Thursday, July 21, 2011

Strange are the ways......

by which Providence ensures that you get what you need, even though it may not be what you think that you want.

I had been in Delhi a while ago. I had borrowed a book from my daughter to read on the flight, and had kept it in my suitcase, as I was going to buy a gift for my young nephew whom I would be seeing en route to the airport, and did not want to carry a book in my handbag while visiting a book shop. I also bought myself a few more books, and in the general confusion of leaving the House with the Three Dogs, all the books were packed into my suitcase, apart from what I'd bought for my nephew.

I thought I'd buy a book or magazine at the airport- I knew that the terminal had a good book shop, Odyssey, which was fairly well stocked. Unfortunately, it was no longer there- most of the shops in Terminal 1D, (apart from the many restaurants and food shops) had apparently packed up and moved to Terminal 3. Ah well, it wasn't the end of the world, I could survive for a few hours without something to read. But there in the corner of the building was a toy shop, which I decided to examine. A couple of shelves held some children's books, which I browsed through. And there was the treasure that had been waiting for me, something the very existence of which I was unaware of: Jaya Madhavan's "KABIR The Weaver-Poet." ( The following is from the Tulika website)

KABIR THE WEAVER POET by Jaya Madhavan


KABIR THE WEAVER POET

Rs 150.00 (within India)
US$ 9.50 (outside India)
English ISBN 81-8146-168-1

Mystic weaver, radical reformer, loved and hated equally in his time . . . the simple wisdom of his pithy couplets, the famous dohas, makes him one of the most frequently quoted poets even today. Yet Kabir the person remains an enigma.
This brilliant novel traces one day in Kabir’s life, from Daybreak through Midday to Nightfall. Threading fact, legend and poetry into a superbly structured narrative, it etches Kabir’s compelling persona against the backdrop of fifteenth century Banaras — a period that mirrors quite remarkably our own troubled times. Spare visuals before each section continue Kabir’s own favourite metaphor of weaving, a delicate tapestry of the city unravelling as the day progresses. Kabir the Weaver-Poet is a landmark in contemporary writing for young readers and old — thrilling yet gently emotive, incredibly blending high drama with the mesmerising calm of Kabir’s beliefs.

144 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", black and white, soft cover, for 12 years and above





I am so glad to have found and read this book- it is so simple and so profound, with an absolutely delightful narrative structure, and a compelling insight into Indian society, both that of a few hundred years ago, and of the present day. And of course it deals with Sant Kabir, whose timeless writings are as relevant today as they ever were.

This post was inspired by Peccavi, whose comment on the post 'Remembering Kabir in Istanbul' reminded me of this wonderful book.

11 comments:

peccavi said...

I shall mail Jaya with the link. She will be glad to see this post. I loved the book. And am shamelessly proud to say - i have an autographed copy.

dipali said...

@Peccavi: Wow! I refuse to be jealous, since my accidental copy was truly a gift from God!

peccavi said...

Didn't she manage to make Kabir seem so real. I found the last part of the book riveting. As soon as i finished the book - i had to call her and gush :D

dipali said...

@peccavi: She did. The end was fabulous. Yes, I'd wanted to look up her e-mail and write to her immediately, then got caught up in mundanities:(

Banno said...

Flipkart, here I come! :) Dipali, thanks for sharing.

dipali said...

@Banno: I'm sure you'll love it!

writerzblock said...

I wish I wasn't so ignorant about books!!!! Thanks for this review, I am certainly going to get a copy!!

Neera said...

tagged u Dipali :)

Choxbox said...

this is an awesome book indeed, i learnt so much about kabir from it. have a copy for uttara waiting in our bookshelves too :)

chandni said...

wow! Sounds like my kind of a book. Will get a copy :)

Subhashree said...

Book seems to be a wealth of poems. Thanks for pointing me to this post, Dipali.