REVIEW “The Secret Life of Bees”by Sue Monk Kidd

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Set in the troublesome times of the 1960 Civil Rights Movement is the troublesome story of Lily Owens.  After the death of her mother she is raised by the black housemaid Rosaleen on her dad’s peach farm. Whilst Rosaleen tries to bring love and happiness into Lily’s life her dad, whom she only calls T.Ray because “he’s not much of a Daddy figure” resents, ignores and abuses her.

A series of events leads the fourteen years old Lily to run away together with Rosaleen.  The only thing Lily has from her Mother are two silk gloves, a picture of her and a mysterious picture of a black Mary that seems to be coming from Tiburon, South Carolina. Led by this picture the two set out to Tiburon and find the black Mary on a honey label which shows them the way to the pink beekeepers house.August and her sisters June and May. They take Lily and Rosaleen in and in this safe place Lily finally starts to flower.Finds friends, love and worth.

Which seems to good to be true. And somehow it is, considered, that a young white girl lives with three black sisters in a time where racial discrimination is daily business and runaway daughters are most likely searched for.

The author Sue Monk Kidd somehow manages to combine these two sides in one humorous and poetic novel. Her style of writing is clear and somewhat lighthearted even though the subject is not. Still the book isn’t missing a true meaning. Mostly delivered through the conversations with August in the book it talks about forgiveness, oneself and others and ultimately about love.

Wiyanna Markowis

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REVIEW “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo

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Some people don’t like reading old dusty classic books. Some people don’t like reading very long books. Well, the book “Les Miserables” is both of these things and still I would recommend you to read it. The book follows (admittedly with some detours) the life of Jean Valjean. A man who was convicted to galley “service” for stealing a loaf of bread.

After finishing his sentence and being out on parole he realizes bitterly, that even though he served his sentence for society he always will be convicted. The book follows him on his journey through the Paris and France of the beginning of the 19th century as he tries to turn his life towards the good.

This search for good plays out over more than one thousand pages. The author deliberately decides to leave the main storyline several times in such a way that the book becomes more like a long walk in a park than a thrilling rollercoaster ride, a phenomenon that lacks in many of the modern day novels. He slows down the pace of everyday life and reveals that even though the book was written more than 150 years ago many of aspects are still true today. Victour Hugos book “Les Miserables” has been called the conscience of the 19th century. And he can also be called the conscience of the 21th century for that matter.  In his work he shows, that there is a higher moral than the social standards and laws of the moment. Good and bad can not always be rightfully decided in front of a court. And how judgment can be true for eternity.

Maybe we should take this point of view on some of the things that happen in today’s day and age… How will our, nowadays ‘accepted’ and ‘right’ actions, be judged upon in 150 years when our self centered reasons no longer matter and the only thing that is remembered are the consequences of our actions.

Wiyanna Markowis

Poet Neeraj

Gopaldas Saxena ‘Neeraj’ (popularly known as Niraj or Neeraj) is among the best-known poets and authors in Hindi literature. He is also a famous poet of Hindi Kavi Sammelan. He was born in the small village Ekdil of Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, India on 4 January 1924. He wrote under the pen name “Neeraj”. His style is considered easy to understand, but has also been compared with high quality Hindi literature. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2007.[citation needed] Recently he recited some of his works at North India’s premier annual cultural festival, Spoculit 2012.

Neeraj’s poems which appeared in Hindi Movies as songs only added to their popularity. all these songs are in mixed but chaste UrduHindi languages.

Song Movie Singer
Likhe jo khat tujhe Kanyadaan Mohammed Rafi
E bhai jara dekh ke chalo Mera Naam Joker Manna Day
Dhiire se jaanaa khaTiyan me.n o khaTamal Chhupa Rustom Kishore Kumar
Dil aaj shaayar hai Gambler Kishore Kumar
Jiivan kii bagiyaa mahakegii Tere Mere Sapne Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar
Maine kasam lii Tere Mere Sapne Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar
Meghaa chhaae aadhii raat, bairan ban gai ni.ndiyaa Sharmili Lata Mangeshkar
Mera man tera pyaasa….. Gambler Mohammed Rafi
O merii o merii o meri sharmiilii aao naa tarasao naa… Sharmili Kishore Kumar
Phoolon ke rang se, dil kee kalam se… Prem Pujari Kishore Kumar
Rangeela re, Rangeela re, mere man me yoon ranga hai tera mann… Prem Pujari Lata Mangeshkar
Sho(w)khiyon mein ghola jaye phoolon ka shabaab,Usme phir milayee jaaye, thodee see sharaab, Hoga yoon nashaa joh taiyyar, woh pyaar hai… Prem Pujari Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar
Raadhaa ne maalaa japi shyaam kii Tere Mere Sapne Lata Mangeshkar
Karawan Guzar gaya, ghubar daykhtay rahay Nai Umr Ki Nai Fasal Mohammed Rafi
Subaha na aayee, shaam na aayee… Cha Cha Cha Mohammed Rafi
Woh hum na the, woh tum na the… Cha Cha Cha Mohammed Rafi
Aaj madhosh hua jae remera man, mera man, mera man sharaarat karne ko lalchaye re mera man, mera man, mera man……. Sharmili Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar
Khilte hain gul yahaan, khile ke bikharne komilte hain dil yahaan, milke bichharhne ko….. Sharmili Kishore Kumar
Ek Musafir Hoon Main, Ek Musafir Hai Tu….. Gunaah (1993) Manhar Udhas, Sadhna Sargam

In the Belly of the Fish – New Release

Pilgrims is delighted to share the news of new release of the book In the Belly of the Fish: Matsyendranatha and the Chakra of the Yoginis by Stella Dupuis.

In the Belly of the Fish is the story of the mythic master Matsyendranatha through the eyes of women-goddesses, the Yoginis. The most important Tantra treatise written by the great scholar Abhinavagupta from the 10th century honoured Guru Matsyendranatha as the father of Yoga.

In Kathmandu Valley he became the God of Mercy: MACHHENDRANATH.

In the Belly of the Fish is a positive and joyful novel adorned with picturesque legends and esoteric knowledge that can be implemented in our daily life when confronting challenging situations.

Stella Dupuis is a Swiss novelist born in Panama. She studied marketing and advertising in Switzerland and Sweden before launching a successful business career in Latin America and Europe. Since becoming a writer seven years ago, she has published four novels in Spanish and English. In her work she depicts a yearning for a spiritual destiny that transcends blind commitment, stereotypes and religious fanaticism. For many years, Stella has also been teaching Yoga and Meditation in many countries. She is the author of Memoria de Viento (In the Wake of the Wind), La Puerta de Jade, Teli-Ka Mandir and The Yogini Temples of India: In the Pursuit of a Mystery.

Please CLICK HERE to get more details about the book.

Bhanubhakta: The Original Poet of Nepal

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Toady is 195th Bhanu Jayanti which we Nepalese celebrate in the remembrance of the Nepal’s Pioneer Poet Bhanubhakra Acharya. He is more popularly known as Adikavi (original poet). Another poet Yuvakavi Motiram Bhatta while writing biography of Bhanubhakta, had first been used “Adikavi” to Bhanubhakta. It’s not because Bhanubhakta was the first poet but he was the first poet who wrote with an understanding of the inner essence of poetry.

Bhanubhakta was born in a very wealthy Brahmin family of Chundiramgha, Tanahu on B.S. Asar 29, 1871. His grandfather Shrikrishna Acharya who was very well known of his time.He received an excellent education with a strong leaning towards religion at home from his grandfather.

When Bhanubhakta was 22 years, he was influenced by a incident so much that made him to turn out a poet. One day he encountered a grass-cutter and in their conversation he found that the grass-cutter wanted to give something to society so that he could be remembered after death too. After listening to the grass-cutter answer Bhanubhakta felt ashamed of himself. Therefore, by the inspiring words of the grass-cutter, he wrote two verses which are as follows:

भर जन्म घाँसतिर मन दिई धन कमायो
नाम क्यै रहोस पछि भनेर कुवा खनायो
घाँसी दरिद्र घरको तर बुद्धी कस्तो
म भानुभक्त धनी भैकन आज यस्तो
मेरा इनार न त सत्तल पाटी क्यै छन्
जे धन र चीजहरू छन् घरभित्रनै छन्
तेस घाँसीले कसरी आज दिएछ अर्ति
धिक्कर हो मकन बस्नु न राखि किर्ती

 

He gives his life to cutting grass and earns little money,
he hopes to make a well for his people so he will be remembered after death,
this high thinking grass-cutter lives in poverty,
I have achieved nothing though I have much wealth.I have neither made rest houses nor a well,
all my riches are inside my house.
This grass-cutter has opened my eyes today,
my life is worthless if the memory of my existence fades away.

 

It not only sparked literary creativity in Bhanubhakta but also inspired him to do something noble, which eventually resulted in his translation of the great epic Ramayana from Sanskrit into Nepali and he made it to accessible, readable and understandable for a wide range of Nepali people. And because of his noble work Bhanubhakta and Nepali language became synonym in Nepali literature.

Poet Bhanubhakta was not only a romantic but a satiric poet too. Other remarkable books by him are Badhu Sikshya, Bhakta Mala and Prasnottar Mala.

You may find details of the book Bhanubhakta ko Ramayana and other books on Bhanubhakta and poets of Nepal in our Web Site.