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Books 2010: Nine Lives

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This week, India is making its best attempt in hosting an international event.The effects have been mixed so far.
But I hope its great we came this far and hope to see good things about the CWG this week.

9lives_dalrymple I thought it would be good to share about a book I read about India this year!

Nine Lives was a surprise find of this year. I usually run away from authors like William Dalrymple thinking its for the literature buffs and not for a casual reader. But the introduction on this book was quite interesting. It is about a certain sales manager who gives up all he had, Christopher McCandless style to lead a very different life.

It took me several months to complete the book .But I was quite  impressed with the characters depicted in the book. NineLives chronicles the life of 9  religious people and how religion is still thriving in India inspire of the several changes happening in India .

A Nun’s tale‘ is a very good account about Jainism in India. It is about Prasannamati, a nun who has taken up sallekhana – ritualistic  fast until death.While the vegan food habits of Jains is well known,  the Jain nuns follow a stricter ,self effacing way of life .The author makes a good account the nun’s initiation or diksa and how the nun practices her fasting ritual every day.

The other characters in the book are fascinating too. The Singer of epics is about the Mohan Bhopha ,who is an illiterate and yet could recite the entire 4000 line verse of epic of Pabuji just from his memory .

Then there are stories about a Tibetan monk who renounces his oath to fight against the Chinese and
the  sthapati’s of TamilNadu who build statues as per ancient Hindu rituals and direct descendants of those who built famous temples of South India..

On the whole, characters depicted are very interesting and the narrative is pretty tight. Its a well researched book and some of the local knowledge which the author brings out about India will not be known to Indians themselves!

At the end, I have become a fan for William Darlymple writings. Next in my queue is his ‘In Xanadu’.

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Written by sujai

October 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

One Response

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  1. Seems interesting, just now found it in my library catalog, will check it out. Thanks for posting.

    Mayil

    October 23, 2010 at 1:19 am


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