Skip to main content

Book Review: Shankara – The Mansarovar Odyssey – by Anuj Tikku

Shankara is a short fascinating account about the author’s Mansarovar journey. He took this journey in a group with Satguru Jaggi Vasudev. The book takes the readers through some countries where the pilgrims had to be routed for the complete religious journey. If you have read The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho, you would be able to relate it precisely.

Mansarovar Yatra is considered the most sacred journey for Indians. Many Indians want to get into this journey every year, but not all get the chance, since this Yatra requires physical fitness with no chronic disease and not many people are allowed to attend it due to treacherous and harsh climatic conditions.

The process of getting selected for the Yatra is rather tough, than any other nomadic journey. The author has highlighted the steps in a lucid way – quite informative for the people planning. Also, in the first chapter, he stated that UV rays get thinner because of high altitude, no sunscreen means burning skin. Secondly, he stated that while climbing a hilly path, one must not rest, rather keep moving slowly, as taking rest leads to stiffening of muscles.

The author himself is a Mahadev devotee, hence this journey meant a lot to him. What kind of struggles, he made on account of travel and accommodation and other basic amenities suggest that he is an ardent fan of the lord Shiva, and it takes more than comfort zone to take the journey.

From a cultural point of view, the author covers Spiti Valley, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and China’s cultural values and beliefs of locals through the specific chapters like Bhutan and the Ritual of Black Zambala, and The Phallus of Bhutan. To showcase the zeitgeist, the book includes two mesmerizing poems as well. 

The book has been written in simple language, easy to understand for all. Be it anything, but the book was high on information. Yes, there were a few grammatical glitches in snatches, but still, you can consider it for one-time read without much hesitation.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming.

This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for village…

Book Review: A Village in Garhwal by Ruskin Bond

There is no one better than Ruskin Bond to give you deep insights about the life in the Himalayan foothills. He lives in Mussoorie and thus knows the up and down of the hills, nearby and the farthest. You must have read many Ruskin Bond stories on the lives and culture of the Himalayan people living in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Well, this short story, A Village in Garhwal, takes you into Manjari village of Garhwal region. The author spends four days in the village, he was taken there by one of his friends Gajadhar. This village Manjari is located twenty-five miles away from Lansdown, a famous tourist place and center of Garhwal Rifles.

It takes two days to reach this village from the author’s native place. One needs to travel first by bus from Lansdown and then walk for five miles. The village is situated up the Nayar River – a tributary of the Ganges. One morning the author wakes up to the loud vociferous sound of Cicada. This sound reminds him of factory buzzer. The author …

Story Summary: Gopal and the Hilsa Fish

Gopal and the Hilsa Fish is a short story covered in the NCERT Class 7 English Textbook Honeycomb. The story is funny in its tone and nature, and presented in the comic form, not in PDF or simple word format.

Before you get into the realms of the story, you must know that Hilsa is a popular fish, found in rivers of India. It's mostly sold during monsoon season. In the story, the season is probably of monsoon. In the kingdom, everyone seems talking about the Hilsa fish.
Fishermen catching no other fish in particular, but only focusing on Hilsa fish. Even in the market, fish merchants selling Hilsa in great gusto. They are offering even discounts and other hacks to lure customers. The height of popularity reaches inside the king’s palace, even the ministers and courtiers found gossiping and discussing Hilsa fish. It is like, Hilsa fish seems to be an important topic over other state affairs.
So much stupidity all around. This angers the king. He wants that to be stopped. The king i…