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Posts from — February 2012

Pics of the Week

I had fun shooting this one… Look carefully you can see my sneakers 😀 The location was amazing with a great night sky and painting the tent from inside with light was something I was trying for the first time…. A few attempts did it though 😀

February 5, 2012   1 Comment

Pics of the Week

What do I like about this photo? Just the colours and randomness… :)

February 4, 2012   No Comments

Kovilpatti: My Own Malgudi

As a child Malgudi Days was my first exposure to the life in a village. The people R. K. Narayan described were colorful and fascinating. For the first time I started to see more to people than what met the eye. There was so much more to people’s lives – the drama, the stories!

I started to look forward to staying in a small town or village and getting to know the people and life there. Not that there wasn’t enough drama in the city but rather just that people in cities didn’t have time to stop and talk. And so, I travelled and talked to people across India, getting to know them and their lives. I was hooked!

Then as the universe has a way of giving us what we want, I married Che who’s roots lay in a small town in Tamil Naidu (did I say I have a thing for South India? I belong here). The first time I came to Kovilpatti was as a new bride and everyone went out of their way to make this non-Tamil speaking girl feel at home. I did feel at home but then the first time I thought it was just because I was new. Not True! Not true at all!

With every visit I get to know people better, their lives unfold with its stories, twists and turns and intrigue. And every time I feel more at home. Its the place yes but more than that, its the people. Here people have the time to talk and share their lives. They take the time, every time to make me feel a part of it. Me the hesitating, English speaking girl who needs everything explained repeatedly, slowly and with gestures.

This is my own Malgudi, a quaint little town filled with colorful people and stories at every corner. This is the India of my heart, the real India in all its colourful splendour!

February 3, 2012   1 Comment

Book Review: The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Title: The Palace of Illusions
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (May 12th 2008)
Genre: Mythology (Indian)
Read: eBook
Stars: ****/5
Summary: (GoodReads)
A reimagining of the world-famous Indian epic, the Mahabharat—told from the point of view of an amazing woman.

Relevant to today’s war-torn world, The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandavas brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of this ancient tale.

The novel traces the princess Panchaali’s life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father’s kingdom. Panchaali is swept into their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war involving all the important kings of India. Meanwhile, we never lose sight of her strategic duels with her mother-in-law, her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna, or her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands’ most dangerous enemy. Panchaali is a fiery female redefining for us a world of warriors, gods, and the ever-manipulating hands of fate.

Review:

I heard of ‘The Palace of Illusions’ first from my husband Che during a discussion about perpectives and how what we think of history may not be the only way it happened.

I have read the Amar Chitra Katha version of the Mahabharata and even watched the TV serials avidly but all of these were from Vayasa’s viewpoint. Somehow that was the Mahabharata for me, I’d never thought that Draupadi or a woman’s point of view to the whole battle maybe different. Thats why I read this book.

And it didn’t let me down. It is a journey worth taking to see the battle with a different pair of eyes. ‘The Palace of Illusions’ is the same old Mahabharata but as seen by Draupadi. Chitra does a good job of letting us peek into the heart and mind of a woman. Her turmoil at trying to be more that just a woman in the harem of kings and her quest to learn more, be more. How she struggles to accept her fate that was sealed the day she stepped out of the fire. Her love for one unattainable man and her duty to another five.

Chitra makes Draupadi just like any other woman with her issues and reconciliation with her mother-in-law. Her sense of pride and honour and the lengths she would go to to revenge them. A woman we can relate to and yet she stands apart with the role she plays in the story.

This book is a must read if you’re into Hindu Mythology and Lore, and even if you’re not, this is a must read for the different perpective to history and lore.

February 2, 2012   1 Comment

My Last 8 Years in Blogging

I’ve completed a month of blog posts today and its a milestone for me. I been blogging since 2004 but sporadically. I’ve not been constant and regular ever. This time I’m proud to have stuck it out for a month. :)

2004 – 12
2005 – 42
2006 – 39
2007 – 6
2008 – 0
2009 – 18
2010 – 20
2011 – 12

Looking at the number of posts I’ve done over the years was nostalgic. I hadn’t realised I’ve been blogging for 8 years now. I started blogging in 2004, the same year I started seriously touring on bikes. My introduction to blogging was travel logs; blogging was a good way to remember and share my travel stories.

2005 and 2006 were rantly years 😀 I wasn’t happy in life (well, so I think) and I found so much to rant about or even whine. But 2006 also saw me quit my job and travel across India for 8 months. 2008 was year without the internet. I spent 5 months of the year in Spiti and the rest I just stayed away. It felt nice to not be connected for a while.

The last couple of years I’ve been blogging whenever I felt like writing but this year I wanted to try out blogging regularly – a year of posts to look back at to document the year. And thats 1 month down and 11 to go…

February 1, 2012   No Comments