July 25, 2009

this -

Almost with disbelief I realize: there are things I cannot find more about - simply cannot find - on google. Yesterday I was trying to search for Idam, written by Dr. Rajananda and published by Kavita Prakashan, Bikaner, in 1990, and - zilch. I paled and cursed and fluttered my hands but could still unearth nothing about the book or the author.

I'm reading it right now - it is a fictionalized retelling of the beginning chapters of the Mahabharat. The narrative moves forward because of the dramatis personae - Satyavati, Bhishma, Ambika, Ambalika and Krishna Dwaipayana aka Vyas - who experience the events comprising the epic story like good literary characters and introspect, feel conflicted, resolve issues or stay unresolved. I really like the book.

I love how Hindi is slugging its way back to into my tongue and my brain. The more I read. Also, my brain recognizes the story of the Mahabharat - the stories of its characters - as mythic in way it does not recognize those that were not part of its socio-cultural-linguistic environment when I was growing up. So, the appeal and payoffs of encountering the familiar made unfamiliar.

Even though the word itself has not been mentioned in the text of the novel so far, it popped into my head yesterday. The characters - especially Bhishma - are driven to try and understand their ethical obligations: their "dharma". Such an interesting notion. Your being located at a different place may entail a different dharma for you. I have been thinking about my place and my dharma.

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