Kerala - Kerala - there is no dearth of paeans that have been written on this place in verse and in prose. I am wondering what more can I say about 'God's own coun...
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Title : The World Outside My Window
Author : Ruskin Bond
Publisher : Rupa
ISBN : 978-81-291-4179-8
No one does it better than Ruskin Bond - yes, here I am talking about the way he discusses and writes about nature. His knowledge about insects, birds, trees and flowers is not acquired through any biology book rather this is what he has garnered over the years by being an inseparable component of nature. 'The World Outside My Window' is yet another of his creations which actually opens a small window for the readers into the world that he enjoys to be a part of.
Through different sections on small insects, winged creatures and flora, he delightfully explains their unique characteristics and his personal interaction with some of them. One can find some lifecycles, adaptations, singing notes, viciousness, tenderness and much more in this book. A great book for students as a convenient guide for easily noticeable living creatures. A wonderful gift to those who love to understand the language that nature converses in.
The essence of his writing is beautifully conveyed through the concluding verse 'All is Life'.
Whether by accident or design,
We are here,
Let's make the most of it, my friend.
Make happiness our pursuit,
Spread a little sunshine here and there.
Enjoy the flowers, the breeze,
Rivers, sea and sky,
Mountains and tall waving trees.
Greet the children passing by,
Talk to the old folk. Be kind, my friend.
Hold on, in times of pain and strife:
Until death comes, all is life.
After reading his books on nature, many things cross one's mind - how most of us lead our lives unaware of so many of the living creatures that co-exist with us in the same domain; how the author is blessed with an eye, a heart and a pen to notice-acknowledge-appreciate-chronicle his connection with flora and fauna; and how his writings work wonderfully in alluring the readers towards natural environs.
Personally I enjoy reading Ruskin Bond is an understatement because his description of nature strums those chords deep inside me which rejoice with the rhythm that the divine musician creates.
Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon
Monday, July 4, 2016
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Title : Ganesh
Author : Subhadra Sen Gupta
Illustrated by : Tapas Guha
Publisher : Red Turtle (Rupa)
ISBN : 978-81-291-4029-6
Thanks for beautifully illustrated children's books and movies on Ganesh, the Lord has become the most endearing and much loved friendly God for children. The stories behind his unique physical characteristics like pot-belly, elephant's head and a broken tusk - keep the children engaged to no end. While we all know the most popular stories associated with Ganesh, they are being retold by Subhadra Sen Gupta with a slight twist.
Though acclaimed as the most learned and witty divine being, yet the antics of Ganesh bridge the gap that a devotee feels with the divine. He is the adorable and friendly God for all, and the one who can be made happy by pure innocent love.
The book Ganesh has four stories - How Ganesh Lost his Head, Ganesh Loses a Trunk, Ganesh versus Kartik and Ganesh Curses the Moon. Each of the stories are beautifully accentuated by colourful illustrations by Tapas Guha. A perfect gift to children of age group 5 to 8 years.
Available on flipkart,
Title : The Story of Hanuman
Author : Mala Dayal
Illustrated by : Taposhi Choshal
Publisher : Red Turtle (Rupa)
ISBN : 978-81-291-3717-3
And who is the other God that incites the same feelings as Ganesh, none other than the monkey God Hanuman. Known for his unflinching devoutness towards his deity Sri Ram, the stories associated with Hanuman are equally amusing and awe-inspiring. When he was a child, he thought the shining Sun is some big juicy fruit in the sky and so leapt into the sky to pluck it. This led to a lot of chaos and many Gods had to intervene which made Hanuman's father the Vayu God very angry. The other Gods had to appease the Vayu God by bestowing special blessings and powers to Hanuman. When the time came to seek knowledge, Hanuman approached Surya to be his guru and in return Surya asked Hanuman to look after his son, the monkey prince Sugreev. Hanuman facilitated the bond of friendship between Sri Ram and Sugreev. He was entrusted with the task of searching for Sita in the south direction where Lanka is situated. He crossed the great ocean, met mother Sita, set Lanka on fire, brought the news of Sita to Ram. Soon after, the great battle began between Sri Ram and Ravan. Hanuman remained by the side of his Lord all through.
His devotion to Lord Ram is unparalleled. The whole story from the childhood of Hanuman to Ram-rajya has been retold by Mala Dayal in 'The Story of Hanuman'. While everyone is well versed with these mythological stories from the epic Ramayana, it is always interesting to read the same through the words of different authors. The added bonus that this book offers is extra trivia about names of different trees, and some activities like puzzles, mazes and games.
Available on flipkart
Available on flipkart
Saturday, June 11, 2016
A pat on the back
I often used to wonder, if destiny is supposed to have the final say then what is my role in the whole scheme of things and what impact can I make in doing what I choose to do. Gradually I rationalized it by understanding that perhaps the ‘where’, 'how’ and 'when’ part of my situation is determined by the chain of events which are mostly not in my control, yet there is the 'what I do’ part that is surely where I can make the difference. While a big portion of 'what’ is being constituted by our external interface with the world, a bigger fraction of the same is what we are towards ourselves.
Though I am still a little far from the stage when I could officially be called senile, I do sense senility knocking at my door already. If not all the time, I am sure it is teasing me through my inconsistent memory these days. While reading a certain passage, sometimes I dare make some mental notes thinking - oh, this is so interesting, I must come back to it later, but how and when those notes disappear from the mental surface, just prove the fragile state of my memory cells. It just doesn’t end here, rather it leaves me frustrated and restless when I want to know what note had I made and my memory just refuses to divulge any cues whatsoever. Anyway, the ruing is perhaps to be left for some other time and for some other place, but why I mentioned the failing faculties here is simply because I read somewhere something about the power of thought and wanted to quote the passage to be shared here, but no reward for guessing why I can’t do it now.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Vyadha-Gita Analysed (continued from previous issue)
After having read about Vyadha Gita, my mind kept hovering over the same anecdote and this is what impressed me the most: