Ramayana Versus Mahabharata: My Playful Comparison – Devdutt Pattanaik – Book Review

Words are our (humans) most powerful and greatest tool. They have the power to inspire people, crush souls, create magical worlds and build empires. The art of storytelling has been hardwired into our lives and deeply rooted inside our brains. We, human beings crave for stories and it is clear as a crystal that we are obsessed with stories. The monomania for stories is palpable ranging from mythological tales from the past to the ultra-short micro-fiction to the latest epigrammatic stories composed within a single tweet and these disparate tales coexist side-by-side without any qualms.

It would be impossible for the people of our country to not being acquainted with the most popular epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata as we would have grown up hearing and reading it, relishing it with the appetite to read more of it. It never ceases to amaze that the zeal to know more about these epics never recedes as time passes but only surges with increasing time and changing periods.

Devdutt Pattanaik‘s latest book “Ramayana Versus Mahabharata: My Playful Comparison” delights us with its lucid cover and the tag ‘playful comparison‘ in the title piques the interest of the readers with an eagerness to discover to what “India’s Favourite Mythologist Writer” offers in this short book of 194 pages. He asserts that measuring is human delusion and comparing, divine play in the inception of the book.

The blurb of the book reads “In temples ritual, Vishnu is offered 8 different meals daily, different on all seven days of the week—56 dishes in all.” which is quite a surprise as the book is neatly divided into eight parts and 56 chapters, and both Lord Ram and Krishna are avatars of Vishnu.  Each chapter begins with the word “Both” and tries to convey the correlation between the epics giving the reader a glimpse into what the chapters offer within its words. The book, by and large attempts to compare the two epics, the idealistic Ramayana and the realistic Mahabharata for similarities and dissimilarities along with neat illustrations.

Ramayana Versus Mahabharata

The book is simple to follow and makes you wonder about some identical themes which have missed our eyes so far. It establishes the theme that each story share enabling us to view the identical building blocks, family structure, forest exile, and war. Devdutt also lays emphasis on the many retellings of both the epics spread all over the world and cleverly compares it with Greek, Buddhist, Jainist and Abrahamic mythologies. The book tries to introspect into the idea of complex casualty which is a key theme across epics. It dwells on karma and dharma as the basis of all happenings in the two epics.

Though the reader gets weary along the initial pages, the book with its beautiful comparison gets the reader on an exhilarating ride which would fill him with an immense knowledge of the epics. The book is a treasure trove of information on various retellings providing new insights into the epics which we would have unheard of. The arduous research that the author had undergone is evident from the unambiguous words and coherent concepts which he explains it with ease. The anecdotes from regional languages/versions of the ithihasas/epics will be a new experience for the readers. Although one couldn’t avoid a debate in the mind about the analysis of the epics by Devdutt Pattanaik, this makes it an interesting book to delve into, making it a staggering ride to remember with its brevity.

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About the Book:

Title : Ramayana Versus Mahabharata: My Playful Comparison

Author : Devdutt Pattanaik

Publisher : Rupa Publications

Genre : Non-Fiction / Philosophy

Copy : Flipkart Review Program

ISBN : 9789353332303

Rating : Image result for 3 stars out five

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Pearl by the River – Sudipta Mitra – Book Review

History is always written in two versions , one with true incidents and another with false identities and incidents which didn’t happen at that time. We believe the one which is unfurl before our eyes and the incidents with facts. What if the facts and details of those incidents are false. So a detailed research of those happenings has to be done.

The book which I received some days back had a detailed research with facts and decipher the history of the last king who was in exile on the banks of the river Hoogly and also the man who influenced the cultural and the social life of the then capital city.

The King Nawab Wajid Ali Shah who ruled Awadh from the city of Lucknow lead to the reawakening of the cultural aspects in the city of Calcutta. The King’s last years were described in the book and how the city on the river banks have been awakened in cultural aspects after the king arrived were portrayed in this book by the author. The Kingdom’s of various Indian rulers were annexed by the East India company due to the flamboyant life of the rulers. This was the reason for the annexations and the it was called as the Forward policy.Pearl by the River : Nawab Wajid Ali Shah's Kingdom in Exile

Wajid Ali Shah also face the same situation and he along with his associates planned to meet the governor to take his kingdom back , but when he arrived there , it was unuaual and he was arrested and kept in fort William by the British Government. The reach to the banks of hoogly was a tiring one and twenty five months of imprisonment in a luxurious way , he was released by the government.

After the release the King settled in the banks of Hoogly in a palace and how he was instrumental in the cultural change around the place which is called as Metiyaburj. The impact was on the every art form including dance, drama,poetry,cuisine,etiquette,music and architecture.

The author has to be applauded for the research and detailing of every aspects in this book. The clarity is one such thing which adds strength to the book. Also it has a lot of reference to the authors who have said about the events which took place at that time and it is a long list.

The book is ideal for readers who loves history and to those who wish to know about the history in detail. This book is a collection of facts from all details about the King with a deep research. Also you will be able to retrieve some memories of your history learning back to your mind while reading this book. This is a 195 paged non fiction apart from the notes which is till the end.

If you wish to read a non fiction which is based on history of an exile king, this is the one to choose. So enjoy your read.

 

 


 

About the Book:

Title : Pearl by the River

Author :  Sudipta Mitra

Publisher : Rupa Publications

Genre : Non Fiction

ISBN : 9788129144881

Copy : Flipkart Review Program

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Faster, Smarter, Higher : Managing Your Career – Utkarsh Rai – Book Review

Most of the non fiction books which comes these days are not very attractive for all type of readers , very few books attract the readers and stand out from others. One such book is Faster , Smarter , Higher – Managing your career.

This books deals about the skills which are required to grow one in their career. Almost everyone who wish to rise high in their career depend on expertise on subjective matter and not on their skill. This subject is open to experts and managers and freshers and office goers to be prompt. But this list is not a end as the freshers can learn more from it who are yet to adapt to the corporate culture.

The challenges faced by the working people , be it a career or work , this provides advice’s about how to solve that in a better manner. There are many things which are provided in the book , which pertains to different level of employees or managers in a firm. The insights provided in the book refers to managing your career in different levels.

These are not advice but simple steps in managing one’s career with simple steps and ways. Nowadays smart work is considered great when compared to hard work. the percentage of smart work out smarts hard work. The ways mentioned in the book are simple to learn and to master it is also simple. This doesn’t stop with one role in a work environment , it adds up to multiple roles and you will find this as a guide to make your career scale grow in positive way. Throughout one’s career one should learn to develop his skills no matter in what level he is. So , development is based on skills. Skills grow when one learn how to manage things in a smart way in a faster rate.

It is also evident that this book provides straight guides. The author has used simple language so that readers could easily get what he tries to convey. He also adds up more information through the advice.

I would suggest this book for non fiction lovers and people who are in start of their career or in the middle. This book will also be loved by all the management book readers. The book is different from others in the way of simple language and more crisp ideas.


 

About the Book:

Title : Faster, Smarter, Higher : Managing Your Career

Author :  Utkarsh Rai

Publisher : Rupa Publications India

Genre : Non Fiction / Management

ISBN : 9788129137500, 812913750X

Copy : Flipkart Review Program

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Book Review : Life Mantras by Subrata Roy Sahara

A non fiction book penned by Subrata Roy Sahara, most famously called “Saharasri” the founder of Sahara India Parivar will drive the readers amazed over the title he chose for his first book of his three part trilogy. Life Mantras isn’t his life events but his take on things about philosophies of life.

 

I must say choosing this book to read, your mind may mislead that you are about to enter a brief history on the tales of Sahara’s handwork and his skills which led him making the company, one of India’s top, but it isn’t the way he wrote the book. Rather he chose to say things which are essential to the life to lead a happy life. He indulges the philosophical views on knowledge, intelligence, the basic values of life, various emotions, etc., which would  find its way invoking that somewhere we have all learnt this in our lives too or is about to be learned. The cover design isn’t at its best but that doesn’t deter the readers from choosing this as it holds the name of the India’s leading businessman in its cover and would be sure to grab the eyes.

The author spending his life in prison has been thinking such things to write wouldn’t be a surprise to the readers, but the connect which he does with the stories here and there along  with his philosophical views, may it be his story or the stories which he had heard and the examples he gives along the course of the book is what makes the readers stay till the end. The book isn’t that arduous to the readers and rather simple ideas and facts which the readers would tend to know earlier too, but the author’s view would have given a much new perception to the existing views of the readers strengthening their knowledge on such philosophies.

 

Some repeated sentences all along the book (There are many!!) may tend to be boring for the readers but if they ignore it and read the book, they are up for a new experience on what a businessman who formed his company from a small thing into a nation’s great one and his views on how he thought during his times in prison is a new one for the readers without inculcating a sense of boredom in the readers. The author had said that the publication hasn’t edited and used his words as he had given. With a little bit of good editing the book would have fared well even well with the readers who think these non fictions are boring.

 

This book is a light read and could be finished in a single sitting. The book is very simple to follow and the 15 chapters in the book spanning a 298 pages having a Q & A in the end will be over even before you think of seeing the page numbers. Those need a simple understanding of lives philosophies may indulge in reading this book.

 

About the Book:

Title : Life Mantras 

Author :  Subrata Roy Sahara

Publisher : Rupa Publications

Genre : Non Fiction

Copy : Review Copy

ISBN : 8129139855 , 9788129139856

Rating :

 


Links :

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Book Review : The Dark Side of Light – Sanil Sachar

I was delighted to see the book ” The Dark Side of Light ” by Sanil Sanchar when the mail was delivered to me. When I opened the book , the cover looked interesting and when I finished the book , came to a conclusion that it emphasized the theme of the short stories and it was very well relevant to the title.

This is Sanil Sanchar’s second book and this is an amalgamation poetry , prose and script. His first book ” Summer promises and other poems ” was full of poems of various subjects with different genre. I haven’t read that , but after reading that I got a impression to read the first book of the author.

As like what I have known like the first one , this book too has various genres with different subjects but , this book has a link between them.Moreover this is the first book that I have read in the poetry genre and that too from a Indian author. Sanil through his book told the world that he had made his expertise over the genre.

The book should make the reader to be engaging with the subject of the book , this fulfills that condition and gets a thumbs up. Mostly the poetry are not too long , so you can say it as a short poem which continues into a short story with the subject of the genre.

The book has a collection of poems and short stories and they are in a equal mode. Since the author is a poet by himself , the try over the script and the short story is really worth. Each book which is good has a special mention in that book , this too has many in the poems. He is the maker and the writing makes us re-read it again.

Usually the combination of prose and poetry is a rare one and even then if it comes , it will be less engaging with the readers. The genre ranges with different subject and you will feel the goodness of the poems in each line of it.

The book travels with the theme and stick to that which makes it to be a sure read. The combination makes it a good read.

This book is ideal for readers who love to read poetry and who loves a combination of poem plus poetry. Also this book is simple and can be read in a single read. This book doesn’t takes much of your time. So I suggest this as a sure read for all the readers.


 

About the Book:

Title : The Dark Side of Light 

Author :  Sanil Sachar

Publisher : Rupa Publications

Genre : Fiction

Copy : Flipkart Review Programme

ISBN : 8129139766 , 9788129139764

Rating :

 


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Book Review : Forbidden Desires by Madhuri Banerjee

I recently completed the third book of the year “Forbidden Dreams” by Madhuri Banerjee and was completely tangled in thoughts over the plot. The cover of the book has Huma Qureshi saying ” Madhuri gives us a peek into the modern Indian housewife who isn’t afraid to love and follows her heart ” and we can’t deny it after reading the entire book.

 

The book’s title and the cover design are spectacular in it’s own way that the author and the design team has chosen the perfect cover for the book. It is sure to grab the eyes of the readers. ( It has already hit the bestseller in some E-Commerce sites). They don’t mislead the readers and provide full justification to the plot.

 

The plot revolves around four women (the protagonists of course) Ayesha who is married but never loved her spouse, Kavita who regrets her marriage till date, Naina who has a love marriage and betrayed by the one whom she loves the most & Kaajal who has a complicated relationship deciding not to end up in marital life. Those married women pour all their time, energy,care in their falling bland marriage lives and decide to stay intact for the sake of children and their happy past.

 

All of them try their level best to make their marriage life boats to stay afloat in the life waters but life provides them with something else. They break the orthodox beliefs and follow their own path leading to their own desires.  They aren’t bound by the customs nor they cling to the life ropes of their failing relationships. This is the story of four women who make their own path and follow their minds.

 

The author has been successful in making the characters more relative to the readers as we can many women trying hard to make their marriage lives stay afloat amidst many troubles. The characters here too are well edged and particularly the character “Pinky” would stay in the minds of the readers. The events are very much familiar which makes this page turner relatively good. The language is simple enough to understand and the plot is also engaging.

 

The message that author provides is that all women whatever the hardships they receive must follow their own path and their desires. That is very much the message needed as the book will be a eye opener for many women who are entwined in a similar situation as that of the main characters. Although I suggest they act on their own rather than following the examples of the main characters. They should take the main theme of following their dreams and making their lives happier rather than making their lives worse by staying afloat in a relationship.

 

The book is a short one, so the plot engages us with a brilliant theme and never gives the opportunity for other thoughts to peep in while reading the book. The book is a light read and can be good for a travel companion. Expecting more thoughts from the author on her consecutive books which are to come in the future.

 


 

About the Book:

Title : Forbidden Desires 

Author :  Madhuri Banerjee

Publisher : Rupa Publications

Genre : Fiction

Copy : Review Copy

ISBN : 8129137305 , 9788129137302

Rating :


Links :

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Kindle Version : Forbidden Desires by Madhuri Banerjee ( Kindle Ebook)


 

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Book Review : It’s Not Right But It’s Okay – Anuj Tiwari

There are some books that takes us away to other worlds just by their cover design, some by their exiquisite content and some like this book’s title. “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay”, the title stands alone giving us a brief good view about the book. The famous Whitney Houston’s R&B song which won her the Grammy’s Best vocal performance is a great way to be held as the title for the book and no wonder I saw the book “OUT OF STOCK” within days of release indicating the right title and the best content reaches the people far and wide.

 

The cover design is so colorful and gives us a peek about the content of the book making us guess it is a romance book. The cover design plays a crucial part in the success of a book and Anuj & his design team has well read the minds of the youngsters these days. The book would sure attract and catch the eyes of readers in a book store eventually due to its vibrant cover.

 

I haven’t read Anuj Tiwari’s previous books. So when the book was released on the New Year, I have made my mind to read this particular book and here I am completing the 2nd book of the Reading Year 2016. This book is the author’s third book and it has been an awesome experience reading it. The blurb of the book in various E-Commerce sites has a particular line that caught my eye when I browsed through them,

 

” If we have a past that we aren’t particularly proud of, It doesn’t mean that we can’t have a promising future. “

Even thought the line sounded like a line from an Rohit Shetty Movie trailer, this line particularly made me pick up this book with lots of expectations. 

 

The book is about the story revolving around youngsters particularly about the love story of Angira and Ved. Angira is a career driven girl and Ved is an footballer studying MBA. The fate brings Ved into the life of Angira who have different personalities developing an unexpected bond. The story thereby revolves around the events that happens aftermath and reveals about their dark pasts.

Anuj Tiwari

The story catches up with readers as soon as the book begins and it’s hard to keep the book down. The plot engages the readers with it and doesn’t force the readers into a state of boredom by indulging in giving unwanted plot twists that carry away the story. The characters are well etched like inks in the paper. The conversations between Ved and Angira in the form of messages in the phone (same as phone messages in the book) caught the eye and was a thought provoking idea by the author (scores again apart from the cover design part.) The language in which he has written is in casual form without having the readers to search for the words particularly focusing on the slang. The incidents happening can be much related to the normal people so these incidents doesnt have difficulty in bringing connection to the next ones.

 

The book finally is  fun light read without much exaggeration in simple terms. The book could be finished within a day as the the plot is too engaging and one would find it difficult to keep it way. The youngsters would be much attracted towards the book and the author kept his good work here. A must read for Indian based story lovers.

 

 

 


 

About the Book:

Title : It’s Not Right But It’s Okay 

Author :  Anuj Tiwari

Publisher : Rupa Publications

Genre : Romance

Copy : Review Copy

ISBN : 8129137321, 9788129137326

Rating :


 

Links :

Amazon : It’s Not Right But It’s Okay by Anuj Tiwari

Kindle Version : It’s Not Right But It’s Okay by Anuj Tiwari (Kindle)

 


 

 

 

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