Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Human Approach to Impending Danger

Photo | PTI

Ostriches supposedly bury their heads in the sand when they are threatened or frightened. It is universally agreed that this is the stupidest of moves. My 10 – year old who loves animals, birds and National Geographic busted this myth. She told me that it is an optical illusion because these large birds have disproportionately tiny heads and when they are checking on their eggs which they have laid by digging deep holes in the dirt and building their nests, it looks like they have their heads buried in the sand. Humans on the other hand have a pronounced tendency to stick their heads up their backsides in the middle of a crisis or even otherwise, and that I am afraid is no myth.

For instance, take lockdown 4.0 currently in progress. There are thousands of rules about what the citizens can or cannot do which are disseminated on news channels and via Whatsapp forwards. Thousands of Covid - related circulars have been issued by the Central and state governments to clarify or counter instructions given in circulars circulated earlier and we can expect thousands more to ‘clarify’ the clarifications. It is a vicious circle and the end result is chaos. The only thing that is crystal clear is that none of the people who have been entrusted with the fate of the nation have a clue about what ought to be done.

Sample this. Liquor shops were opened across the length and breadth of the country thanks to government orders. According to some statistics I dredged up from the internet more people die every hour from alcohol – related issues than Corona at its most contagious. And yet, the government in its infinite wisdom decides that is imperative that the good citizens be allowed to drink themselves to death and spread the damn virus even as the curve stubbornly refuses to flatten. Given the big bucks liquor sales rake in for the government it is easy to see why such a dubious decision was made even as unemployment rates soar and suicide cases have spiked over people’s inability to make ends make.
Then there is the question of the migrant labourers. The government has opened train services to help them reach their homes, but apparently they have to cough up dough they do not have to avail themselves of these services. According to the Inter – State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979, on cessation of employment, the employer must pay the employee’s fare for their journey home. Why is this law being ignored? Also has any thought at all been put into the fact that this exodus from the red urban zones to the green rural areas heightens the risk of contagion? Also how will businesses that have been re – opened find labourers when they have no idea about how or if the migrant workers will make it back to their jobs?

Then there is the question of population explosion. A top UN body has declared that India is projected to record 20 million births between March and December, 2020. It is a pity that contraceptives are not counted as a must have and no steps are being taken to make them available free of cost for the poor and needy.

There seems to be little preparation or planning for the cataclysmic aftermath of Corona and if we don’t remove our heads from where they are currently lodged at present, they will roll. 

This article was originally published in The New Indian Express.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Why are so many of our Gods and a certain celebrated beauty blue?

Draupadi: The Dusky Beauty
It has always bothered me that Rama, Krishna, and Draupadi are depicted as blue - skinned in countless paintings, illustrations, and other works of art. The mythological lore clearly states that Rama was dark even before he went into exile under an unforgiving sun and became deeply tanned. Ditto for Krishna who was always the dark lord, not like Voldemort with his preoccupation with the dark magic arts but on account of his complexion which has been likened to dark storm clouds and the night sky. Draupadi was a black beauty and the poets compare her skin to the rare blue lotus. Another name for the common wife of the Pandavas was Krishnaa, because of her dark and dusky complexion which was every bit as attractive and irresistible as Krishna's. So why then do we insist on using blue paint for their skin when black is readily available?

Of course, there will be folks who suggest that the 'blue' indicates a spiritual aura or the transcendental nature of their divine essence that magnified the allure of the likes of Rama, Krishna and Shiva. I am convinced that there is a more prosaic explanation. Could it be the annoying Indian obsession with fairness and a stubborn inability to acknowledge that black is beautiful? After all, it is this line of dubious thinking that has birthed the fairness cream industry which does a brisk business amounting to thousands of crores, by convincing folks who ought to know better with relentless advertising insisting that an unnatural alabaster - hued countenance is the only guarantor of finding success, fame, happiness and a suitable life partner or even the job of one's choice.

So many little girls and boys grow up thinking they are unattractive because those surrounding them force them to endure cruel barbs directed at their dusky skin tone and keep suggesting moronically that they use this fairness cream or that so that they can look like the Bollywood stars who are paid a fortune to peddle this garbage. They pay the exorbitant rates charged in parlors without demur and undergo painful procedures in the  foolish hope that their efforts will be rewarded and they will look like white people or at the very least like Michael Jackson at his creepiest. And we like to kid ourselves into thinking we are civilized, enlightened people who are not fixated on superficial things like the color of one's skin or inclined to judge a person's worth on the basis of their complexion.

This ridiculous bias that dark skin is inferior is so deep rooted that there is evidence of it everywhere. While working on the illustrations for #MahabharataWithAnuja, the original sketches of Draupadi depicted a typical babe with that improbable 'golden countenance' so beloved by artists. Had to talk them into using darker shades repeatedly till I was somewhat satisfied. However, for Krishna, that blasted blue shade was used and the recognition factor was cited. I gave in but it still irks me no end.

It is high time we celebrated the unsung glory of black and brown skin, and wear it with pride. I call upon all artists, painters and art lovers to create or share pics featuring all things dark and beautiful including Gods, Goddesses and dusky heroines minus that electrifying blue. As for the others who are unable to get over their fondness for all things milky white, I'll thank you to show some restraint and stop tsking over the complexions of the dark skinned. Maybe the next generation of kids will feel comfortable in their own skin and won't waste their time and money by slathering their mugs with dodgy products hawked by the unscrupulous who are too shallow to recognize that true beauty will never be skin deep. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Powerful Women from the Mahabharata: Satyavati

A smitten Shantanu with Satyavati. 
Don't you just hate it when fairy tales feature helpless women who are fair and lovely but either sleep through their own life, remain locked up in a towers guarded by fire - breathing dragons and evil witches or take an ill - advised bite from a poisoned apple and become comatose, till a handsome Prince shows up on horseback to kiss their troubles away? Then they get married and live crappily ever after. Even as a kid, these stories did not really work for me. I prefer characters who take control of their own damn lives, messy though it may become and shape their legacy. And speaking of taking control, few ladies in the annals of mythology and literature have displayed the grit and gumption of Satyavati in her male dominated world.

Satyavati's origins could not have been humbler. Raised by the chief of fishermen, as a youngster she ferried passengers across the river Yamuna, on her small boat. Naturally, she smelled fishy and that is not a scent people seek to bottle and sell for a small fortune, nor does such powerful bodily odours win the heart of Kings. However, her luck changed when she crossed paths with Sage Parashara. The ascetic was smitten and confessed his feelings for her. The prepossessing young girl was coy though and not quite willing to give herself to the sage. Parashara, cajoled her into obliging, by granting her two boons - her maidenhood would remain intact after she bore him a son and her fishy odour would be replaced by the fragrant scent of musk. Satyavati conceded and delivered none other than Veda Vyasa who promised to be there for his mother whenever she needed him. All she had to do when she required his presence was to think of him! (For obvious reasons, a story like this stretches the rules of logic in favor of narrative convenience but then the reader must remember that most stories are best enjoyed with a dash of salt, pepper, or your favorite seasoning including the ones carried in Newspapers and Whatsapp University which are supposed to be 'true facts'.)

The best of sons, Veda Vyasa proceeded to give his mother an exotic origin story (which tests the demands of rationale to breaking point). He writes of a great King named Uparichara Vasu, who married the lovely and virtuous Girika. This dutiful wife on discovering that she was ovulating sent a message to her husband and prepared to receive him. However, the King's ancestors made an inopportune demand and insisted that he hunt deer  and offer the venison to them as sraddha. Immediately, Uparichara Vasu set aside all thoughts of concupiscent bliss and took off to the forest to do his duty by is forefathers. However, his thoughts were on Girika, so he shed his seed and entrusted it to a helpful eagle, asking the bird to carry it to his wife.

A less helpful eagle attacked the seed bearing one en route, with the unfortunate but predictable result of the royal burden being dropped. The stuff landed in a river with quite the plop and was promptly swallowed by a fish. Naturally, this was no ordinary fish, but an apsara named Adrika, who was cursed to remain in that state till she delivered human children. Adrika delivered twins and took off immediately after the curse was lifted (Interestingly, the ancients were most insistent that women bear children but did not seem to mind when they did not hang around to do the actual mothering. They believed that a child's optimum development was aided if parents maintained a healthy distance and left the child to the care of a suitable Guru). The King was duly informed and he made the callous decision, to take the baby boy who was named Matsya while Satyavati was given to the chief of fishermen.

Yet, it was the girl he abandoned, who would go on to achieve great things. Satyavati, blessed with the irresistible fragrance bestowed upon her by Parashara would go on to win the heart of King Shantanu, prompting the great Bhishma to take the Bhramachari oath to unite his father and the fisher chief's daughter. It was also thanks to her efforts, that the Kuru lineage was perpetuated. But that is a story for another day, about the Niyoga tradition that was an ancient version of sperm donation. (If you want the details be sure to check out episode 3 ,  4, of Mahabharata with Anuja).

As for Satyavati herself, she remains an inspiration to all who seek to brave less than favorable odds and unfortunate circumstances to make what they will of themselves. It is a harsh truth, but the world never has been a fair place and I daresay, it never will be. But the encouraging thing is that not all who are blessed with privilege and opportunities galore succeed and not all who have been robbed of favor or chances succumb to failure. There are plenty of real life Satyavatis out there who offer proof if any were needed, that all it takes to achieve more than you dared dream possible, is to take your courage in your hands and make the most of what you have. Even if it appears to be nothing (and reeks of smelly fish). 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Angry women from the Mahabharata: Amba

The story of Amba in the Mahabharata is a heart - rending one. A Princess of Kasi, she was abducted by Bhishma against her wishes at her swayamvara along with her sisters, Ambika and Ambalika. She had chosen King Shalva as her husband and he reciprocated her feelings. Shalva gave chase but he was outclassed by Bhishma in a fierce clash and would have lost his life if Amba had not intervened and begged Bhishma to spare him. Later, Amba approached Queen Satyavati and Bhishma, informing them that she had intended to garland Shalva at the swayamvara and it behooved them to escort her back to her chosen one.

Bhishma complied with her wishes. But Shalva was a sore loser and rejected her, saying that her face would remind him of the defeat he had suffered on her account. Poor Amba returned to Hastinapura, where she was rejected by Vichitravirya, the weakling Prince who counted on Bhishma to fight his battles and win his brides. Then, she swallowed her pride and begged Bhishma to marry her himself but that he could not do. That was when her broken heart hardened with anger and she decided that Bhishma would pay the price for ruining her life and dreams.

Amba's hatred of Bhishma would propel her every action and deed for the rest of her life and the next one too. She received a boon from Shiva that she would be the instrument of Bhishma's death and was re - born as King Drupada's daughter. Determined to see her vendetta through to the bitter end, she defied censure and traditional gender assignment to bring about the grandsire's downfall.
How could even Shikandhin derive any satisfaction from this heartbreaking sight?

While I sympathize with Amba, I have always wondered if as Shikandhin, she was genuinely happy or satisfied to see Bhishma laid low on a bed of arrows, afloat on an ocean of pain. After all, the noble soul knew the truth about her past, and had steadfastly refused to fight her, not because he was trans-phobic or thought of her as unworthy but because he would not hurt her any more than he already had.

 Moreover, the great man was beloved and highly respected by all who fought on the battlefield of Kurukshetra and otherwise. His fall was not celebrated by a single warrior on either side and they all shed tears over his loss. Arjuna who shielded by Shikandhin had taken down the mighty warrior was distraught with grief and even Bhishma comforted him, insisting that he be the one to provide a fitting pillow for his hanging head and quench his thirst as a mark of his high regard and as a sign of his forgiveness. Shikhandin on the other hand was universally reviled for his role in this affair, and it was a continuation of the rejection and hate he had endured all his life unlike the love that was showered on his popular siblings, Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna, who were jointly exalted as the jewel and pride of Panchala.

There was worse in store for Shikhandin. At the end of the war, he found himself on the winning side but even this victory was short-lived. Ashwathamma knifed him down while he was sleeping off the effects of the revels. An ignominious end to two lifetimes consumed by rage and bitter hate. How could Amba or Shikandhin be gratified by any of it? This always tore at my heart, so I dug around for more on the fate of Amba and found something heartening or at least I insist on seeing it that way.

You can check out my book, Ganga: The Constant Goddess for the details. Ganga was heartsick that there was somebody in the world who hated her son more than all those who loved him to pieces. She chided Bhishma for what he had done to Amba but softened when she realized he was sorrier than he could bear, especially since he was unable to make amends. But as Ganga says, 'She (Amba) may have been wronged but by choosing to carry nothing but hatred and anger in her heart, she has wronged herself even more.' Having failed to dissuade Amba from her chosen path, Ganga gathered together the remains of the poor girl after she had relegated her body to the flames along with all the hopes, aspirations, dreams for a beautiful life that were lost and preserved them as a frozen river of placid beauty, a tributary of her own self. And when the thaw began, in the rush of that crystal cascade, the beautiful river Amba thrives between the glistening rocks, past the twisting path of tall trees in a merry dance of liberation, every one of her troubles forgotten and entirely at peace with herself.
Isn't that much better?

Don't forget to check out #MahabharataWithAnuja and Episode 3 for the tale of Amba, the wronged woman who became a man, and then so much more! 

Monday, May 11, 2020

That Serpentine Allure...

Indians tend to be strangely fixated upon snakes though most tend to piss their pants and run screaming in terror should they chance upon one in the wild. But there is a certain attraction to their fatal beauty and deadly grace. Which is probably why people insist on getting photographed with the poor creatures slung about their shoulders (after they have been de - fanged of course) while on holiday and throng to creature features starring Anacondas that wrap their muscular bodies around their hysterical prey all the better to asphyxiate them or swallowing them whole to be regurgitated later for the shrieking pleasure of the audience. Let us not forget the snake pits in zoo where adults and children point and howl at the slithering reptiles and the baby chick shaped bulge in their abs or those blockbuster movies and shows made about the infamous icchadari nagins popularized by Sridevi back in the day. Even Voldemort couldn't help but unleash the Basilisk or rely heavily on his beloved Nagina.

Janamejaya's great sarpa satra! 
Indian mythology is replete with tales of the fascinating Nagas or the snake people and the curious attraction and revulsion they evoked in people which led to some pretty devastating consequences for them. There is the story of the great serpent sacrifice performed by Janamejaya over the course of 12 years to avenge the death of his father Parikshit by the serrated fang of the serpent King Takshaka which nearly annihilated the serpent race. Then there is the one where Garuda who would eventually become the mount of Vishnu, the Protector was venerated while his half - brothers the snakes would be vilified and the former even receives a boon making snakes his natural prey.

Yet another tale features Ruru's  (a sage who was the descendant of Cyavana) intense dislike of the serpents and his vow to kill any that crossed his path. According to legend, Ruru was all set to marry the beautiful Pramadvara, who had won his heart when she was bitten by an ill - advised serpent just before their wedding. She lay in a swoon, life, youth and beauty being slowly leached from her being as death in the form of Yama drew ever closer. The unfortunate maiden was the daughter of Menaka, the apsara and Vishwavasu, the Gandharva King. Having been forsaken at birth, she was raised by the sage Sthulakesa. Distraught with grief, Ruru pleaded with the greater powers and agreed to give up a portion of his own lifespan to bring Pramadvara back to life. Vishwavasu and Menaka were so grief - stricken by the fate that had overtaken the daughter they had abandoned and moved by the sacrifice her beloved and betrothed meant to make, they interceded on Ruru's behalf with Yama and the God of death and dharma stayed his hand. Pramadvara came back to life having received a portion of Ruru's life essence and the duo were united in holy matrimony and were happy together.

But Ruru never forget the serpents who had nearly taken his wife away from him and he took the dreadful oath to slay every single Naga to cross his path. On one occasion, he came upon a snake belonging to the Dundubha species and raised him staff to strike it, though these snakes were known not to harm humans. The old snake appealed to him most piteously and Ruru stayed his hand briefly to explain the particulars pertaining to the oath he had taken.

The Dundubha listened but told him a tale of its own. In a former life, he had been Rishi Sahasrapat who had played a prank on his friend Kagama. While the latter was at worship, he had fashioned a serpent from blades of grass to frighten him. His friend had not been amused and cursed him to spend long years as a snake (Don't you hate it when people can't take a joke?). When Sahasrapat pleaded with his hot - headed friend, begging to be spared insisting that he had merely done his deed in jest, Kagama relented somewhat and said that he would be restored to his old form if Ruru, the son of Pramati and grandson of Cyavana were to show him mercy. Ruru relented on hearing this story and in gratitude, Sahasrapat having been restored to his original form, gave him some valuable advise in return. He said that the highest virtue a human being could aspire to was to save or spare the lives of others and this was the most sacred lesson bestowed by the Vedas. He then told him the story of Janamejaya's snake sacrifice and the King's decision to show mercy to the Nagas at the behest of Astika and the untold merit he accrued as a result. In this tactful manner, Sahasrapat convinced Ruru to set aside his vow and to leave the snakes alone.

I always remember this story every time I whack a cockroach or lizards with a broom, incinerate flies, mosquitoes with my electric bat, and crush ants with whatever heavy object I can find. It makes me feel a little bad but not enough to desist from crushing creepy - crawlies that insist on living rent - free in my home. Oh well!

Do check out my story of Janamejaya's great snake sacrifice in episode 1 of Mahabharata with Anuja.
You can also watch and re - watch the other episodes right here. 

Thursday, May 07, 2020

In low spirits over the sale of liquor

I keep telling myself not to write long posts where I do little more than grouse and grumble over a bunch of things that bug the hell out of me. Something (my blog history) tells me I do that a lot, and whiny monkey is not the best of looks for me. And yet, despite trying to keep my itching fingers away from the keyboard for two whole days, it was inevitable that I caved. How in the name of all things holy and unholy did the government make the unbelievable decision to open liquor store outlets across the length and breadth of the country while the rest of the country languishes in this thrice damned lockdown? How? How? How? Also Why? Why? Why? And WTF?

According to some statistics I dredged up from the internet (which may or may not be 100% accurate) alcohol claims 2,60,000 lives every year, 29 people die every hour from excessive boozing and 712 people die every day as a direct result of swilling alcohol. Even if you stink at mathematical calculations and processing numerical data like yours truly it is still painfully obvious that Corona has nothing on these figures. And yet, the government in its infinite wisdom decides that is imperative that the good citizens be allowed to drink themselves to death and spread the damn virus which has us all in a vise – like grip with the numbers spiking every single day and the curve stubbornly refusing to flatten. Thank you very much, so – called representatives of the people, for the people and by the people!

Of course, if you take a look at the income generated by liquor sales for the government it become crystal clear. The internet was most obliging when it came to providing me with further stats for this post. Studies done in 2018, reveal that the government earns around Rs. 3.10 lakh crore from the sale of alcohol with the 29 states and union territories averaging sales worth Rs. 15,000 crores per month. So big bucks wins over paltry things like safety, ethics and doing the right thing. Every single time.
It is disgusting and all the memes flooding the internet over this god-awful situation doesn’t make it any less awful. With sales being broken and records being set over people’s alacrity in getting their hands on their favourite poison, I am cynical about the shutters coming down anytime soon. Or the booze – hounds and govt. giving a crap about the social – distancing norms that are supposed to be enforced. Sigh!

Perhaps the idea is to encourage people to stay sozzled and clueless about exactly how clueless those who run this country are. I mean they still haven’t made up their minds about whether the migrant workers should be allowed to go home or not, since the economy needs to be kick-started and business men/industrialists chaffing at the bit to begin normal operations cannot be denied much longer. What about the alarming increase in reported instances of physical, emotional, and domestic abuse directed against women, children and the elderly? Allowing these animals access to alcohol is certain to exacerbate the problem. And no, sharing pics of the women who lined up to buy liquor to shame and troll them across social media platforms does little more than draw attention to the rampant sexism ingrained in so many that leads to shameful #boislockerroom situations. Blame the bad habit not the gender of those who indulge in said habit.

I have nothing against people who enjoy the occasional tipple. To each their own.  But having studied addiction in all its terrifying glory all I can say is that it is not a laughing matter when so many make the decision to spend their life in an alcoholic haze, planning their every move to ensure the next fix, endangering the lives of near ones by giving in to violent tendencies because it is easy to blame the booze, driving under the influence knowing that the law enforcers don’t care until innocent people are actually killed and sometimes not even then, blowing up their life’s savings on drink and driving their families to miserable penury until they mercifully drop dead due to alcohol related complications. And no… putting up those irritating disclaimers in every single movie that hits the screens asserting that alcohol drinking is injurious to health and risks life and limb is just not going to cut it when the government remains committed to endangering the lives of its citizens by feeding their addiction in exchange for beaucoup bucks.

As responsible citizens, it is time we put our foot down and stopped patronizing the business interests of those who couldn’t care less about the collective well-being of this great nation and her people. Rather than splurge on booze, perhaps tipplers could use the money to buy meals for the less fortunate. Or swear off intoxicants altogether. That ought to show em!

Check out this article carried by Zee Media Bureau on the economics and statistics of liquor sales that prompted the govt. to encourage its citizens to turn to drink. 

Monday, May 04, 2020

This is not a rant...

Arjuna and Krishna rock! Absolutely nuts about this duo!

This is not a rant... But maybe it is. I love hearing back from viewers and readers. It is always lovely when people engage with you through their response to your art and it helps sustains the lonely artiste given to grappling with the solitude that is the result of spending too much time wandering around your own head. Unanimous love or hate for anything put up on the public sphere is rare and it is weird how the exact same things can provoke vehement, polar opposite reactions in individuals. For my series on Youtube, #MahabharataWithAnuja the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I am more thankful than can be adequately expressed. But of course there is bound to be criticism - constructive as well as the other icky kind.

Over the years it hasn't become any easier to deal with the bouquets or brickbats, vulgar dms and other mixed responses. Which is why sometimes, I put up a blog post and get it out of my system. A recent trend has been the resurgence in the popularity of Indian mythology. I am not complaining since I have written a few books in the genre and I am happy that so many love the ancient texts as much as I do. As a counter response, there has been a wave of bitter criticism against the misogyny, casteism, etc. which are admittedly present in mythology when viewed from a certain angle. The liberal left can be particularly vicious and unforgiving when it comes to anything that 'glorifies' Indian culture and tradition with the view to strengthen the so - called 'Hindutva' narrative that is supposedly being foisted on us. In other words, folks like me tend to get accused of being little more than foot soldiers in the Bhakt/Sanghi army (as someone, whose Hindi vocab is limited to a few words, I am not even sure what Sanghi means. I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with Ashwin Sanghi or does it?) and pandering to the whims of those who would try and rob India of its secular character.

To these people, all I can say is that India is a proudly secular nation and there is nothing wrong with her Hindu citizens being proud of and embracing their religious roots in the same manner as their brothers and sisters who worship other Gods. It is not done to attack the religious beliefs of those belonging to other faiths or calling out their God without proper context. In the same way, it is not okay to keep attacking Hindu Gods and accusing them and their worshipers of all manner of morally dubious conduct. It is definitely not done to call Rama a chauvinist and a cheater or accuse Krishna of womanizing and villainy. Seriously, please quit it. Every once in a while do make the attempt to recognize that other people's beliefs and feelings are every bit as important as your own. Pretty please!

As for the hot - headed right wingers, a blind belief in our glorious culcher and tradision without any nuance or proper understanding of the essence that may or may not be contained in our scriptures is foolish and dangerous when taken too far. There are certain evils like the caste system which have been deeply ingrained in the lore that has been passed down to us thanks to the vested interests of an elite few and it sucks that so many were and continue to be denied quality education and opportunities for advancement on the basis of their birth or gender. Please don't bother sending me lengthy comments or emails justifying such awful practices based on your personal take of the ancient texts. You are not going to convince me that only 'the deserving' ought to get an education or that the caste system has any merit. We ought to hang our heads down in shame for having failed to surgically extract it from our identity as Indians. But I will not stop dreaming of a future when no one in this country is required to own a community certificate. For it is a beautiful dream and one worth striving tirelessly towards to make it our collective reality.

Then there are those who call me out for my Arjuna bias. That is cool. But the thing is, I have never hidden the fact that I love Arjuna. Krishna is another favorite as well. I certainly am not blind to some of the unethical stunts they have both pulled but that does not mean I am ever going to like them less. It is fine to agree or disagree with someone about various aspects of a beloved epic like the Mahabharata and I have nothing against people who love Karna and Duryodhana. To each their own. However, it sucks when people point out a certain flaw in a beloved character, cherry pick ugly episodes and then use it as an opportunity to diss the great epics and all of Indian mythology while insisting that those who peddle these myths and sharing these dearly beloved stories are corrupting the youth, supporting sexism, perpetuating hatred, throwing in their lot with the jingoistic, fanatical brigade and the rest of that rigmarole. Please people! Be reasonable! Why insist on throwing out the baby with the bath water? And why hate those who do not subscribe to the same viewpoint as you do?

There, I am done with my rant which is not actually a rant right? I am merely pointing out the obvious. For those who feel I am being unnecessarily defensive, you may be right but I am extremely proud and protective of Indian mythology and no, I refuse to feel bad about it. Thank you for understanding. And if you don't, that is fine too... as long as you don't flood me with hate mail, or cuss me out in a dm.

P.S: Are you watching #MahabharataWithAnuja ? If you haven't watched it yet, please do check it out right here.  And be sure to tell me what you think! Even if it is to make your case for why you think I haven't a clue :)