Apar Sansar by Ramprasad Sen

The great sage and mystic poet Ramprasad Sen composed many gems in the eighteenth century that are popular to this day in Bengal. In fact there is a special category called “Ramprasadi”, attributed to him, which falls under the broader Bhakti or devotional genre of music. The song Apar Sansar¶, , or fathomless Sansar, the […]

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Suheldev by Amish

If you were to ask a High School student in India if she has heard of Suheldev, chances are that she would reply in the negative. Likewise for the battle of Bahraich. Not because Suheldev was a fictional character, or Bahraich a fictional location. This important king and a very significant battle are simply left […]

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Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine by Nirendranath Chakraborty

Nirendranath Chakraborty was a noted Bengali poet from India, recipient of Sahitya Akademi award, India’s National Academy of letters. This is a translation of his Bengali poem, অমলকান্তি রোদ্দুর হতে চেয়েছিল, which literally means – Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine Translated by Mystic Wanderer Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine by Mystic Wanderer is licensed under […]

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Life Over Two Beers And Other Stories by Sanjeev Sanyal

Life Over Two Beers And Other Stories is Sanyal’s first published work of fiction. In his own words “—it sent me on a happy journey and I will probably remain primarily a non-fiction writer.” This collection of mostly satirical short stories is very approachable. A quick read, it elicits a smile or an acknowledgement every […]

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson became a sensation with the publication of his Millennium trilogy. Sadly, only after his untimely death. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first of the trilogy, is a page turner and keeps one glued till the end. I had already seen the movie. I wish I hadn’t. While you can make an […]

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I AM THAT by Nisargadatta Maharaj

“I am That”, as its apt subtitle says, is a collection of talks with the great Indian mystic, and has gems of wisdom strewn across almost all its chapters.  Here’s one I discovered in Chapter 5, on a renewed journey along it’s profound pages, that expounds the value of avoiding contradictions in thought and action […]

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বল মা কি আচারে, রামপ্রসাদ সেন

Following my previous post on the translation, here is the original Bengali poem by  Sri Ramprasad Sen. বল মা কি আচারে   রামপ্রসাদ সেন বল মা কি আচারে কি মন্ত্র বিচারে কোন উপচারে পূজিব মা   কি নামে ডাকিব কি মন্ত্র পাঠিব কি দিয়ে গঠিব তোমার প্রতিমা   শুনেছি পুরানে বেদাগামতন্ত্রে জীত্শক্তি  মা তুমি জীব দেহযন্ত্রে মা তুমি জাগিবে কোন উদ্বোধন মন্ত্রে […]

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How to call you, Mother? A translation of a song by Ramprasad Sen

Bengal, despite its current state of dilapidation, has produced some towering saints in its rich history. Ramprasad Sen can surely be counted among them. A great eighteenth century mystic and Kali devotee, he was also a gifted poet and singer. His songs are popular to this day. Paramahansa Yogananda was a great admirer of Sri Ramprasad, his […]

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The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

I read Vikram Seth’s Suitable Boy over two years ago. Yet many of the characters, even lesser ones – like Mahesh Kapoor, remain vivid in my memory. I can almost see the man when I close my eyes and try to imagine a scene from the story. One could argue that it’s unfair to compare […]

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Maximum City by Suketu Mehta

I would disagree with those that have classified Maximum City under “Description and Travel”. A typical book of travel is mostly an outsider’s perspective. Here, the outsider’s perspective notwithstanding, is a lot more – nostalgia, and a sincere attempt to contextualize and understand a culture one has left behind or never known in the past […]

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