Anshuman is a mythological history buff, so he had high hopes when he picked up Anand Neelakantan’s Asura:Tale of the Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People.
The story is one among several that incorporates the tradition of retelling stories. Anshuman enjoyed the introduction- Ravan is multilayered and not evil incarnate. “Instead of Ramayana, you could call it Ravanayana. There are quite a few glimpses of brilliance in the portrayal of this ruler. He displays great desire to do something for his people, he sets up his kingdom, meets Mahabali…his flaw is his temper but then why should he control his temper? Why should he become perfect? Why can’t we accept his ten imperfections if he has? What hurt the book would be the editing and the way Ravan becomes the villain that he always had been in more popular versions of the Ramayan.”
I read You Beneath Your Skin, a socially relevant book by Damyanti Biswas. The whydunnit takes the reader on a journey through smog-filled Delhi and explores the lives of Anjali Morgan and Jatin Bhatt. Damyanti deals with hard themes with so much panache. Acid attacks, corruption, poverty, inequality, patriarchy and so many other issues that malign the fabric of the ancient city come into the fore. All author proceeds from the book go to Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks.
And with that, we come to the end of the BYOB Party in October 2019.