Blurb: The three-thousand-year-old epic Ramayana chronicles Lord Rama’s physical voyage from one end of the Indian subcontinent to the other and his spiritual voyage from Man to God. In Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God, anthropologist and journalist Jonah Blank gives a new perspective to this Hindu classic — retelling the ancient tale while following the course of Rama’s journey through present-day India and Sri Lanka. Ultimately, Blank’s journey — like that of Lord Rama — evolves into a quest: to understand the chimerical essence of India itself, in all its overwhelming beauty and paradox.
About the author: Jonah Blank is an American author, journalist and foreign policy expert, specializing in the culture, history and affairs of the Indian subcontinent.Blank has traveled extensively across India and Pakistan, and learned the ancient language of Sanskrit, as well as the languages Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu. He has also extensive knowledge and experience of the traditions and teachings of Hinduism, Islam and other religions in Asia. Blank used the Boren Fellowship to work with the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, primarily based in the Indian city of Bombay. He was the first anthropologist to work with this usually conservative community, publishing his work in Mullahs on the Mainframe.
Review: The book is a journey all the way through India’s culture, history, myths, religion, art, sociology and psychology with Ramayana as a mirror in which modern India is reflected, the author has explained the concept of India. India is a vast and complex subject beyond any single book and perspective, this book provides a vision of it that reveals some deep truths about that country and its people. This is a perfect book for who never visited India anytime in their life. The substance is enlightening and fascinating without being educational. Writer’s writing style is concise, humorous and suitably distressing. The book has few interesting questions whether Hinduism is fatalistic faith or action one? The encounters of the author have a lot of elements such as travel writing, history, interviews with people of Indian society. He has used Ramayana as a guide a lot on Indian philosophy and religion, directing on Hinduism and its meaning. I liked that he tried to be as unprejudiced towards the theme of the book. It is one of the kind of terrific blend of a travel book & mythology. I would advise that anyone wanting to know about India and also who knows about India to read this book.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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