Posted in Think Tank

Yudhisthira – The Unfallen Pandava

A new mythological fiction title is doing the rounds in the market, Yudhisthira – The Unfallen Pandava by Mallar Chatterjee , published by Readomania and it is making people sit up and notice. Why? The subject or let’s say the protagonist is unusual and the perspectives are also something we didn’t actually pay attention to in a detailed manner.

How does this book cover look like?

So what’s this book about?

Let me present a blurb to pique your interest….

Though the Kuru family survived on Vyasadeva’s seeds, he never belonged to the house. Moreover, being an ascetic, he was even exempted from obligations of the complicated dynamics of human relationships. This armed him with a ruthless dispassion and he could go on telling his stories with stoical detachment, free from any bias and uncontaminated by quintessential human dilemmas.

 

But had any of his characters given his own account of the story, would not that have lent a different dimension to the events seducing ordinary mortals like us to identify, if not compare, our private crises with those of our much celebrated heroes?

The Unfallen Pandava is an imaginary autobiography of Yudhisthira, attempting to follow the well-known story of the Mahabharata through his eyes. In the process of narrating the story, he examines his extremely complicated marriage and relationship with brothers turned co-husbands, tries to understand the mysterious personality of his mother in a slightly mother-fixated way, conducts manic and depressive evaluation of his own self and reveals his secret darkness and philosophical confusions with an innate urge to submit to a supreme soul. His own story lacks the material of an epic, rather it becomes like confession of a partisan who, prevailing over other more swashbuckling characters, finally discovers his latent greatness and establishes himself as the symbolic protagonist.

 

Interested??

Ok! Here comes an extract to get you into the whirlpool of reading this book.

After Pandu’s death, the only person who could have doused any curiosity about my mysterious birth was Mother Kunti herself. But I never dared ask her. Meanwhile, when I heard that gods like Vayu, Indra and Ashwini brothers fathered Bheema, Arjuna and Nakula-Sahadeva respectively; the mystery only deepened. It was an evidence of my

adulthood that I felt embarrassed rather than proud of the fact that my mother could entice gods at will to bear their sons!

 

It is difficult for anybody to analyse the woman his own mother has been. Kunti’s profile was such that the possibility of extramarital union seemed awkwardly juxtaposed on her virtuous persona—if not a slander on her image. She fit into every role with silken grace. She was an elegant queen-consort, a devoted wife, a more than perfect mother and an inspiring mother-in-law.

 

But Kunti had a demure, yet addictive sensuality that men could find irresistible. Her extraordinary femininity came as a boon in a sad Pandu’s life. When I was about twelve years old, I once became privy to a very private conversation between them. I heard Pandu say, in a voice unsteady with emotion, ‘You have saved my lineage from certain extinction, Pritha. I don’t know how to thank you. Please do forgive me, if you ever can.’

I could not hear Kunti’s reply as it was lost in the noise of sudden torrents of rain—nature too seemed to have erupted in a catharsis perfectly capturing the mood of the couple.

 

Why did Pandu have to ask Kunti for forgiveness? Was it because of his second marriage to Madri? But multiple marriages were very much common in the Kshatriya society at that time. Now I suspect that Pandu actually wanted to be forgiven for his futile

manhood. He did not need to be forgiven for his bigamy, but he felt guilty for sending his wife to different men (sorry, gods!) just to carry forward his line of descendence. My mother must not have enjoyed this.

 

Kunti felt her so-called chastity—both physical and mental—had been lost. Moreover, her marriage with Pandu was based on suppression of the crucial fact of Karna’s birth before their marriage. Worse, she lost her firstborn forever. Kunti fell in her own eyes. The pious lady might have felt violated, and badly needed to redeem herself. Probably that’s why, she chose Lord Dharma ahead of any other gods in order to get me, her first

‘official’ son.

 

Thank you Mother, for getting me such a noble father!

 

A strange thought would occur to me much later. Did Kunti consciously want Draupadi to be married off to all of us? Did she want to establish a polyandrous custom within our family which she herself had unwittingly, or perhaps reluctantly, started? Perhaps Kunti wanted to get rid of a perennial discomfiture of remaining the solitary woman in our family with that dubious distinction and tried to extend the culture to the next generation

too by using a clever, little deception.

 

‘Divide it equally among all of you!’

 

We might have been too naive to suspect her real intention and accepted it as an act of mere carelessness. Kunti was never known for saying something without weighing it properly. Today I doubt that perhaps Kunti managed to see Draupadi standing outside through the door kept slightly ajar. Her ignorance might well have been a ruse. She probably feigned it to get done what she had wanted.

 

Unnoticed, Kunti controlled the course of the future of the Kuru house, more inadvertently than deliberately. It was my docile mother who inconspicuously held the key, perpetually lurking behind a haze of mystery. She was not at all happy about it—I knew that. She sadly got ensnarled. My poor mother! She never aspired to be special, but destiny had other plans. The realisation helped me develop a more intense fondness for

Mother.

 

It helped me in a different way also. I discovered something that almost no men of my time ever bothered to care about: a woman’s quintessential identity rests in her private feminineness, not in any of the roles she plays to perfection all her life.

 

Interesting…. isn’t it? Now its time to get to know the author, Mallar Chatterjee

Born in a suburban town in North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, in a family of academicians, Mallar Chatterjee’s childhood flame was mythology, especially the Mahabharat. The Unfallen Pandava is his debut novel. Mallar is a central government employee, presently posted in Delhi.

Here’s the link to buy it!

Yudhisthira – The Unfallen Pandava is available online at Amazon.

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Posted in Experiences Around, Think Tank

I am an Addict

Yes, you heard me right. I am entangled in addiction. I can’t stop buying and reading books. I have always loved, whenever I passed by bookstore I would be tempted to buy book. When I had received my first smartphone I was content with e-books.

The first step is to admit that you’re addicted to reading.

The second step is to keep reading.

But now my temptation has become out of control. I keep buying books shamelessly and keep reading them one by one even when my exams are round the corner. Whenever I see a good book deal on Amazon, I order a book or two. Though my parents ask me to refrain, I still order book boxes, at times I order more than one box for a month. I go to Bangalore’s favourite bookstore Blossom Book House, if I plan to buy 1 books, in the end I land up paying 3 or 4 books, why? Because I got books (1st hand and/or 2nd hand) at good prices!

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My friends think I’m a rich man’s daughter, but no. To buy these books I save up throughout the year, from the monies I get from relatives on festivals and birthday. I buy less clothes but I make it a point to save up as much as I can.

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Is it bad to be addicted? When it comes to books, I mean… I just can’t help it. Ever since I started my bookstagram account (https://www.instagram.com/pia_divergent_nerd/ ) and joined book clubs, this addiction is becoming more and more uncontrollable.

P.S. Just today I bought 2 books. After buying 2 last Friday.

I have promised myself that I won’t buy any more books until I have graduated, which I will be in one and a half months’ time. I really hope I can stand up to the promise.


Author:

Priya Bhowal is a Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She was born and brought up in a West Bengal small town named Siliguri. Currently she’s in her final year of Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, Zoology, Biotechnology (triple majors) from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She lives, loves and breathes on novels, especially Fantasy, Romance and YA genres.

 

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, Think Tank

To be cliché or not to be that is The question

The pillar of the story or sometimes it’s the heart and soul too. I am a proud cliché loving girl. From bad boy, girlhood stories to opposites falling in love and the main characters always falling for each other to happily ever afters to cheesy lines and love at first sight. I enjoy it all.
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The sensible and non-sensible Cliché :
THE BAD BOY, GOOD GIRL STORIES AND THE OPPOSITES ATTRACT STORIES : Let’s be real who doesn’t love the chemistry between a bad boy and a good girl – the not so outgoing girl and party animal guy. The opposites attracting stories too what a pleasure it is to see people completely out of their leagues falling for each other. These are a bit unrealistic stories how often do we see this happening outside of a book ? Which leads me to another point i.e., The bad boy having a heart of gold : Obviously he’s called the bad boy for a freaking reason, right ? Like he doesn’t lack a heart but how can he change from spawn of Satan to an Angel ? That makes no sense and why does the partner has to put up with this to turn him into a human being? It is undeniably frustrating when throughout the story one of the person is insecure in the relationship. Like why are they even together then ? Being in a healthy relationship is to be sure of it. It’s natural the partners might face difficulties and become unsure but always being scared that the other is going to dump you means there is no meaning of being together. Also being suspicious of your partner just shows that you don’t even trust them in the first place.
THE LOVE TRIANGLE : It adds to unnecessary drama, even the reader gets confused – who to root for ? It’s frustrating that a character keeps on dragging the love interests. Of course it’s possible to develop feeling for two people but my point is why keep on tagging them along ? Just make up your mind and stop hurting others in the process. Or two people fighting for one why not go and find someone who knows your worth and stop pinning after a person who doesn’t have feelings for you.
SHOT OF ROMANCE IN EVERY STORY : Why not involve friendship and families ?
THE PROBLEMATIC LIFE OF A TEENAGER : It is a universal fact that being a teenager is not easy but does it always has to be a teenager who faces all the problems ? Teenagers beating the evil forces, teenager doing this and that and are the heroes. What about other age groups?
THE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS IS NOW THE KICKASS FEMALE LEAD : The more the problems the female faces the more fearless and kickass she becomes in the story. I am totally in for that. Let’s be real stories with a strong female as the working catalyst are much more appreciated. It doesn’t always has to be a girl who needs saving. HAPPILY EVER AFTERS : Most of the times the readers are blessed with a happily ever after but it cannot happen all the time. It was the topic I debated on the most while categorizing. I think it varies from person to person.
CAT AND MOUSE GAME : It is fun to see the characters sweating to get to their love interest and sensible to a level. Not a trilogy long cat and mouse chase. It tires the readers to the point the readers think it’s better they remain single.
What are some of your favourite or not so favourite cliches?

 

AUTHOR:

Shivangi Bakshi is Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations.  Currently she is pursuing A1 German language from Goethe Institute,  New Delhi. She loves reading besides exploring new music tastes and making art. Art and books have been an escape into the whimsical world for her. 

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, Think Tank

My Bibliophilic Confession #2

I am SO jealous of the book heroines — especially the ones in my favourite books. Now you might be asking, “Why?”

It’s because, even though their lives take unusual turns and they go through unfortunate events, certain things are picture perfect— awesome friend who live never their sides, envious love life, supportive family etc.

For example, in Vampire Diaries, Elena has two great friends – Bonnie and Meredith – who would even risk their lives for her. Also, she has both Stefan AND Damon pining for her attention. In the Wrath and the Dawn series, both Tariq and Khalid are madly in love with Shahrzad – Tariq almost even waged a war against Khalid to get back Shazi. Also, Shazi has great support from her friend Despina and her little sister Irsa.

In the Throne of Glass series also, both Dorian and Chaol develop feelings for her.

Why? I mean why? It’s so heart-breaking for me (after I finish the book). These heroines have too many people around them, and I don’t get even one!!!

There is not one friend of mine who wouldn’t backstab about me, or who doesn’t secretly hate me. There is not one who might have feelings for me. I know, strong women do not need men’s support, I always strive be a strong woman, I’m not so strong yet. But, sometimes, isn’t it nice to have someone by your side to bear your tantrums, pamper you and adore you.

Well…. Right now I can only make do with fantasies…

 


Author:

Priya Bhowal is a Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She was born and brought up in a West Bengal small town named Siliguri. Currently she’s in her final year of Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, Zoology, Biotechnology (triple majors) from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She lives, loves and breathes on novels, especially Fantasy, Romance and YA genres.

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, Think Tank

The Book Tasting

Last week randomly browsing through Pinterest i stumbled upon a Pin describing wonderful and really pleasing (Mark my words!) way of engaging readers and non-readers too.

I quickly sat down with my journal and began planning.
I held my very first bookish event : The Book Tasting
This is how it went :
✔ I planned out a “Menu” with reviews of books for each person (depending on their age)
✅ Arranged some treats – Chocolate bars, Drinks (because bookish events can get boring)
✔ Put on some music
✅ I had grouped people with similar ages and organised some activities that would engage them in reading and enjoy themseleves too.
✔ In the end I asked them to write a short experience of the event and not gonna brag it was a hit.
Activities I organised :
📚 Scene depiction
📚 Writing Ups and Downs of the book
📚 One page fan fic writing
📚 Cosplay of Favourite character (s)
Here is the list of books i chose for each group :
Age  10-14
Regret and Other Stories by Guy de Maupassant
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Age 15- 20
The Guy Next Door by Meg Cabot
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 

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An example of book tasting menu (Source: Pinterest) 
AUTHOR:

Shivangi Bakshi is Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations.  Currently she is pursuing A1 German language from Goethe Institute,  New Delhi. She loves reading besides exploring new music tastes and making art. Art and books have been an escape into the whimsical world for her. 

Posted in Think Tank

Reading Reneé Ahdieh

 

I have a Instagram account dedicated to books (@pia_divergent_nerd). I check other book accounts every now and then, there are some books which are quite trending on Instagram and one of them was The Wrath and The Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh. I don’t want to be left behind when it comes to books. So I decided to read it along with The Literary Dragons Book Club (a goodreads group).

 

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First few pages took me some time to grasp. But as I got into the flow,  I went on and on. I had planned to finish it in one sitting but my dearest college wouldn’t allow me. But whenever I got a free time or if the teacher isn’t looking much at me,  I would read. The angst, the hatred, the love, the passion in all of it, kept holding to my attention. Reneé Ahdieh is a brilliant storyteller, the protagonist is a master storyteller too. The transition in the relationship between the two central characters, from a relationship of hatred to that of unconditional love and trust is beautiful. For the entire world, Khalid is evil incarnate but only Shazi felt that there must be some secret behind it. I really admire the protagonist Shazi, she can be fearless and there are times she feels scared. She can be strong as well as vulnerable. She can surpass all odds for her loved ones.

Khalid is an extremely angry young man. His shamshir speaks more than him. He can be tough as a stone. But love can make him melt and a sharp rebuke from someone he cares about, can bring him back to his senses. His character makes me firm on my belief that an individual becomes bad or evil for a reason, circumstances that drive them to a satanic path. I never felt my heart beating so fast that it might jut out of my flesh until I read The Wrath and the Dawn. The ending had loose ends, I wasn’t satisfied so the very next day started the next book in the duology The Rose and the Dagger. I enjoyed it thoroughly. The thrill was too good for my otherwise monotonous life. The loose ends were tied but I would still read on and on and on. This book had more of magical elements than the first one. The Harry Potter feels made my experience all the more better.

I just love Reneé Ahdieh now. Her books are hyped for a solid reason. And that’s solid storytelling.

Author:

Priya Bhowal is a Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She was born and brought up in a West Bengal small town named Siliguri. Currently she’s in her final year of Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, Zoology, Biotechnology (triple majors) from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She lives, loves and breathes on novels, especially Fantasy, Romance and YA genres.

 

Posted in Think Tank

My Bibliophilic Confession

I got really fascinated by Surbhi Sareen’s Confessions of a Bibliophile weekly episodes so I thought today I will present my confessions as a bibliophile.

Here we go:

  1. I have a weakness for vampires. I know they’re supposed to be blood suckers, monsters, but I find them hot, romantic, protective, poetic; just read Vampire Diaries, Twilight, Vampire Academy, you’ll know why I love Stefan, Edward and Dimitritumblr_inline_ne7u4qj6qk1r1u6b7
  2. I have cried watching films and TV shows but till now only ONE book has made me cry and i.e. Me Before You. It’s shocking right? Even I think so, my brain needs rewiring.me-before-you-novel
  3. When I am reading I always place myself as the female lead of the story and I go on imagining the scene as if it’s happening to me (I still wonder why I don’t cry!)
  4. Once my friend had asked me, “Don’t you have sexual or romantic desires?” I had answered “No”. But the reality is, I don’t have to develop desires, because whenever I read intimate scenes in books my heart beats so fast as if I’m romancing the hero. All my pleasures are met by my beloved novels. (Don’t judge me please!)
  5. I love books with bad-ass women characters. I can’t stand fainting-on-demand, flimsy female characters. Please! We women have evolved a lot!!!
  6. If I ever date, I will date a bibliophile guy. I cannot be with a man with whom I cannot discuss my most favorite things – my books.
  7. I dream of making a library in my house that every bibliophile will be jealous of.home-libraries-and-reading-nooks-s-391a671941e9a1ce

 


Author:

Priya Bhowal is a Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She was born and brought up in a West Bengal small town named Siliguri. Currently she’s in her final year of Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, Zoology, Biotechnology (triple majors) from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She lives, loves and breathes on novels, especially Fantasy, Romance and YA genres.