression. When love becomes the expression, then the rules of social life just vanishes.

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My First Book on Kindle Paper White | The Experience

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Book Title: Half-Girlfriend

Author: Chetan Bhagat

Translator:  N/A

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Chetan Bhagat is a writer of Indian origin and widely recognized as popular stream writer. The New York Times calls him “the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history”. Of course, you can check the Wikipedia for more info. But I found his official website more informative. I found the Q & A very interesting.

Chetan’s style of writing at least for this novel was very down-to-earth and simple. If I read another story of his, then I can make out if his natural style is to be simple and to the point. But in this novel the storyteller’s voice is very distinctive which I liked.

Chetan as a storyteller gets to my sensitive emotional points, I am invested in the story that he draws out of those bear necessity words. I am someone who reads Virginia Woolf for light reading. I love complex sentences and I am a long sentence writer myself. If sentences get complex and beat around the bush, then one is studiously serious to offer something important to the world. All hail my misconceptions!

But then, if you the above kind of reader, then you are in for a shock, because the main characters one from Bihar and another from Delhi don’t do language. For the most parts, the story moves like an art movie giving an immense sense of reading between the lines. Storyteller was such a pleasure to listen to.

Story in a Nutshell:

A typical college love story and the fate of the lovers in the face of varied life challenges. Relationship definitions under Indian setting and how much goes into maintaining one. The story has been set in contemporary timeline and space-out for a few years. Will the lovers and their love succeed? Well, that is something you might want to read the book and get to know.

The leads Madhav Jha and Riya Somani are in a not-yet-there relationship. A tug of war of emotions that creep in slow process which indicate where the relationship is headed. Simple thing is that the story is about a boy who loves a girl. That girl feels she not yet ready for him and rest of the story is all about why she isn’t and if she would ever be ready to accept his love!

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

There were places in this novel, that I felt Chetan just chickened out. But one thing was very strong for him and that is his English is superlative in its simplicity. He never strayed away from simple and compound sentences and used complex sentences only if he was pushed by the narrative. This makes the story so smooth flowing in the head and reads well.

Books take the head space and I think of it as a tête-à- tête session between the storyteller and the reader. Unlike watching a movie, it is not a communal activity, though the discussion of the books among friends could be a group activity of like or different minded people. So, when I read the book, there were moments when I was rushing to put things together. But Riya’s reasons for her silence was such a shock for me. Do this say that woman are vulnerable all their life on earth.

But I felt Chetan didn’t do a psychological twist on it and couch crashed Riya. I liked that a lot. Sometimes, somethings need to be just not explicit but suggestive. The book is an excellent light read and a travel companion during transit.

This book was a little unusual for me, because I was in the mind of a male and with the view of woman’s thought process from male perspective. Though it was very interesting space to be in, I did feel that emotional complexity and frustration were beautifully administered.

My Opinion

Chetan Bhagat right after Shashi Tharoor was an extreme relief. Shashi’s book cooked my brain while Chetan’s book was a fluffy omelet. IMHO, I believe that this book is wonderfully light reading and of course, the movie version of this book has some beautiful songs.

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Unearthing My Mother-Tongue with Sujata Bhatt

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Today was an interesting day for me. I am excessively emotional about poetry and I love to dabble around with it. I came across this Poem quite by accident really. I was looking for Daksha Sheth’s dance drama titled “In Search of My Tongue” but I kept getting Sujata Bhatt’s poem.

I got fascinated by the link and went over to the page where the poem awaited me with patience. It showed me what I have never really lost. I have felt like an alien at all places because of my English language.

All these years whether at a Convent School, Women’s College, or US College I always felt that I didn’t belong anywhere. Even now I stand as a stranger not knowing when I would reach home.

But this poem gave me back my identity that has been wallowing around in dark corners to hide from the reality of my existence. This poem put into words those unmentioned words that gets stuck within me.

Even now, as I am writing this piece, I tell myself what language is truly me. My understanding of English is a little stronger than my understanding of my mother-tongue Tamil.

Yet I feel I am not accepted by English speaking people and rejected by my own people who take pride in their Tamil knowledge. I can’t be free when I’m among English speakers and I fear my mother-tongue speakers.

In 1998, I got a chance to see the dance drama “In Search of My Tongue” staged by Daksha Sheth dance troupe which was hosted by British Commission in the Government Museum theatre in Egmore, Chennai. This dance drama was based on the poem and was truly a treat to watch.

This was my first live theatre to which I had free passes given by my Uncle. Once seated, I settle down to be entertained. But then, that didn’t happen but it became something else altogether.

The play expounded the birth of language from the initial random sounds to the musicality of words strung together. The human characters in the play began initially by making wide bodily movement and then moved on to produce whole sounds at the end of the play.

When I reflected upon the play, I understood that the birth of storytelling started with wide physical puppet-like movement, then solidified into a string of musical words that was sounded.

Eventually, the sounds got recorded and became printed words on a sheet. Mostly the entire play was aimed at showing the language in symbolic bodily expression and how sound eventually took over the expressions of human emotion.

It set me thinking deep within me as to my own identity and what I perceived to be the person that I am. The confusion both the languages put me in left me bereft and alone to figure my own way out.

To this day I haven’t yet found reconciliation for both the languages. There are few things that my English speaking Tamil heart is unable to really express in any language. Yet struggle through I do.

So when I read the poem “Search for My Tongue” by Sujata Bhatt I understood that my mother-tongue lies awaiting to take over my dreamscapes.

I live for those days when the dreams entirely takeover and I am not overwhelmed by my mother-tongue. But I believe sometimes silence is the best language that expresses everything.

If my mother tongue comes alive in my dream space then I would welcome it with open arms to be my permanent mode of expression. I feel like a prodigal daughter whose family awaits her arrival.

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Transition of Reading from a Book to Reading on a Kindle Paper White

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Written words is much younger than the spoken words, so reading is relatively new given the history of language. The timeline is not as important as the impact it has on the reader and thoughts shared to the world. The secrets of the past and the plans of the future get revealed in interesting ways through the art of reading.

I don’t know, if I should call reading ability a science or an art, because I feel it is both. If we were to look at the various type of languages available to human beings, then it is interesting to inspect at all the attempts to capture the various sounds and pin it down as recognizable symbols on the materials that allow recording, that can be later used for reading to expand the knowledge thought pool.

I feel that language is the greatest discovery of Human civilization. What makes me curious is the fact, that we have so many languages in this world, which I believe have explored the recording of various sounds. The more languages one knows, then, more capable is the human brain to work out complex logics.

The progress of language in reading is an interesting story. Graphical representation transforming into representative symbols, that later was recognized as a set of sound and progressed to creating a bunch of sound that can be recognized as a word, the very basic element of a sentence. These sentences become a mode to express complex human prone logics. It is an interesting explorative learning to explore about reading as a habit.

The reading began in walls, clay tablets, dry leaves and other materials, which preserved the imprints of the language symbol to be read over the years. Some of these materials are available even today, which is not surprising. It is worth noting, that the language scripts are still evolving, so a single language being universally used is happening in slow progress.

With the advancement in technology, the material for recording text on papers got improved when the printing press was invented. The advancement of each era saw the improvement happen over the centuries. The printing press made mass production cost effective and helped in standardizing the language.

Books open up venues to share and to bring new innovative thoughts to the entire world what with advancing mode of communications. The latest think tank materials are brought to the public that has add-on value for the discerning thinkers. This kind of wide scale sharing led to getting people to understanding and expand their thoughts.

Being born in the later half of the 20th Century and given the advancement of the world, the printed books have played an important role in my growing years. Naturally, there was a lot of influence from my surrounding that has led to books having an important place in my life.

The comic to novel transition happened in slow progress; but it also reflected on the shaping of my thoughts. The joy of enjoying the beautiful arrangements of words on printed book was such a happy moment for me.

There so many smells connected with the books. From the smell of fresh papered new books to repellent sprayed old books from the local library, has left behind smells of varied kinds of books from various places. The experience of holding a book and turning pages to catch up with the thoughts process of the writer’s expressions is a wonderful feeling.

The shift from hardcopy bound book to the Kindle was a new experience for me, since the instrument fitted into my hand and was light weight, less strain on my eyes. I had got the Kindle during my third semester of college and was hooked onto it. But I broke the screen accidentally and the instrument was not useable after that incident.

Later in 2017, I got myself a Kindle Paper White with Wi-Fi connection that allowed me to read as many books that I please with Kindle Unlimited. There is much learning happening with the instrument.

The one thing that makes me uncomfortable is the size of the Kindle, but I am happy with the text size. This is like reading a book using a pager. I think it is just a matter of settling down with the instrument, then I will start feeling comfortable. Because books have never been Square so far, in my book reading experience.

The square Kindle makes me go squint-eyed. The previous Kindle was rectangular; but this time, I had deliberately chosen a square one. So, it is a matter of settling in, you could say! The other features like touch-screen one is pretty much interesting to work around.

I need to get familiar with the instrument to understand it in depth. But all in all, I love the Kindle Paper White for its clarity and lack of glare. The text can be switched for convenience and easy on the weight, really helps. Of course, books like Theory and Criticism of Literature can be read with ease in the Kindle, if the Kindle Unlimited has those books for free.

I recommend this product with four hearts out of five hearts.

URL: Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi  

Image Source: Amazon

Panoramic View of History of India

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Book Title: India Shastra | Reflections on the Nation in our Time

Author: Shashi Tharoor

Translator:  N/A

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Author:

This book is the first of my political books that I have ventured to read up. Shashi Tharoor as an author is very structured and articulate. His thoughts are progressive and innovative. Each chapter has been written with the mindset to expand the readers thoughts and get a general perception of true advancement of India.

As a person who has held official posts in the Indian government, he speaks erudite lingo of progress. Sometimes the best expressed thoughts create the right kind of impact on the readers. As an author I found him to be convincing with much of the intelligence of political tendency to be articulate to a fault.

Sometimes, I found him to be pro-congress in his expressions. I think that is expected given that he belongs in the Congress party. But I was disappointed that it colored some of his perceptions, I looked forward for some fair deal in voicing what Congress did wrong too. But then loyalties are stood up to by using finesse of expressions.

Book in a Nutshell:

The book is divided into 8 section under the varied topics, and sub-topics are covered with well structured thought process. This gives a reader a complete panoramic view of India’s political stand from Pre-Independence day to Modified days. The book contains some really interesting information bundled into knowledge packets. The past, present and future of India is beautifully drawn using words as a medium.

The author has been really sharp and erudite in expressing his visions, provisions for better Indian governance. The common goal of India has been given a beautiful platform to perform and excel with good and wise leadership at the helm. Is there a single party that can provide good leadership at the helm is still open for a debate?

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

Shashi Tharoor as a thinker is par excellence. His thought process is really the niche that this book enjoys and educates the readers. The fact that India at various stage of history has been bouncing back on its feet and continuing its journey of progress. As the largest live democracy India’s political engine works with its regular set of maintenance requirement.

Per se, I had no dislikes about the book; but I did felt that Shashi couldn’t prevent the voice of his party infringe his words in certain places. If BJP voices strongly against minority, then Congress goes equally loud on religion and other weaker points of BJP. But then, there is no ownership to faults in Congress governance. This could possibly be that while representing a greater machine of Democracy’s working in voting populace that will get your eyes popping, I believe the Laxmanian Common Man has to bear the brunt.

My Opinion

I must say that the book was really much more informative than the history book that I read in my school days. Given the requirement to rote learn all details, I wonder if history books do carry the truth or truth according to the group that won the war. When I read Shashi Tharoor’s history, then I wondered all the hardship of memorizing even the swatted shape of a dead mosquito in my history book doesn’t serve the purpose of educating me. But given so many wars, humans have yet to learn that war is futile and not worth all those bloodshed.

History is often written by the winners of the situation and it is angled to make the winner’s look better. But history is always is written on blood that will leave you cold and rebuked as an outcaste. But then what does the common man want of all this history upheaval? I would say that the night will follow the day and likewise, various parties may come and go; but still, public problems are just that, public problem unresolved.

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Impact of Quitting Social Media

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One thing that I liked the most in social media platforms is the motivational speeches. The interesting thing about motivational speech or any speech for that matter is that it is usually a two ways road for the speaker and listeners. Not all motivational speeches have the same kind of impact on the listeners.

For most parts a speech is so much about how it is delivered, toned and pitched. It is also about the images the speaker evokes in the listeners, that makes a motivational speech, a most effective medium of self-expression.

My experience with social media channels are limited to Facebook, mild Twitter exposure and from opening to closing of Instagram account. I never came across flame messages and always thought multiple times before I wrote anything on social media.

Not that I was shy about expressing my thoughts, I personally I thought it was not necessary to have a screaming match online with a total stranger, who I didn’t even know and the stranger me and of course, family members are too busy to check social media postings. So I had a relatively peaceful Facebook experience.

I moved out of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram only this month, hoping I would find a more creative ways of doing other things in life. Not surprisingly, the only thing from social media, that I missed was the motivational speeches in Facebook.

That kicked off my curiosity, and I started to wonder, what makes a good motivational speech, in the first place? It brought many thoughts to my mind, such as positive view of a negative situation, a sense of well-being for the troubled-mind, a peace that all is not lost and thereby some hope is attached to the life situation.

There is much more that I looked out for in a motivational speech. I was silently looking for confirmation on the thoughts, that I held, which I would use for situations in life. When there were a lot of pressures, it is then, that the best or worst part of my inner self comes out into the open.

Motivational speeches for me became a reiteration of what I believed in. Having moved out of most of social media channels, I am much happier, but I still felt that, I was running away from the facts of present day life. But much of the stress that is there in our life is it truly justified?

There are moments in my life when I refuse to fight and just take flight as an option. The choice of leaving Facebook was also close to flight because I was really unhappy being in that space. I refused to live in some kind of social pressure to live up to an illusion of my projected self and fable of my own life.

I didn’t like it one bit. Moreover my writer friends were all in the Facebook and I had been putting off the decision to quit the medium, merely for the fact, that I will lose touch with my friends. But this month, I braved up and quit the space and I am none the worse from the decision.

There is a sense of peace from having quit the space. I have nothing against social media, I merely wanted to live my life without comparing against others who are much more socially active and having the time of their life. My tasteless life seemed really to be of no worth.

Facebook made me more depressed and worthless. To prevent the sense of being alone in a huge crowd of friends, I decided to subscribe to Motivational speeches, after a while even those speech couldn’t remove the despondency I felt within me. I was convinced there was much at stake for my peace of mind in it too. So I peacefully arrived at the decision to quit.

It is nearly two weeks of having quit social media platform and there is a marked difference. I am happier and I do things because I like it and not for some post on the internet. That thought feels much more an healthier attitude. I am sad that I will not be able to reach all my writer friends; but I know they would want me to be happy with whatever is good for me.

Okay then Facebook, goodbye you were entertaining, but I must move on to find my rainbow! Life is not tied down to that red circle with numbers on a blue background on the right edge of the top screen. Real life is much more than that!

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A Boy Growing Up In a Graveyard | A Light Take

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Book Title: The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Translator:  N/A

Rating:   3.5 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Neil Gaiman is an author who loves libraries from his formative years. The surprising thing about this author is his quality of making the horrific almost a natural occurrence. I enjoyed the way he works on the story of Bod and there are some excellent moments of surprises. The flow of words is done with such care, that I like the way things connect in this book.

The storyteller’s style is a little green; but the magic of words and images create a feeling of eerie quality. It is like seeing an Halloween costumed kindergarten play. The various components of this story presents an interesting combination of fictional imagination being given the reality coloring, that have an almost thrilling experience for the reader.

Story in a Nutshell:

The story surrounds around a little boy named Bod and how he grows in the graveyard with complete access to the world of the dead. The experiences that Bod undergoes in this story is quiet interesting. A sense of protectiveness towards Bod that is shown by graveyard dwellers makes the spirits of the death to have reminiscent human feelings. The young baby in the crib loses not only its entire family; but also has to put up with threats to his life, all through his growing years.

The best part of the story is the realistic way in which the story ends. The episodes around the graveyard and Bod’s understanding that takes form through his own emotional growth is a wonderful way to experience this book. There are much more interesting information in the book, that captures the attention of the readers.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

I like the way the graveyard is structured and the magical quality with which the scenes are set together to bring out the sense of thrill and a more human view of the life beyond. Of course, the concept of hell is dealt differently in my culture and this book gave me another perspective.

There is nothing that I dislike in this book. I believe I will not come across a book which I would dislike. I always thought that a book is basically a point of view and the author or creator takes the pleasure of creating it for their readers.

My Opinion

I believe this book is a great starting point for young readers who are willing to explore friendly kind of ghosts and other creatures who live in the graveyard. I did tell my niece when she suggested this book from her book shelf, that I am easily frightened person. My niece was very insistent, that I read the book only before I go to sleep. By the time I was four pages down the book with my slow reading, I knew this story to be gripping. I suggest it even for people who are easily frightened to experiment with life in the beyond and quirks around those hangouts.

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Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead | By Alfred L. Tennyson

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The mind takes a fancy for some deep-seated sorrow and I begin searching for a poem from my past. The one subject which I really loved in my schooling days were the English classes and especially poetry unit. I was unconscious and struggling with my grades, until I was in the eighth. Then, my schooling life’s equation changed completely. Because, in the summer of 1987, I had started to write my journals and experimenting with writing poem with fixed end-word rhyme patterns.

Everything in this life of mine, was for a reason and I strongly believe it. Some of the strange occurrences in my life was an indication for inner growth of my emotional and mental state. I love poetry and still do. For me writing long explanatory prose is tedious; while a rhyming four lines can achieve much more and effectively too!

Today, the sky is filled with rain bearing clouds and the sound of light shower pitter-patters on my window pane, while becoming an ongoing reminder of the climate. The showers reminded me of a brave recent widow whose husband’s dead body arrives home. I remembered the poem but didn’t know who wrote it and was struggling to find this poem.

Somehow this kept reminding me of a Rajput Widow and somehow I got it mixed with Sarojini Naidu. After much permutation combination of search keywords, at last, I found the poem. But then I was saddened that it was not a Indian Poet.

Here is the poem:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45379/the-princess-home-they-brought-her-warrior-dead

You may also listen to it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVi4ZtmEu7I

I was fascinated with Alfred Lord Tennyson’s version of the poem. Somehow, the Authurian Knight having parted with the spirit, now lay motionless on his mansion’s cold floor; while his lady love’s emotions are frozen like his inanimate body. Did it reach my sensitivity? A resounding yes!

This made me interested In Tennyson’s life story. According to me, some of the most experiential writers are people who have lived the words that they write, if not in real-life at least in their imagination compounding from parallel life experience. I believe the poet and their experiences are not far apart. Beneath that camouflage of emotional outburst in verse form lives the very human poet.

I was elated that I found the poem from my past, if I hadn’t found it, I would have worried my mind endlessly. Many a times, I had within me a line from my past which would grip my understanding and emotions like some kind of a fierce hold on my life. That sense of unrest can be very intense for my peace of mind.

Having restored my peace and I watched with fascination at the long narrative about Tennyson’s life and works, courtesy: poetry foundation dot com.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/alfred-tennyson

I often wondered why poems were taught away from the creator of the piece. The quintessential factor is as much the piece, as the creator of the piece. The poem without the poet is simply not a given for me.

I wondered at the meeting of emotional points in Tennyson’s poem and those of Indian sentiments. I believe any warrior’s wife from which ever country, would have been the silently grieving lady who gives expression to her sorrow when her child is placed on her arms. The past and present got culminated in the vision of the future. Why do we have war in the first place? Because we kind of try to justify the need to defend the specific ideologies. Or, simply put, if peace can be achieved only by fighting for it, then so be it attitude! But at the end of the day, we have just lost the best people, given that men and women join the armies, these days.

Where am I hypothesizing in my thoughts about war and warriors? I find it fascinating that brave and courageous warriors are in great demand to create a new world; but I disagree that it be created on the bloodshed of many innocents. I don’t propose war and especially unwarranted, but then what if it is unavoidable circumstance. What would be the most humane stand to take?

The whole gamut of the scenario is reduced to the child on the arms of the mother. Is there going to be a repeat of the incident at a future date with the son now covered with the country’s flag. I don’t agree to that scenario, but then tell me haven’t we witnessed this scene repeat itself in a loop over many centuries.  I am perplexed and confused, since this is a question that will remain unanswerable because braveness calls forth for sacrifice that mere weakling mortals cannot achieve in their lifetime.

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