Karna’s Tragic Personal Choices and Its Outcome

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

 

My Lifetime’s Spiritual Reading List

I read anything and everything. I just try to stay away from judging any of the reading lists that explored. But then I find my thought somehow gets structured by what I read. Though, it would always be subjected to a huge debate in my head.

I’m a lifelong loner and started my long standing relationship with reading since my 3rd grade. So I kept reading a lot of British classics during those visits to library around the corner of Headmistress room corridor. I would skip my lunch sometime or stuff myself to rush to the library.

My first book on Self-help was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. It was the first book which was close to spiritual that I read during that time. I was very confused and couldn’t understand the content. But somehow, I kept thinking, that I could change my thoughts to positive as easily as turning the pages of the book.

But nothing happened within me, I still felt bereft. I was also enrolled in the local lending library, that is when, I came to know of T. S. Lobsang Rampa. I was totally taken at the time with occult material such as astral travel and other related topics. I even imagined having such an astral experience, the power of auto-suggestion.

One of my troubles has been that I get taken in by whatever book I am reading. These books are during the time when my personality was getting set into a groove. The confusion pot of thoughts that kept going within me was so difficult to be ordered to behave. The Tibetan phase was during my eleventh standard, and by 12th grade, I got busy with my board exams. After that I kind of lost track with Rampa’s materials.

So when I reached College, then everything opened up. From that point, my reading shifted to Jiddu Krishnamurti and at last I had found something close to my thoughts. The material made sense to me because I loved word confusion. But I was equally not ready to give up my householder position. Even now I am not ready to give up and become a monk. I prefer monk over saint, I don’t qualify really for the other.

So for every spiritual inquiry book that I got interested, then, I will read two Romance novels to balance it. See it takes two romance novels to even out one spiritual query book for me. That was my way of saying that I will not just vanish into thin air of unidentified state of commonality. Even with the advanced thinker such as JK’s work; I used to read a combo sections where he would describe a scene and gave the lesson behind it.

It was such fun period to read all the various spiritual books and self-help books. I was like reading at least one book per week during that phase of my life. Around my post-college years when I was having trouble finding something different. Around then, I took a Pranic Healing class as per my cousin’s advice. That kind of linked me back to Rampa’s astral reading days.

During that time my cousin who is from Kashi and was a great Vedic Pandit shared a book with me and my life took another turn. It was titled “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. Synchronicity in which everything is happens for a reason got so much resonance with me that I was grabbed by my childish inquiry scruff and shaken.

Then, life became so interesting because I began noticing people and thought that they had a message for me. Of course, every interaction is a message for being a better person in real-life. Even these days I do read books by Robin Sharma and others to cheer myself up to find motivation.

Right now I am almost become someone who is very balanced but occasionally I lose it but only to gain it back with self-debate. I have read books by Deepak Chopra, Stephen R Covey, Thich Nhat Hanh, Robin Sharma’s “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” the first among the many series of self-help books.

Super Soul Sunday of Oprah Winfrey, Talk shows on motivation by Solomon Pappaiah on Tirukkural, Suki Sivam’s talks and all those Santana dharma by Velukkudi Krishnan and Harikatha discourses by Vishaka Hari and lot of others happened once I shifted from reading to listening.

Then came the days when I would practice meditation at least for 30 minutes every day which I would religiously follow. These days I can find meditative state by merely being. I still have a long way to go spiritually; but the journey was one of many wrong turns and twists. In all this, I still feel a connection with everything in this world.

I have truly forgiven everyone who hurt me during my growing years and I don’t get hurt that fast these days. Even if I do, there are many ways to find peace from within. There are actually no sadness in my life since peace from within resides inside which is such a pleasant feeling. I live my life in Mindfulness these days and find God at every turn welcoming my life with zest.

Image Source: Pexels.com

 

Dwelling in the Simple Minds of Religious Fractions

Book Title:  Silas Marner

Author: George Eliot

Translator:  N/A

Rating:  3.5 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  N/A

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

George Eliot is the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, who was a popular novelist of the 19th century. As a writer, she was more inclined towards topics related to religion and she has explored the various interpretations; while holding a more radical view on the subject. Her novels play on plot events and its human reaction to religious rules that get violated or modified for individual use. Evans’ life was filled with not being accepted by her people and she gained some acceptance from her written works which was a small relief from the disowning she had faced for her belief system. As a radical writer, she comes out with some really appealing books that I enjoyed reading.

Story in a Nutshell:

Silas Marner was a weaver by profession with a dark past that has taken away his belief in a just God in his known world. His only activity was to weave and to sell his product with minimal human interaction. His aspiration after he had collected couple of gold coins was to increase it. He gets obsessed with the gold coins, that it to an exclusion of all other things. This Gold gets robbed, which shakes his sense of security and being subjected by God to an unjust second verdict on his life.

On New Year’s eve Silas finds an abandoned child in his home. He first mistakes it for his gold; but then, warmth of the golden curls of the child wakes his sense of being among the living. The girl child becomes his sole support and getting recognized as an agreeable person for the society around him. From the time of the Child’s presence in his life everything changes for Silas.

The story revolves around the various Characters struggling with their issues and belief systems. The religious thoughts that are found in two different places becomes a comparison grounds for religion based discourse through the characters’ thought process. How the issue of faith and questioning of it is handled by the author is the most enjoyable part of the novel. There is much that gets analyzed using the Characters as a main members contributing to the issue of faith.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

The one thing that I liked about this novel, was the fact that, the author was willing to question practices that were not scientific. There are much radical thoughts, that get introduced in the process of the plot progress. I loved the fact that the author questions some of the thoughts held in the religious ground without stampeding the general accepted sensitivity of the age in which the author lived in and interacted. But given that, it was written in the early days of radical questioning days, I feel the novel is made of great stuffs for intellectual wondering even in the present day intellectualizing.

One thing that I disliked about this novel, was the fact that, the author didn’t have to raze the Lantern Yard to non-existence. It was an easy way out by removing the entire place and leaving just the prison alone. There was much that could be explored if the place had remained.

My Opinion

The plot seems deceivingly simple but it isn’t. Silas Marner is the central figure around whom the entire story revolves. Silas has epileptic attacks which leaves him in an unconscious state for some duration was a great place to explore. The author plays around the medical condition which was interpreted as an unnatural interference from the divine or the devil in varying degree of interpretation. This sets the stage for the entire novel in many ways. The odd practice of deciding using a lot was an actual practice was surprising; but quiet fresh understanding. As a radical read, I found this book very interesting to intellectualize in my mind.

Image Source: http://www.loyalbooks.com/book/silas-marner-by-george-eliot

Unforgettable Flavors of Famous Five

Book Title: Five Go To Demon’s Rocks

Author: Enid Mary Blyton

Translator: N/A

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy: N/A

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Enid Blyton is the most popular author in my collection of childhood reading list. There is something happening when you read as a child. I was a voracious reader since I completed my fourth grade. Back on those days I didn’t think of the author so much but of the titles more. Famous Five was my first chapter book. I was in my fourth grade summer break when I picked my first Enid Blyton’s “Five Go To Demon’s Rocks.” I was absolutely fascinated with the storyline and there such pleasure in reading it.

Story in a Nutshell:

George and her cousins form the Famous Five along with George’s Dog Timothy. Professor Quentin’s colleague Professor Hayling and his son Tinker (and monkey Mischief) arrive early and the adult get involved with their research work.

Tinker and Monkey take some time to get to be friends with George and Timothy. The rest of the team members of the Famous Five arrive. The peace quotient in the Professor’s place downscales and he eventually asks the noisy children to vacation in the Lighthouse belong to Tinker.

The five arrived with their new friend Tinker and the adventure begins in full earnestness. The rest of the story is about various hurdles and treasures that the children discovered and uncover.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

I liked a lot of things about this book and they are the car sounds and animal sounds that Tinker’s Mischief brought out. The words used in the book was easy to understand and was smooth to read.

I disliked the fact that the story ended very soon. There was great fun happening in the Lighthouse which I wanted to continue. Maybe that was the reason why I loved moving on to the next book in the series. I remember writing down 12 books completed within the holidays.

My Opinion

Enid Blyton stories are really wonderful place to start for early independent reader and I would suggest them to the GeneZ groups of newcomers.

My Numero Uno Pratham’s Champions Programme of 2015

I have been linked with Pratham Books from my Creative Remixes days. I had used their ‘Creative Common’ images to create an original story. So I was not unfamiliar with the organization but Champions Programme was new for me. Pratham has been creating awareness and exposure to this programme through their twitter and facebook social media spaces.

The organization aims to increase readership among children for the International Literacy day falling on the 8th of September 2015. This year’s programme was flagged off on Teacher’s Day 5th September to bring more children towards reading books. It had special connotation because the teachers bring the world of books and knowledge to a child in their unique ways.

I got to know about the Champions Programme from my co-worker Anitha Selvanathan. This year’s featured book was “The Boy and the Drum” by Umesh P N and Illustrated by Rajiv Eipe.

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The Boy and the Drum

Even though I registered for the drive of getting books to children to inculcate reading habits, I was rather excited and felt a little challenged. I am crazy about books and if I can generate interest among children for reading then the very sharing is a reward by itself.

I had planned on having a Reading session in my house for my home tuition students. But something kept egging me to seek out a bigger challenge. I wanted to share it among a larger audience since I was equally passionate about sharing a story.

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Home Tuition Students

Quite by accident, actually, I came across the Government Girls Higher Secondary School (GGHSS), Ashok Nagar, Chennai. I approached the Headmistress Mrs. R. C. Saraswathi who felt strongly about encouraging reading habits in Children.

She immediately linked me up with the Drama teacher K. S. Latha who had been a great source of help for smoothing my way for the reading drive. The school was closed for the Teacher’s Day and so we scheduled to have the reading session a day earlier on 4th September at the school.

On the D-Day, I was conscious of the enormity of my challenge but I was also happy to bring them a story to enjoy reading. The Drama teacher offered to set aside two periods for the reading and enacting session.

I was able to prep-talk the children on how to read the text without the stage instruction. The Drama teacher added in her spicy instruction to make the play alive. The selected 10 Children read the story first as a practice and then as a finale.

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10 Lively Characters of the play

(Photo Courtesy: K S Latha)

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Play in Progress

(Photo Courtesy: G Keshav Raj)

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The children were spirited about the reading session each trying to out-do the other in making the play come alive and giving it their touch of unique interpretation. We had a discussion session after the reading to further understand and gain insights into the story.

The Children showed such enthusiasm towards being exposed to reading that they felt an annual event would be a long wait for them. They gave me the inspiration to take these sessions to more children and give them the gift of reading and to explore stories with their imagination.

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Champions Programme 2015 Participants

(Photo Courtesy: G Keshav Raj)

I enjoy making the children desire befriending a book, because one gains a friend who would remain an inspiration through all seasons of life. The One Day One Story drive was the first step towards a long journey ahead. For there is nothing as rewarding as watching those sparkle in the eyes of the children who have just finished reading a story and have found enjoyment in it.

 

Reading Out of My Comfort Zone

Books are a way to connect with people in a cerebral fashion. When I encounter characters in a book, I tend to take sides and sometime making it compulsory, that I connect with them personally. These were during my early days of reading any kind of genres.

But after my MFA, I have come to a new understanding with what I recognize as my comfortable reading zone. These days, readings about characters are more about celebrating the differences and of course, I still take sides, though, they may not be my personal preference.

There is an interesting point about a story making sense to someone cannot relate to the story, character or plot. I am ready for stories that don’t replay the same sonata that I play in my mind space internally. The huge cacophony that I sometime hear while I encounter a unrelatable story becomes a musical of artwork of inner spaces.

Today as I was hanging out on facebook to get some ideas for writing, I found a post by my mentor. She had posted the link to video belonging to PBSNewsHour Youtube Feed.

 

When I heard the novelist and creative writing teacher Charmaine Craig, I was totally taken over by her thoughts. Then, as always the mind started to churn the information within me, a process that happens often with me. During my MFA classes, we had a syllabus including books by various writers and their works were critically viewed.

I must say that the course set my thinking mind in turmoil because I was so used to conservative reading list. My classmates’ works were actually works that I couldn’t relate to for major part. It was the hardest to read the first workshop work of my classmate whose works was to be workshopped the following week. I remember guzzling beverages available in my flat and struggling to understand it.

That is partly the reason when I review books, I tell myself, there can be a few things, which I don’t agree with; but can I peacefully accept its presence in the book, was the question. After the first semester, I had learned to read my classmates work and the syllabus in relative ease. The one take away from the experience of reading a book that you cannot relate to, is the fact that, there is another aspect to life, which might never be your reality ever.

That brings up an interesting question: Is the reality that is around us so multifaceted? And if so, then, seeing it with single prism view would be most ill-fitting task. That then, brings me to the question: Are books then not just a cerebral off-spring of the writer but a view that could be hard to relate?

Do we stand against such a book? Or the book is actually a sampler of varied range of stories floating in the World Literature?

Stories That Border on Euphemized Indian Lives

Book Title: At Close Quarters

Author: Sonia Narayanan

Translator: N/A

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy: N/A

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Sonia Narayanan is based in Bangalore and as a writer; she creates stories that are captivating with a nice human twist to it. The storyteller of these pearls of stories has a unique understanding of human mindset. The author weaves in and out of each story with relative ease and she has set them in different parts of India, thus diversifying the whole collection. The characters are built with such care and details that it showed the writer’s sparkle of writing talent.

Story in a Nutshell:

The short stories in this collection are really interesting with multiple level of flavoring, that it covers all the reader’s entertainment requirement with ease. The collection has 10 short stories set at various places and with different types of personalities. The stories start off, as if ambling into the park of storytelling, while holding the feeble thread of an audience attention with great care. These stories are emotionally mature and yet so filled with human fallacies that become the part of our everyday commoner’s life.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

More than likes, I would say I found a writer who conversed with me. I was captivated by her storytelling style. I loved the fact that the characters were either casual stroke of the brush or intricate painting of Dorian Gray personality feel. There was a taste of R. K. Narayan in the description of the settings but the characters were Sonia’s own. I enjoyed spending time in the scene, while my emotions were the crumbling fourth wall.

There wasn’t much that I disliked about this book, but I did feel that she was hiding from actually placing the dark side without any obscurity. Because in the short story “Anand” I felt she played it safe and left the death of Anand’s wife as a mere apology. Maybe that is the only thing that I felt that the author was not doing it right. I think euphemism is good for certain stories and sometimes one just has to be brutally true in some stories.

But that brings up an unique question within me. Do we have to be graphically explicit in our stories to be authentic? Or just not talking about the bad stuff makes us more palatable writer of reality and social activist causes.

My Opinion

I enjoyed all the ten stories and would love to read it again. But the first impression of the stories can never be replicated. It was a wonderful Indian flavors presented in gentle spirit of being socially right. Great read!

To Read or To Write | That’s the Question

There are two activities that I really love doing in my free time. I like to read books unending and I also love to record my emotional reactions to the specific book. Both these activities make me the person I am.

My experience as a reader and as a writer is two separate lifestyles. When I am reading I usually seek entertainment that is above board; but when I am writing I am generally over analytic coupled with a general angst to the topic.

It is haggering to be a writer than a reader. As a reader, I feel I am far more forgiving, than when I am a writer. Partly, that is the reason why I don’t even attempt to send my work out for publishing.

Writing is a very haggering process, when the topic is weighed and balanced for an authentic voice. So the amount of writing that really gets done is relatively little. I’m still learning to love the process and have a long way to go.

I am searching for a specific voice that I want to learn about and use it in my writing. I am a very slow reader generally, so it really takes time to review a book. At the end of the reading, I usually have a global feel for the story and the rest of the details get diluted as points in my mind.

Both reading and writing cannot be present at one place at the same time. Because I have seen that when one reads with a writing mindset a different kind of perspective happens. Like for instance, I am currently reading a book titled “At Close Quarters,” and I am not able to stop analyzing it as I read it.

This is my first experience of reading to analyze the content. Of course, it gets in the way of your entertainment mindset. Even when I was a student, I never analyzed the work given to me. Since I felt the point was to enjoy the reading and the story.

I always saw stories as a part of my enjoyment. There were certain topics which were interestingly handled and had entertainment factor in it. It is true that all the stories have been told. There is nothing much left for the future generation to follow. Maybe these recycled stories are just fixed motifs that get repeated within the unlimited field of storytelling.

So the question of reading over writing is more a cerebral activity for the fun of debating. My journey as a reader and as a writer has gone a long way and I believe the reader is far more active than the writer. But the writer’s thought waters are far deeper than the reader’s thought.

I think both these activities become prominent, because it is essential part of my personality. I enjoy both the activities, while I am trying to excel at writing maybe.

6 Degrees Game of Blogs | BlogAdda.com

Book Title: 6 Degrees | Game of Blogs

Translator: N/A

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy: @Amazon | @Flipkart | @SnapDeal | @Bookadda

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller: The Blogadda webportal had introduced a storytelling contest in which ten members get together to write a story. The final output of the Game of Blogs contest was the book titled “Six Degrees Game of Blogs.” There are three stories in this book written by three group of ten members:

The Awakening by Team By Lines

Entangled Lives by Team Potliwale Baba

Missing – A Journey Within by Team Tété-à-Ten

The stories by each of these team of ten had one thing in common all of them. They all got the same characters and they had to come up with a story that is complete and integrated.

Story in a Nutshell:

  • The Awakening was set in the present with aliens and human-aliens mix character.
  • Entangled Lives is a murder mystery story and how the outcome changes the lives of important characters.
  • Missing – A Journey Within is about kidnapping and how the plot revolves around it.

All the stories have been written well and of course I was happy to read it.

My Likes and Dislikes

I liked the fact of collaborative story telling because I have enjoyed writing one such interactive story myself. I was happy that the team of bloggers have worked at random levels and completely via online interaction. But of the three stories I was partial to The Awakening but even in that I felt there was a need to be more futuristic.

Entangled Lives is a wonderful story because I am partial to murder mysteries. The way the bloggers took the story was interesting too. It kept reminding me of various Hercules Poirot detective novels. I had too many sleuth to compare and crime scene didn’t get my throat constricted. That was missing in this story. But it was a great read though.

Each story strayed into my imagination and remained a gentle reminder that creativity in collaboration is quiet possible. I felt the Missing – A Journey Within, the writers took a bold step in storytelling; but yet something was missing in the story. I was searching for it throughout the story. But I liked the way it ended.

My Opinion

I would recommend one time read of the Six Degrees Game of Blogs and get the feel of integrated presence of a team effort.

A Wondrous Carpet And a Woman’s Life

Book Title: The Blood of Flowers

Author: Anita Amerrizvani

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars|

Get Your Copy: @Amazon | @Flipkart | @SnapDeal | @BookAdda

A Bird’s Eye View

Author Bio | Anita Amerrizvani is an Iranian-born-American writer. She was born in Tehran but raised in San Francisco. She got to choose a carpet for herself when she was fourteen years of age where the bug of writing this story got her under its spell. That magical quality of the carpet and weaves are been beautifully explained in her spellbinding work.

The Story in a Nutshell | The story is set in the 17th century in Persia where a young woman finds her ways in a trouble-filled life. She contends with all the various religion and social incrimination to reach her goal. She gets married not the way all girls of her acquaintance are getting married. Yet her spirits not to give up comes out beautifully. The story begins in a small village and shifts to the Isfahan where the hustle and bustle of life in the capital are beautifully portrayed in choicest words.

My Likes and Dislikes

The parts that I liked about the story was the weaving and carpet-making details. Especially when a carpet is being described the narrative takes on an interesting level of fascination that needs to be enjoyed.

The lifestyle back in the 17th century has come out with great details and the social setting also has been given equal importance. The lanes and households of a carpet-maker in Isfahan in those past centuries have been brought out beautifully.

Even the unpleasantness in the story has been handled with an excellent blend of panache and style. When the main character undergoes a lot of trouble in her life and you would think that the story is going to be a tragedy, a turn of event happens to better the situation.

There was very little that I disliked about this book. The memory of the Arabian Night kept coming in between my flow of thoughts. That makes this story unique and interesting.

The scenes set in the hammam have been treated like a reference point of woman folks varied conversation that is personal and emotional at the same time. The women in this story are being objectified by the society and her value is nothing more than the dowry that she brings into the family. The author doesn’t try to judge it by the main character. She merely agrees to it as the plot progresses through the various twists and turns.

There is an incredible force in the narration that allows you to see the social setting being challenged and given a new interpretation which is unique in keeping with where the character comes from. That docile village girl who gets cheated by a buyer of her carpet is a turning point by itself for the character’s growth. That section of the story is handled with great care and wonderful sensitivity.

My Opinion

I feel this book is great to read and can be read more than once. The author’s descriptive words bring the past to life and there is an interesting quality in the scenes that a set for readers. There is much that can be understood of a particular culture and how they function.

I read this book more than three times and it is my favorite book to pick when I have a lot of time on me with nothing organized to be done. There is such great feeling of connection with the past and getting that experience of pure fun of a well-told story.