Monthly Archives: December 2013

Parva, the story of Mahabharata

Once again, Mahabharata is on the TV. When it was telecast the first time on TV, I remember it used to be on Sundays at 9 A M. You couldn’t see many people on the roads at that time because everybody, old and young, was glued to the TV set to watch the mega epic. Ladies of the house adjusted their work schedule so as to be there, promptly at 9 A M. Nobody wanted to miss a single episode. It was really really very popular. Even now I believe it’s being watched with a lot of interest and garnering good TRPs but not like the first time. None the less it’s coming out well with good star cast, good performances, lavish sets and better technology and thus,holding peoples’ attention.

The charm of Mahabharata is such that it worked then and it’ll work now. It’s the story of every joint household-sibling rivalry, the hunger for more ( may be power, may be wealth), presence of a Shakuni, the misdeeds of youngsters and lack of respect towards elders and women in general etc. It’s also the story of war and peace, love and hate, sacrifice, selflessness and selfishness, infidelity and loyalty. It’s like a bollywood masala  movie where a little bit everything is thrown in. What quality one admires and wants to get inspired by, is entirely one’s decision.

I love reading and when I was in college I read a book called Parva by, Sri S L Bhyrappa a very renowned writer in kannada.  He was and is, my most favourite writer in Kannada, after whom come Tarasu, kuvempu, M K Indira, and Triveni.  He is very popular, in spite of the fact that he doesn’t write ‘run of the mill’  romance stories. His novels are distinctly different and interesting. Most of his novels are translated into other languages. He’s the winner of Karnataka Sahitya Academy award (twice) and Sahitya Academy Award also. I love all his books but my favourites are Parva, Vamsha Vruksha, Griha Bhanga, Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane. They are just outstanding.

So, my most favourite book by S L Bhyrappa is Parva which tells the story of Mahabharata. Parva means festival in Sanskrit and it’s also a synonym for chapter.I think I read it around thirty two years back and was mesmreized by it. I really don’t know how many times I’ve read and re-read it, but everytime I read it I feel like it’s my first time. Reading it was like an eye opener and helped me to look at our great epic in a different perspective. It looks at each and every aspect of Mahabharata in a logical and rational way, devoid of ‘godly’ elements  which makes it more realistic and easy to believe and relate to.  Just for example, Sanjaya’s ‘divya drishti’ – how he could see things happening in the far away battle field, using his divine power while sitting with Dhritarashtra- in today’s time it doesn’t sound convincing. But in Bhyrappa’s Parva when you read about Sanjaya galloping on his horse from the war field to the palace at sunset to tell the king about the day’s happenings, only to return again, in the wee hours of morning to watch the war proceedings–with his bottoms wounded and paining because of this everyday ritual, you feel ‘yes, this’s possible and very much believable’.  Sanjaya here, is just a war messenger who does an everyday ‘to and fro’  from the battle field to the palace and nothing else.

Parva - the English translation

Parva – the English translation

Sanjaya’s is just one example. There are so many others like the possible fact(truth) about Dhritarashtra’s 100 sons or Kunti’s Pandavas, Draupadi’s state of mind, her thoughts about her husbands, Bakasura vadha etc. where every thing sounds absolutely true. S l Bhyrappa, I believe, did years of research and visited a number of places associated with the Mahabharata like Hastinavati, Kurukshetra, Dwaraka and many more along with the Himalayan region to study and know the facts.

I think, it’s a must read for all kannadigas because it’s fantastic book and we are fortunate that it’s in our language. I was looking for its English translation because I wanted my daughter, who is also a book lover, to read it. Though the English translation had come out long ago, I got hold of it just some time back and finished reading it recently. It’s translated by Sri K Raghavendra Rao and retains the same title.  It’s as good as the original, I must say. It’s a must read for all book lovers. If you read one book of Bhyrappa you wouldn’t rest till you finish reading all his books. Reading is a wonderful feeling and reading Bhyrappa’s books, amazing.



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Pain is……Oh! so painful :(

When we are young and fit we don’t realize how lucky we are that all our limbs and joints are working properly. We just take them for granted. As long as they are working normally and perfectly, nobody is bothered or thankful for that. When one is young, one doesn’t worry about pains and aches because even if a minor pain/ache occurs, it’s gone within no time, thanks to the age factor.

I was no exception to this rule and all these years I was climbing two stairs at a time, coming down the stairs hopping, and walking brisk for an hour like a normal person. Climbing on to a stool and getting things down from the loft was not a big deal at all. Carrying vegetables and groceries at the same and walking home with all the weight was not a problem. But suddenly a few months ago, to be precise, as I stepped into my 50th year, all the above mentioned things started to seem like almost impossible things. My feet hurt if walked some distance, my ankles hurt when I stood continuously for some time, my knees reminded me of their presence when I tried to sit on the floor to do something and most of all, climbing up and down the stairs seemed like a herculean task.  I was having problem in using both legs to go down the stairs and it was only one leg at a time. It was embarrassing and I remember asking myself if these were signs of ageing  🙂

I started wondering what could be the problem. Just a few days ago I was perfectly normal and now, so many problems! I tried to put the blame on my weight ( I’m carrying eight kgs of extra weight for my height), and on a bout of viral fever a fortnight back, which had left me weak.  Also, I thought, stepping into half century zone could be the reason for all my problems. But I had to abandon the last thought immediately thinking of the ‘fit and fine’ older people in the family.  I watched each and every person, specially ladies, walking on the road and realized that most of them walked normally but some seemed to have  problem like me.

I detest going to doctors and thus, was trying to avoid it by pointing out various possible reasons for the problem. Initially, all efforts of my husband and daughter to take me to a doctor went in vain as I was foolishly confident that my problem will get sorted out on its own with time. But I was wrong. The problem aggravated and I had no other go but to visit the doctor.

So, I was taken to Sancheti, an Orthopedic hospital in Pune where I explained my problem to a doctor. On hearing my symptoms he asked me to get a blood test done for B-12, D-3 and Arthritis. The results indicated a severe deficiency of B-12 and D-3 vitamins! Though I found it difficult to believe that I had vitamin deficiency as nobody in my family has it, I was happy that it was not arthritis because I’ve heard that there’s no medication for it. The doctor put me on a course of Meconeuron injections (12 of them) and M bal plus and calcium tablets along with sachets of supplements  to be added to milk once a week.  I was told that most of the vegetarians get this problem as they  don’t get enough of these vitamins in vegetables whereas they are said to be abundant in fish and eggs. It’s not necessary all vegetarians have this problem.

I feel extremely happy to say that halfway through the course of medication, I was back to normal and was walking without limping and there was no pain at all. I cursed myself that I was being adamant in not going to the doctor and unnecessarily suffering like a fool. Now its more than six months of my first day with the doctor and I’m like I was before entering into my golden jubilee year 🙂 The only hitch is that I’ve to keep popping in the calcium and vitamin pills throughout my life and do blood test periodically. I’m back to climbing up on to the stool and going up and down the stairs using both legs alternatively, but definitely with caution.  I’m in ‘no risk taking’ mode now.

My experience taught me two things. One, there are specialists in every field of work and doctors are professionals meant to take care of our health and that we should let them do it. I am saying this because I know, most women are like how I was-they would rather wait and watch than go to a doctor and some resort to self medication like pain killers which is not a done thing. It’s wiser to go to a doctor and get things clarified and take proper medication to get rid of the problem.

Secondly and more importantly, when we go through any kind of pain, mental or physical, our family members feel bad for us and try their best to help us in all possible ways. But I really think that nobody, I mean, NOBODY, but the one who is suffering, can understand the actual extent of pain. It’s not their fault because unless one goes through it one doesn’t understand that pain is… oh! so painful 😦

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