For as long as I can remember, I have been a student of science. I always had questions. I could not shut down my brain from asking ‘when, why, where and what’ each time I learned something new. Scientists often invalidate previously known theories when a new one comes. But I can’t.
In Ancient India, the practice of Swayamvara or self-chosen groom was a significant ritual. A young woman of marriageable age, belonging to a noble family, had the right to choose her own spouse in the presence of her parents and family members. The intention of the ritual clearly signifies the ideals of women empowerment in a forgotten age and time.
“The earliest time measurements were observations of cycles of the natural world, using patterns of changes from day to night and season to season to build calendars. More precise time-keeping eventually came along to put time in more convenient boxes. But what exactly are we measuring?”
With the creative adjectives and strong imagery, Sanatani painted vivid imagery of the character in my head. This sassy character, Mercury closely reminded me of the Greek God Hermes. From his impeccable attire to his unending knowledge about business and trades, Hermes felt like the Greek counterpart of Mercury.
Hitherto, my understanding of the Abrahamic religions was that they were monotheistic from the very inception of the religion. But through The Red Tent, I saw a different story, one in which a pantheon of Gods and Goddesses existed alongside a monotheistic belief.
In the beginning, there was only nature. We lived alongside her laws and her ways. With the annals of time, humans created civilisation. Without the written word, civilisation wouldn’t exist. And it all began with the scribes – the very first wordsmiths who etched their words so they would never be forgotten or lost.
As a kid, I have heard many adults say with a firm conviction that, even though we could not see Jinns in their true form, animals could see them and that is the reason why sometimes at 3 a.m. at night, we can hear a dog bark without any reason at all.
Jupiter is a character that displays silent strength. We often think of strength as bravado and toughness. Yet, I believe real strength does not thump its chest to intimidate others. It is born out of compassion for all living beings. Believe me – it is far harder to exercise compassion than it is to gain power through intimidation.
As an astrologer myself, I was curious about the development of Rahu’s character in the book. I waited impatiently for him to appear. I was not disappointed. He enters with a flourish, making his appearance as a magnificent Red Dragon. He wears the disdain of the rest of the planets as lightly as an ornament on his costume.
Kali Ma is a true icon for the fourth wave of feminism that seizes the world today. A woman who stands true to herself – her identity, her sexuality – and doesn’t let the world tell her that she is not supposed to be the way she is. She is the embodiment of nature that cannot be controlled by man and later consumes him.