It began with Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury who pioneered the art of producing children’s literature. His son, Sukumar Ray, then chose to carry forward his father’s legacy with his innovative writing style that flabbergasted children. Then came his son, Satyajit Ray, with a creative mind that appealed to children as well as adults and gave a new direction to The Ray Legacy.
Brahmavadini was the title attributed to women scholars, who dedicated their lives to the pursuit of knowledge and the study of the Vedas. Some were unmarried, living as ascetics and independent of their fathers, brothers or male counterparts. They were paragons of intellectual proficiency, natural philosophy and spiritual enlightenment. They were Rishikis–female sages–in their own right and were revered as teachers, doctors and theorists.
When we remember that it – writing – is a gift, we begin to recognize the tip of its potential. How it is a flashlight, how it is available in our bag of tools, with ever-lasting power. To use it is to shine a light, to guide us, you, yes you, through that maze.
The Hindu Goddess Kali Ma, is religiously worshipped all over India. In a country where goddesses are portrayed as benevolent and loving, Kali Ma is definitely an exception. Since my childhood, I always wondered about Kali Ma’s appearance. Eventually, my curious mind sought out many fascinating stories related to the Goddess Kali. I have selected a few stories from the Pandora’s box of fables to reflect upon the personality of a violent goddess with a tender heart.
The prisoners in the cell at least know that they are imprisoned and that’s why they try to escape–not a good thing, but it is what it is. Some of them might even be released after they complete their term. But what about us? The people who are trapped in the prison of life. When will our term end? Will we never even strive to escape? Will we never meet our freedom? If yes, then how?
Being a scientist has forced me to look at everything through black and white tinted glasses. In my wish list of manuals to survive the experience we call ‘life’ I also once wanted a ‘how to write without failing’ manual. Co-incidentally that is when Dipa Sanatani revealed her second book The Merchant of Stories. It is the kind of book I’ve wanted to read for a long time.
Home to over ten million expatriates, Saudi Arabia is at a crossroads. The Kingdom has a rich cultural heritage that makes everybody who has lived here, feel at home. I have lived my entire life along the Persian Gulf. My days have been dominated by the exotic beaches and never-ending parks bordering the huge water body.
One revival came in the form of radio programmes that carried forward the oral tradition of storytelling. They created audio stories out of pre-written scripts and had them performed on radio by voiceover artists. The narrative changed voices, included sound effects and added creative humour. In short, radio programmes breathe life into the words that were lying frozen in the pages of old books.
I was born in 1985, possibly the most open and optimistic time in China’s modern history; the country was going through reform and opening-up. Diplomatic relationships with America, Japan and the rest of the word had never been better. Echoing the late Chairman Mao’s famous slogan, “Women hold up half the sky”, women were encouraged to participate in the labour force fully. I do not recall any of my friends’ mums not working.
Dipa Sanatani is back with another book and this time it’s a non-fiction. And yet it tells a story. Her story. Listen carefully and you’ll hear its song…Woven with a fairytale-like narration, The Merchant of Stories has all her musings, experiences and knowledge put together in a single book. The book builds a magical world of awe without the hint of any supernatural element in it. Well, life itself is magic… Isn’t it?