Issue 08

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The Shiva trilogy by Amish- a review

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    Shiva- The man whom legend turned into a God! -The concept was interesting!

    The idea of a mythology being converted to a tale, enhanced and beautified for a mass appeal was interesting!

    “Shit, what am I saying” (a sample of a dialogue from the first of the trilogy )-the language seemed interesting too , to many. It seemed to be a refreshing change from the archaic “thou cometh my Lord” , but personally I just could not digest a God, alright a legend , saying that, but that’s just a minor point in a sea of disputes.

    Amish Tripathi, the author of the Shiva trilogy, namely The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras  needs to be applauded for three things –

    One- a brave attempt at mythology with descriptions of epic proportions, ahem! figuratively speaking.

    Second, characterizations and research- He is completely in sync with what and how the readers would want their heroes and antiheroes to be and has amplified the heroic in each of the characters, including even the mundane ones. So we have Nandi , Veerbhadra, Ganesh, who seems like a well sketched combo of Clark Kent- Superman all rolled into one, visible as such at the same moment too . The research is extensive and barring aside a few minor jarring notes in the backdrop in the first, seems pretty much possible and precise in the latter two on first look.

    Though the contemporary scientific terms interspersed here and there seems to stick out like a sore thumb, but still can be overlooked, though it’s anybody’s guess why a kingdom discussing telepathic signals, thermodynamics and nuclear fission is still depending on the slowest mode of transportations.

    Thirdly – His farsightedness as far as the calculations of the far reaching effects and impact of the book. The trilogy is a success and has already bagged a movie deal and has been touted as India’s answer to LOTR. Not a surprise considering the vivid imagery that he has woven around the India of yore which I consider the best point in the trilogy as a matter of fact.

    These were really laudable in terms of innovative attempts and creativity, but the originality ends there.

    The story is set on the same Sati-Shiva legend with the backdrop of ‘somras’ and Meluha to heighten the curiosity or rather complicate things. We have theo- philosophical theories about the Nagas, Mahadevas and Vasudevas thrown in for added attraction and the never failing  ‘good versus evil war’ as the objective, the only notable and unique highpoint being the point when the author seems to debate on  what evil is but even that fizzles out by the third novel.

    Impact wise, the first did a lovely job of piquing readers’ interest with its simple colloquial style and grand historical (though not flawless) descriptions and superb characterizations.

    The second of the trilogy was a powerful display of the author’s capability to sustain readers’ interest with some high voltage melodrama and razor sharp twists in the plot. In fact of all the three, the second of the trilogy is the fastest paced with a racing storyline; complete with some unexpected twist every third chapter.

    By the time, the third of the series was due; a huge hype had been created that reminded me of the Deathly Hallows days.

    But Deathly Hallows was fitting end to a grand piece of work by Rowling while The oath of the Vayuputras…? Same cannot be said about it sadly. In fact, let alone a fitting end to the series, it was not even a fitting end to the Legend called Shiva.

    A cold bloodedly calculated massacre of an entire helpless ‘resigned to one’s fate’ city, (of which ninety percent of the population were innocent)  are not stuffs of which legends of God  are made, but rather they are stuffs which remind you of Hitler’s genocidal ambitions.

    Shiva’s dance of destruction is famous, but again Shiva’s dance of destruction is said to be spontaneous and impulsive- not anywhere like assembling a nuke in front of a town for two days and blowing it up on the third day.

    Egyptian Assassins; Vayuputras which has western links- any farfetched imaginary ideas could have been forgiven, but this? The God whom Amish’s legend turn into a man with petty notions of right and wrong is totally, wholly, absolutely unacceptable and this is where he fails miserably in my eyes.

    So in the end, I end up back in square one, where I would rather believe in the God Shiva himself rather than an interesting cock and bull legend turning an exceptional man into a God who certainly did not behave like one, when it needed to !

    Editorial

    It has been a tiring day for me. In fact, the whole month was very tiring for me, but as I visit the Bihu Tolis and watch the Hussori Dals dancing in Mukoli Bihu (Open Bihu), I get energized and all the tiredness goes into the thin air. I see people of all ages dancing in the Mukoli Bihu shedding their inhibitions for a while. I join them to completely re-energize myself.

    It is a time of festivities since nature is in its best. The winter has ended and the temperature have not soared as yet. Flowers of different hues are a visual treat. The sounds of various migrating birds fill the environment with music. Even with a busy lifestyle, one cannot stop himself from enjoying the season.

    Rongali Bihu is the festival reminding us that we should enjoy our life before it is too late. So, friends follow your heart and enjoy!.

    Bon Appétit

    -Pramathesh Borkotoky

    VISTAS 2011, Living The Dream…

    Vistas'2011
    Vistas'2011

    As soon as the month of April sets in, the festive air seems to blaze up. Festivals are all that people have in their mind. And I mean festivals of all kinds. Well, when we talk about festivals, we are not only talking about Bihu or Baisakhi or even the Election fiesta. For a change, let’s talk about a media festival. The Mega Media Fest – VISTAS, organized annually by the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Tezpur University was one of the most awaited events of April, 2011. The foundations of VISTAS had been laid by the batch of 2005. Ever since then, it has been growing bigger and better with every passing year. VISTAS 2010 was the first time the fest was made open for three institutions outside the university. This time however, VISTAS became another grand event with 19 institutions from all over the North East participating in it; Manipur University, Gauhati University, Rajiv Gandhi University, English and Foreign Languages University, Cotton College, St. Anthony’s College, Regional Government Film & Television Institute (Formerly Jyoti Chitrabon) Assam Institute for Mass Communication and Media Research, and Darrang College to name a few.

    Fuschian Delight

                                  I adorn the damsel beauty,

                                                  Nobody knows my fate

                                              Yet I cling with fortitude

                                                            The Bohagi botora

                                                   I breathe midst the drizzle

                                           That soaks the phalgun dust

                                         A hovering butterfly

    Pretty Petunia

    Hello pretty dainty

    How do you do..?

    Pink, white, mauve and lovely blue..!

    You steal my heart

    You take away my gloom,

    With all your tender sweetness and hue.

     

    Tiniest of tiny

    Frozen was thee..

    Gently did I lay you, for survival and glee..!

    INDIA IS WORLD CHAMPION: SACHIN IS WORLD CHAMPION

    1983: LONDON
    2011: MUMBAI

    ICC World Cup

    23rd March 2007 may not be written in Golden Letters in history of Indian cricket but on that day Sachin Tendulkar’s resolve to win the World cup got firmer then ever. It was the day when India crashed out of 2007 World cup after a defeat to Sri Lanka. He dreamt of lifting the World Cup in Mumbai on 2nd April 2011 and so he DID. Sachin DID what he dreamt from the moment he lifted bat for the first time and he fulfilled his dream. And with Him more then billion Indians and cricket lovers all India fulfilled their Dream.

    Dhoni’s men did what no other team could do after Kapil’s Devils shook the cricketing World with their victory over the more fancied teams and upsetting favuorite’s West Indies on that fateful evening at London in 1983 when no one gave them a chance. That Victory was always called a fluke and proven time and again in the next Six editions of the World Cup with the only exception being 2003 team which reached the final but got too overawed by the occasion and lost comprehensively. But this time India was touted as favourite and lived up to the tag by lifting the Trophy.

    Before the celebrations the Final Match lived up to its billing and provided a nerve wracking moments during the course of the match. Sri Lanka started defensively with scoring the least runs of the tournament for them in the mandatory Power play but came back strongly and scored their maximum runs in the tournament in batting Power play. 274 was always going to be competitive and India was not only chasing 274 but fighting History as well. No host country had won the world Cup, no team has chased so many to win the World Cup and no team in the World had so much riding on them even before a bowl was bowled. It got worse when Sehwag & Sachin were back in the hut within 7 overs. In came the future of Indian cricket in form of Gambhir & Kohli and the run chase was handled brilitantly by Captain Dhoni himself. He took the mantle of standin up to the Sri Lankan spinners and take India to this famous victory by unleashing killer strike over Long On.

    Ondla Jwng Naa Jwng

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      The Bodos are one of the largest ethnic and linguistic groups of the Brahmaputra valley in Assam. Rice is the staple food and fondly savored with a non vegetarian dish like fish or pork. The main dishes are Oma Bedor, Ondla and Narzi. This publication Fried Eye shares one of the traditional Bodo curry known as ‘Ondla Jwng Naa Jwng’ by Ruprekha Mushahary. It’s an extremely delicious and very healthy dish and is basically made of grounded rice. This curry can be cooked with fish, chicken or pork and they can have many variations.

      Before we process ahead, let us be familiar with some Bodo terminologies.

       Ondla: a curry cooked with ground rice.
       Ingkhri: curry
       Naa: fish
       Jwng: with

      Ingredients

      1.) Fresh fish (alive if possible), 6pieces. Seen in the picture are pieces of a ‘Shoal’ fish.

      Fresh Shoal fish pieces
      Fresh Shoal fish pieces

      Book Review: Only Time Will Tell

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        Only time will tell
        Book: Only Time Will Tell
        Author: Jeffrey Archer
        ISBN: 0330535676
        ISBN-13: 9780330535670, 978-0330535670
        Binding: Paperback
        Publishing Date: 2011
        Publisher: Pan Macmillan
        Number of Pages: 388
        Language: English
        Price: Rs. 325

        Rating: 4/5

        Reflection

        She looked at the mirror, and at the woman with her husband in the photo in his laptop. Laughing and free, without a care in the world. His hand casually wrapped around her waist and her palm resting on his chest. She was looking up at him, like she was saying something. The tinkling laughter in the photo was as evident as the love in her eyes for him. And his eyes had pride in them. “Mine”, they seemed to say.

        That was her a few years ago. Newly wed, deeply in love. With heady dreams of the happy home she’d make for him. She looked back at the mirror, and almost inadvertently, a sigh escaped her. How she wished to see the same naivety in her eyes again…! To be able to innocently accept everything that came her way again without questioning… How she wished she could still just believe.

        Like iron being pulled to magnet her gaze kept going back to the photo. Ah, but she knew what it was to be like the woman in that photo. She knew the feeling so well. When she’d got married, she’d felt like a bird let out of her cage for the first time. Though people had told her marriage was all about being bound, she’d never felt that free. Everything was new to her, and everything seemed oh-so-beautiful. He’d extended her world right into the horizon, and once she’d reach there, he’d open new horizons for her.

        Four years after marriage, people would still ask if they were on their honeymoon. She’d laugh at the look on their faces. They would be jealous all right, and she’d welcome their jealousy without despising it. Hell, she was proud of it.

        She turned to the mirror, and reluctantly shifted her attention to the lover’s handles she’d never had until after the baby. Pinching the flab in her waist, she made a face at herself. Damn, those wrinkles. And those crow’s feet. She smiled. There, those ugly lines refused to go even after she stopped smiling. She tried standing straight; an elegant posture was never one of her assets. Specially after carrying her baby in her arms for three months straight because her baby daughter refused to be put in the crib. The newly-wed had overnight become a cranky mother, what with baby colic and her post-natal depression. Her daughter grew up to be ten last month. She remained right where she was. A cranky mother. Only heaven knew why.

        Turning back to the photo she almost grimaced as though in physical pain. How she wished she could be that woman laughing in her husband’s arms. How she wished she was young, and beautiful and happy. How she wished time would turn back and she would again become that woman in the photo.

        How she wanted to be the other woman he came home smelling of, the one in that photo she chanced upon while her husband was away. The one who must be in his arms now even as she stood in front of her mirror wondering why it all went wrong.

        April Hues

        He was extremely happy at last. She said she would be there with him no matter what. He smiled as he smelled her in his bed. She seemed aloof, but still yearned for his love. It was April, the colorful hues were everywhere. She smiled at him lazily and said in an enchanting voice “Meow”.

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