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The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi

The Oath of the Vayuputras (Shiva Trilogy, #3)The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi

My Rating★☆☆☆☆

A funky mix of pseudo-science, pseudo-history and pseudo-mythology, The Oath of the Vayuputras marks a new low for this trilogy. Amish ensures that anyone reading this book will emerge with a thoroughly muddled conception of Indian mythology and pre-history. This would be a valuable asset when the movie comes out.

I had criticized the plot mechanism in my previous review by comparing it to an Amar-Chitra Katha. I have to take that back. Amar-Chitra Kathas were really good, in fact. No I would venture to say that the plotting, the characterizations and the dialogues are in the time honored tradition of the beloved saas-bahu serials of India. You cannot go wrong with that.

I clenched my teeth and read through this one. And guess what, the book ends with a threat that Shiva willing, there might be more!

PS. I have so many rants, especially factual ones. But unless someone wants to contest me about the virtues of the book, I am not going to bother.

PPS. The Star Progression for the trilogy = 3,2,1.

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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in Book Reviews, Books

 

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Krishna: A Journey Within

Krishna: A Journey WithinKrishna: A Journey Within by Abhishek Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brilliant artwork, simplicity throughout. A delight to read. Some pages soar to artistic expression that thrills while others seem like a kid playing with his favorite hero models. The text feels almost like an afterthought and I feel that I might just have enjoyed the book more if it was a set of silent stills and graphics with all meaning to be derived from your past readings while the imagery is being supplied by the author/artist.

Hardly anything is given any space in the book and it barely touches on the drama that is latent in it. This adds to the sense of a dreamy retelling that is not meant to amuse or to entertain but simply to lull you into a gentle nodding ascent, like how you used to listen to your grandmother tell these stories – the details never were to be told, they were to be enacted later in your imagination. The story plays out again and again only adding to itself by the dance of repetition and of adumbration. Abhishek has transmitted this sense of reading/listening into his artistry and catches us in that spell. This is certainly a rich successor to his previous works.

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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Book Reviews, Books

 

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Sisyphus Speaks

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Tired of your unceasing pity,

Of your allusions to hubris well rewarded,

Tired of being the symbol for absurdity,

And the one first invoked at failure,

Sisyphus speaks out now aloud:

I ask you — what of yourself?

The absurd hero is seen in you, not me!

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Doomed to eternal failure I might be,

But blessed am I in every way,

When I stand next to you,

You common man of today:

Blundering though your life,

Never knowing a goal or a path,

How can you know that taste —

The sweet taste of success, when

You are not even blessed enough,

To know the strong spice of failure!


So stop your pitying glances,

And envy me, you foolish rats:

Symbol for failure I might assuredly be,

But at the least I know what my success is.

Have you seen its form this life,

Or even conceived dimly of the thought?

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— For I see my goal everyday so clear,

And feel the exhalation of glory near,

I taste the spice of failure everyday;

And I live so I can fail and fail,

And try again the very next day,

Doomed to fail yet untiring, questing,

What greater success there be ever?

To strive in sweat to that distant goal,

And come tumbling down in grand despair!

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Yes I would choose this lot of mine,

Over your blind and stumbling life,

With no grand goal, no glimpse of glory,

Just a sodden tramp in them marshes;

Rolling your stone on in the pointless plains,

Straining for nothing, attaining nothing,

And pitying me, for you dare risk nothing!

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Sisyphus speaks out now aloud:

Come join me if you care to live a little —

Take that rock and start the impossible (Sisyphean?) quest!

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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Creative, Philosophy, Poetry, Puzzles, Thoughts

 

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Book Appreciation: Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

Zen in the Art of ArcheryZen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

My Rating★★★★★

Are we all such helpless and inexperienced beginners with not the slightest clue on how to correct our aims or on to draw our bowstrings right?

This supposedly uplifting book has depressed me amidst its poetry and beauty into a realization that I will probably never ‘correct my own stance’ or ‘let the arrow fall at the moment of highest tension’, effortlessly hit any goal or even realize what the real goal is…

Why is there no art in life anymore? Isn’t it all that should exist? Can we please ban money and all its accouterments and live by the High Arts; that might then bring some insipid meaning back to our lives?

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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Book Reviews, Books, Thoughts

 

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Revisiting The Heart of Darkness

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After passing past that Castle of Ego,

Laying siege on the very borders of Mind,

We entered the vast and bristling forests,

Of that strange, strange land, that Id,

Which doth divide the knowing, waking,

From the land of dreaming, unknowing.

But this way is much too hard to follow;

And is harder even to describe to you:

We are more likely here to perish,

Here in these vast, dense hinterlands;

For these woods that we see arrayed,

Has never previously been crossed,

By mortal men or by Gods before,

Except by the Duke, on his missions,

To plunder and to subjugate.

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He had sliced a path so wide and true,

For himself and his army vast,

Marking along the trees as he trode,

Deeper and deeper into these woods,

Holding fast to his own marks,

And to the crude compasses of his day,

Wary of the beasts and birds,

And of dark shadows of the serpents,

And the importunities of bugs and bites.

Vexed he was by silence and dark,

But angered more by lonely shrieks.

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So we move on in this path of old;

Those old trees that the Duke had marked,

Now but marshy ground to mire our carts,

When will we cross these woods so dark,

And reach the sparkle at the other end?

That river which we truly seek,

That drowned the Duke and freed the Mind,

That river so cool, called Sanity.

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This poem was Inspired By:

Heart of Darkness (Everyman's Library, #174)

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Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

My Rating★★★★★
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Book Reviews, Books, Poetry, Thoughts

 

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