I discovered Ratul Chakraborty through Twitter. He had posted a brilliant thread on how rich and powerful nations ensure countries like India remain underdeveloped. I will be posting that thread as a separate blog. I saw a mention of this book Sutradhar written by Ratul and bought it immediately. The word Sutradhar is beautiful. It means someone who connects the dots or a story teller.
The opening line will either get you hooked or push you away …”In ode to Bharat’s eternal glory.” Well, you know now why I got hooked.
Its a collection of short stories where historical events are viewed through the cultural prism. No allegations made, no sides taken, but the pride in our glorious history and pride in our growing strength as a Nation clearly comes through.
Some interesting excerpts from Sutradhar –
In the first story – “… The prosperity of the Indus-Sarasvati civilisation brought it into contact with cultures all over the world. the caravans and the merchant barges that plied the trade routes brought wide eyed visitors to these lands, who took back with them stories of immense splendour and prosperity. The cities on the banks of the Sarasvati were like nothing seen before by human eyes.”
We often tend to forget that India was a uber rich country besides being a very advanced civilisation. The more I delve into Ayurveda, I become even more convinced that this land has answers for everything that modern man is looking for…. we just don’t believe in ourselves !
In another story, the great Chanakya teaching Chandragupta Maurya –
“.. Four are the noble pursuits of man – Righteousness that is Dharma, Prosperity that is Artha, Desire that is Kama and the final goal – liberation or Moksha. Many believe that of these, Dharma and Moksha are the supreme pursuits, but they are wrong. Artha is the foundation on which all other pursuits flourish. In the absence of prosperity, there is chaos, and chaos breeds vice, hate and immorality.”
Spot on Gurudev Chanakya …. without Artha, nothing else works.
The Great Ashoka’s lament as sung by a storyteller …. excerpt from another story –
"... An arrow that flies, Does never come back. A day that is gone, Can never be lived again...."
The most damning insight from the last story ….
“… The Congress was not supposed to be a revolutionary, or even a truly patriotic organization – it was conceived by Mr. Hume as a platform that would justify any excess of the British government to the people of India, and to act as a moderating influence on the deep undercurrents of popular anger against foreign misrule. “
The saddest part of this last short story is the CONgress continues to deliver on its founding principle except for a change in the founder… nothing else has changed. 🙁
An excellent book especially for history buffs like me. Definitely recommend.