India, a land ,that is the conglomeration of various beliefs, practices, races, ethnicities, traditions,cultures etc has often been described as a magical and spiritual land. It’s vast geographical extent combined with complex demo-graphical mix makes it all the more fascinating. The world has often pondered upon as to what binds the diverse land of Bharat! But I think this debate will continue even in centuries to come . This is because it is not a piece of land with single language or belief, nor was it formed due to any expedition . The country of Hindustan has transcended the limits of time and has emerged as the spiritual hub, the mystical potpourri, the fascinating mixture bowl of inter connected cultures in the whole world. It is difficult to understand by a commoner yet the quest continues . Similar quest has resulted in bringing forth this E-book- My Village My Country-Glimpses into the heart and soul of Hindustan, before you which has been penned down by the Author Mr. Durga Prasad Dash.(Interview with the Author is below)
Let us dive deeper!
- Book Title– My Village My Country- Glimpses into the heart and soul of Hindustan
- Author’s Name– Durga Prasad Dash
- Published by – Self Published on Blogchatter platform during Blogchatter E book Carnival 2020
- About the Author– The Author had served his glorious years in Indian Air Force and has enriched his life with vast experiences in knowing the culture, cuisine , traditions and spiritual aspects of his motherland.He is also an blogger and takes interest in exploring spiritual aspects of life. He is passionate about yoga as well.He regularly blogs at https://durgadash.com. He has the honor of publishing seven books and you can find them on Amazon
- Title and Book Cover-The book cover is an actual picture of “Dakshineswara” temple near the author’s native village Nua Mahulia, which is a thirteenth century Shiva temple that was discovered, excavated and renovated three decades back. An elderly person clad in saffron cloth along with a hand pump image can be seen. I wondered as to why these details were shown on a cover page, when the Author could have easily focused on showcasing only the temple itself . Then after reading the book , I understood the reason behind it. The Author does not want to add any quotient of glamour to any aspect that he has touched upon and presents the absolute truth in front of readers. The book cover is absolutely a window to what the book wants to depict; the very soul of Hindustan!
- Narration: The book is divided into twenty six chapters each having focus on varied aspects of the country along with many personal experiences. The book is described in first person narrative giving it a personal touch. A bit of humor , a splash of sarcasm and a shade of strong personal opinionated views in the book of the author add a special personality to the book.The author has presented his honest viewpoints and simultaneously , explained the intricate details so as to help the readers visualize his narration .
- Content: Once you indulge in the book, there is no denying of the fact that the Author is a true patriot at heart. His exposure to many facets of India
( while he was in Indian Air Force)has helped him in exploring the country and he has been gathering many experiences and he has poured his heart out in this book. He has made it sure to awaken the deepest desires of many, that is to get back to their own roots. His love for his village and his country( mera gaon mera desh) is palpable through out the book and I applause the author for having such keen observation towards many minute details. The very first chapter is about the maritime expeditions that the merchant community of Odisha( Sadhabas) undertook to countries of South East Asia. The author has rightly pointed out that without any proper documentation, only festivals like ‘Boita Bandana‘ have been able to keep the memories afresh. Even today, many in India hardly know about ‘Bali Jatra’ held annually though Bali is a famous tourist destination for many Indians. He has brilliantly put spotlight on many unknown facts like relation between Rabindranath Tagore and Konark Temple,correlation of music with geographical conditions, the meaning of “Danda Nacha”, meaning of food as per ancient sages, the Odissi and Gotipua dance, the famous folklore( in Odisha) about Ta’poi, the train travel experiences, types of mathematics and many more. I was mesmerized by his wide knowledge ranging from Puranas to Indian History to World history and he has established interconnections based on such well read expertise. He has also mentioned about Jagannath culture and “Madala Panji”-a system of record keeping followed in Jagannath Temple since 12th century AD,which I am sure many would not have even heard of in spite of their religious travel to the land of Puri. He takes you on a trip to the by lanes of his village,reminisces his childhood and in the process strikes a chord in your hearts. The reader will surely want to revisit their roots and go back in time. The subjects tapped into are varied and the readers are sure to feel accomplished after getting to know about so many unknown yet important aspects. My favorite was the analysis of the word ‘Juggernaut’ and its linkage to Jagannath Rath Yatra. Few lines from the same chapter are as below:
But, there are many things correct in the Macmillan explanation that
“Juggernaut comes from the Hindi word Jagannath, meaning lord of the
world”. How can you deny that Jagannath is not a Hindi word. And without
doubt Jagannath means ‘lord of the world’. So, it is not easy to dispute the
claim of the Macmillan guy, even though you feel that somewhere the
statement is misleading.
- What I missed? I can only say that in some parts a more clear images and screen shots of internet findings would have been better.
- So what are you waiting for? Please click the link below to download the book .
Download Link for E BOOK- MY VILLAGE MY COUNTRY:
Download Link of my E book- FIVE PETALS:
My Interview with the experienced Author:
Q.Please introduce yourself.
Have always struggled with this question. Even in job interviews.
Q.Please tell us how you started writing or what made you think that you can pursue writing.
First part: Can’t remember.
Second part: Encouragement from friends.
Q.How has been your writing journey so far?
Even after seven books and hundreds of blog posts I feel as if the journey has just begun and I have a lot to learn.
Q.How do you keep yourself motivated to create and deliver?
Maybe the following things keep me motivated.
- Pain at seeing peoples misconceptions on various issues.
- Passion to share whatever I know and have experienced.
- A little bit jealousy about famous authors.
Q.What has been the inspiration to write the current book & what are your expectations from it?
The urge to share certain aspects about my country/state/district/villageabout which there are lots of misconceptions or outright ignorance beyond a limited circle even among people belonging to that region.
Q.Who do you think are your target audience and what can readers expect from your book?
My book is aimed at anyone who is interested to know about the essence of India and its vast spiritual and cultural wealth. Readers, irrespective of their knowledge level about India can expect to deepen their understanding of India’s vast multicultural identity.
Q.Please share your favorite part of the book that you enjoyed penning down. You may also share any experience that you came across while penning down the book.
Ans: My most favorite article is the one about my native village NuaMahulia where I spent my golden childhood. Writing this book has given me an opportunity to deepen my own roots and reconnect with many old friends.
Q.How do you envision your writing journey in future?
Ans: Would love to take one project at a time. Presently engaged in providing an easy to understand version of the Bhagavad Gita without diluting its central messages and themes. First part of the trilogy is already out.
Q.Name your favorite authors/poets. Please share any favorite excerpt from your favorite book.
Favourite authors are so many and cover a very wide genre of books. To name a few:UpendraBhanja, Kabisurya, GangadharaMehera and Fakir Mohan Senapati from Odisha;Vyasa, Kalidasa, Sudraka, Chanakya, Jayadeva, Premchand, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Rabindranath Tagore from India;Lao Tzu, Nietze, Kahlil Gibran, Walt Whitman, DH Lawrence, Rumi, Kinko, HG Wells, George Orwell, Francis Bacon, Proust, Emerson, Checkov, Arthur Conan Doyle, JRR Tolkien from other parts of the world. Among the modern authors MalcomGladwell, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Yuval Noah Harari, Kazuo Ishiguro are some of the favourite authors.
I love the following passage from the Lord of the Rings series of JRR Tolkien:
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
Q.What is one strong philosophy that you live by?
Two analogies are my favourites. One is the sand artist. Knowing full well that his art is short-lived, he does not lose enthusiasm for creativity. I draw the other analogy from the tree tabebuais. Whenit flowers for a few months in a year it is as if every pore of its body wants to flower. At other times it is flowerless. Either it flowers and flowers or it is flowerless. If anything is worth doing it should be done with 100% passion or it should not be done at all.
Q.Failure is inevitable in life. Have you ever faced it? If yes, how did you overcome it? What has been your learning lesson that you can share with us?
I don’t believe there is anything like overcoming failure. Failures and successes are related to specific events and events pass. Life does not provide any rewind. It is a journey. It just needs course corrections from time to time. If there are things to learn from failures there are things to learn from successes also and continue with the journey.
Q.How has recent pandemic affected your thought process and what is one message that you would want to advocate during these stressful times?
This shows how unpredictable life can be. The sooner we accept the reality the better. Acceptance is the first step. Then responsive action. Again I am reminded of the sand artist as mentioned here previously. I would also like to draw inspiration from the sense of aesthetics of the Japanese. The country is frequent witness to disasters of various kinds. But when it comes to aesthetics, nothing can beat the Japanese. Such people as the sand artists or the Japanese with their sense of aesthetics provide creative inspiration in spite of the unpredictability of life.
Q.What needs to be done to inculcate the habit of reading and writing among today’s young generation?
From young age they should be introduced to the abridged and easily understandable versions of classic literature. A small library should be part of every household. When children are surrounded by books it becomes easy for them to pick up the habit.
Q.Please give your review links to your book so far.
Anita Sabat: http://www.anitaexplorer.com/2020/06/my-village-my-country-mera-gaon-mera.html
- Contact Information:
Email ID: email@example.com
Facebook /Twitter: dpdash67
8 Comments Add yours
Great review, Chinmayee! I agree with your views about the vast knowledge of the author, Shri Dash.
He has shared many lesser known facts with authority Small wonder, as he has read so many books. Glad he published this book. Hope more people read and learn.
Interesting Q & A 🙂
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Thanks Anita. I really wish that many such hidden facts come to light and people stop misjudging important matters. Glad you liked the review. Yet to know from the Author, though 😬
Thank you for the comprehensive review accompanied by my interview where I was able to put forth my views through your blog.
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Glad to hear from you. It was a pleasure reading your book.
The person who can see the entire country in his village and searches the village inside the country, he can only understand the true custom and culture.
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I was so awed by the varied range of poets and authors he has read and deems favorite. I’m inspired. Have a long way to go. Must read the book. Thank you for the review and the interview.. Was an engaging read.
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Thanks Pratikshya for stopping by and taking time to engage. Means a lot. Yes, indeed the author inspires a lot.
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