Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mythology, Movies and Books

As a kid, I used to watch lots of old black and white mythological movies. They used to fascinate me a lot, may be because the characters are Gods and Goddesses we pray in our daily life. Or may be because it was projected in our Indian movies that those holy people used to express themselves in songs and pristine language. Or the knife fights and the way those movies were taken had a different charm altogether. As I grew up and started reasoning everything I have known about, things got quite interesting.

Even today, I browse a lot of articles and stories from the epics - especially Mahabharat. It has got stories that spawn out at every level which join the main thread much later, and what we know about each of its characters is very less. I also read a lot from Dr. Devdutt Pattnaik who said "Myths are subjective truths expressed through stories, symbols and rituals."

Very recently, I have heard of a novel called "The Immortals of Meluha" by an Indian author Amish Tripathi. Ever since I got to know the topic this book discusses, I so wanted to read it. To give a little insight from what I know about the book, it presents a story about how Lord Shiva, the Hindu god could be a human being. Having had this interest in Indian mythology I wanted to start reading this book at the earliest.

Unfortunately, this book was neither available in the bookstores here nor in libraries. The only option was to get it shipped all the way from India, and it was costing five times the cost of the book for the shipping itself. After months wait, a friend went India recently to visit his family. I asked him to to get the book when he returned back. And, now I have my copy with me when he found it in Delhi airport while returning back to US from India after he could not find it anywhere.

Suddenly, I am looking forward to those one hour bus journey to my work and those uncertain and long waiting times for the bus. I will sure be a happy man this Monday! :)


  1. Oh, suddenly I got interest again in mythologies...:) When I was teaching in highschool, I remember teaching Mahabharata, but forgot all about it now...:D

    This books seems very interesting, I wish to read it for myself, too.

    Been a long time I was absent must have noticed, was quite busy lately and poor ISP also. Have a great weekend...

  2. great to know you are also a book lover.

  3. Amity,
    This book better be interesting. I did a lot to get a copy of this book to my hands. And Mahabharata has lot to tell us, it would interest anyone..

    Have not read any book for about an year but I definitely love to read some interesting books..

  4. Do read the Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee. Its a wonderful take on Mahabharat and is basically the views of Panchali. Its beautiful.

  5. I agree with blehnblah. She has portrayed Panchali's frame of mind well. Mythology is like addiction. It takes you deep into your cultural past, elevates you emotionally and makes you think.

  6. Blehnnlah and RKP -
    Thank you, you two! Will try to get my hands on that book ASAP. muchas gracias.

  7. History and Mythology books any day for me... some I read recently

    Palace of Illusions- Mahabharta written from Draupadi's perspective, a brilliant book

    Ramayana by Ashok Banker- contemporary adaptation of Ramayana,portrayed and penned in such an amazing style that putting down the book is diff.. It is in 6 parts and I am on the 4th one

    will pick-up the one you have recommended

  8. Delhizen -
    Thank you very much for the book suggestions. Will sure read them. Many fellow bloggers suggested Palace of Illusions, so that will be one of my next reads.

  9. I didn't know that you too are a Mythology fan(esp. Mahabharatam)

    A couplet from Mahabharatam to reflect upon:
    dharme ca arthe ca kame ca mokse ca bharatha rsabha yad iha asti tad anyatra yad na iha asti na tat kvacit
    I : 56 : 34

  10. Sorry, some corrections looks like the correct address is Book I, Chapter 56, Sloka 33. The exact couplet is

    धर्मे चार्थे च कामे च मॊक्षे च भरतर्षभ
    यद इहास्ति तद अन्यत्र यन नेहास्ति न तत कव चित


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