Friday, July 15, 2016

790 Do women really have choices? This question need not be restricted only to Indian Women. It is a global question.

Trigger for this blogpost: A writeup titled "Matter of Choice" in the Tabloid Edition of Deccan Chronicle dated 13th July 2016. Link, for those who wish to have a look at it: Click to go to . The author of the write-up is: Ms. Namita Gupta. It is a review of the book titled: THE GIRL WHO CHOSE: A NEW WAY OF NARRATING THE RAMAYANA. Author of the book is: Devdutt Pattanaik. pp.112. Price Rs. 199/-.

In my mother-tongue Telugu language, there is a proverb: "ravi gAncanicO, kavi gAncu neyyeDan". Approx. English equivalent: If SUN God cannot see, wherever it is, everywhere, 'kavi' will see. The 20th and 21st Century meaning of the Hindi and Telugu (some other Indic languages) word 'kavi' seems to gaining a restricted meaning of a 'poet or a writer'. The word kavi has a very wide meaning, apart from the meaning of 'poet / writer'. For example, kavi=a medical doctor. In North Indian States, an ayurvedic medical degree used to be given titled 'kavi rAj' or 'kavi rAja'. The 'kavi' of India is not only a poet, writer, scholar, medical doctor, but also, he is a versatile genius. He is like the Great American Scholar, depicted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his famous speech of August 1837. For those who wish to compare the contrast 'kavi' and the 'The American Scholar' can download a pdf version of the speech at the following link: Click to go to

Trigger for this blogpost:

For the time being we shall take the meaning of 'writer' only. What a poet or writer can see, what Sun God cannot see, when his rays penetrate throughout the Earth and the Universe? A kavi's intellect goes far beyond the penetrative capabilities of even the SUN. If any of our readers is interested to read an anecdotal story which some people associate with Legendary Sanskrit Poet Kalidasa, and some others associate it with Buddhist Jataka Tales. The story is somewhat an exaggeration of intellectual capabilities of a 'kavi'. But the story has some content for intellectual reinvigoration. The story also highlights a moral, linked to gratitude and ungratefulness. In some other blog post we shall discuss this story, as this particular blog post is becoming too lengthy to read.

Back to our write-up by Ms. Namita Gupta in Deccan Chronicle, about the book of Shri Devadutt Pattanaik, priced Rs. 199, with pages 112.

We shall start with a quote from the review:

The book highlights how women have always had choices. Even if they did not exercise any, it was a choice they made. The story told keeping in view Sita as a focal character gives a refreshing perspective, one which we have never been told earlier. When asked about what was the idea behind retelling the Ramayana, the author states, “I realised during a workshop that Sita makes five choices in the Valmiki Ramayana and that she never blames anyone for the consequences of her action. I found this very modern. I wondered why no one had highlighted it before. We are too conditioned to see Sita as a whimpering victim and that needed questioning.” It also brings forth a fundamental truth — every choice made has its consequence too.

"...Choice is not easy in any society — modern or pre-modern. It has consequences. Not all good. Dealing with it is always tough. Sita’s life serves as a good guide to be at peace with whatever life throws at us. Mythology has always intrigued me and what I like about it is that it reveals how humans think. We think no differently from people who lived hundreds of years ago. ..."

I have not purchased the book THE GIRL WHO CHOSE: A NEW WAY OF NARRATING THE RAMAYANA. Nor read it.

As a person, who has studied Valmiki Ramayana (Sanskrit version), in depth, I am writing this. For those wish to study my reviews (ybrao-a-donkey's reviews), here is the link: Click to go to ybrao-a-donkey's study-reviews on Valmiki Ramayana, with proof verses from Valmiki Ramayan itself.

ONE STRAIGHT QUESTION: What choices did Sita have?

To know the reply for this crucial question, I request my readers to study my blog post No.044 at my blog Click to go to ramayanayb post No. 044.

There, you will see what choice was given to our Sita, by the God Sri Ramachandra? Here is a quote from the Valmiki Ramayan, which I have discussed in the above blogpost 044.

6-115- 22 and 23

tadadya vyaahritam bhadree
mayaitat kritabuddhinaa
Lakshman`ee vaa tha Bharate
kuru buddhim yathaa sukham (22)
Shatrughne vaa tha Sugriivee
raakshase vaa Vibhiishan`ee
niveshaya manaha Siitee
yathaa vaa sukha maatmanaha (23)

Rama killed the Ravana. Vibhishana brought Sita into Rama's presence. Rama says these words, seeing Sita.

Oh secure lady! I am declaring this today, with a determined mind. Set your mind on Lakshmana or Bharata as is comfortable to you.

Alternatively, set your mind, as per your convenience, on S`atrughna, Sugriva or Vibhishana.

I greatly respect the freedom of expression of Shri Devdutt Pattanaik and Ms. Namita Gupta. But, I only request them to read Valmiki Ramayana Sanskrit version in depth. They can also read my ramayanayb blog, if they wish to.


Click to go to

Now, here is a husband who suspects his wife's chastity, and wants her to prove her purity by touching a burning iron ron used for digging pits, called gaDDa pAra in Telugu. The heads of their Caste also do some "DU DU basavanna" (Like an ornamental bullock, well trained to say yes for everything the master utters). She is also ready to touch the burning rod.

Fortunately, the Trainee Sub Inspector of Police, Jaggaiahpet, like a villain entered into our modern Ramayana, and stopped the ordeal. My cudos to him.

Now, our Devdutt Pattanaik sAb is realistic at least in one respect: History repeats. We Indians think in the same manner even after Centuries. See the quote of Pattanaikji, from above review: Mythology has always intrigued me and what I like about it is that it reveals how humans think. We think no differently from people who lived hundreds of years ago. ..."

To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.

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ఘోరమైన విమర్శలకు కూడ స్వాగతం, జవాబులు ఇవ్వబడతాయి. Harsh Criticism is also welcome.