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As Hinduism is a unique religion, it must be understood in an efficient manner. Therefore, in order to understand the practices and concepts related to the religion, read the below mentioned books written by renowned authors.
Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices by Jeaneane Fowler
To start with knowing and understanding Hinduism, this is one of the basic books. In this book, the author views Hinduism as a way of life and a major Indian phenomena, and most importantly, all the beliefs and practices which are associated with this religion. All-in-all, this book is an eye-opener, and throws light on a lot of concepts and myths related to Hinduism.
An Introduction to Hinduism by Gavin Flood
This book throws light on the historical and thematic introduction related to Hinduism. At the same time, this book traces the development of the religion from the ancient origin to its modern structure. One of the specialty of this book is that it lays stress on rituals and southern influence on Hinduism.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism by Linda Johnsen, Jody P. Schaeffer, and David Frawley
Considered as one of the ideal books on Hinduism, it offers an outstanding introduction and overview of the religion. Not only this, but this book also explains various practices and beliefs related to Hinduism, and also includes tales from history and literature to interest the reader more. All-in-all, this book tells about Hinduism in a very candid manner.
The Hindu Mind by Bansi Pandit
This book is written by keeping in mind the history of Hinduism. Not only this, but this book also talks about the fundamentals of Hindu religion, philosophy related to it, and beliefs and practices related to the religion. Clearly, this book is written in a very systematic manner, keeping in mind all the aspects of Hinduism.
Am I a Hindu? by Ed Vishwanathan
Interestingly, this whole book is written in the form of dialogues. In this book, the conversation is happening between father and son, and the father answers his son's every question which is related to Hinduism only. This book is written in a very simple manner as the reader can easily read the question and then its answer, and easily understand about Hinduism.
Keywords: Hinduism, Books, Authors, Religion
Children's publishing house Karadi Tales has brought out an illustrated book to raise awareness about the oldest group of reptiles, turtles through a story happening on the ecologically fragile Andaman & Nicobar Islands (A&NI). Authored by Pankaj Sekhsaria, a long time researcher of the A&NI, the book also enlightens readers about the Islands and the various environmental issues surrounding turtles through its informative back matter, a release from Karadi Tales said.
The story is illustrated exquisitely by Vipin Sketchplore, it said.
'Waiting for Turtles' is Sekhsaria's first book for children. An environmental researcher, he has earlier written 'The Last Wave' and 'Islands in the Flux' among others. The story unfolds on the small island of Tarmugli in the Mahatma Gandhi National Park in the Andamans. Protagonist Samrat is accompanying Seema, his turtle researcher mother, in the hope of seeing his first nesting Green sea turtle that nests on the beaches here. There is disappointment for Samrat but there is also a surprise...," the release said.
Through the story, the book sets out to raise awareness about the oldest group of reptiles, turtles. It also enlightens readers about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the various environmental issues surrounding turtles through the informative back matter, the release said.
Through the story, the book sets out to raise awareness about the oldest group of reptiles, turtles. Photo by David Troeger on Unsplash
"The book beautifully captures Samrat's excitement about the magic of turtle nesting and will inspire children to think of studying and working in this field of science. The illustrations on every page take you to the shores of Tarmugli Island, where you can almost see the stars and feel the breeze. This is experiencing nature vicariously. A must-read for every child!" said Director, Environment Education, WWF-India, Radhika Suri. It has also been published in translation in Hindi by Karadi Tales with support of the Dakshin Foundation and in Telugu by Manchi Pustakam. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Turtles, kids, book, science, reptiles, Tarmugli Island, Andaman Islands
By Saish Bhise
Reading is like an exercise in your mind. Studies have shown that regular reading is known to develop new neural pathways and re-strengthen the existing ones. Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest people on the planet reportedly reads 80% of his time.
Read 500 pages…every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.
— Warren Buffet
I diligently remember the first book I read. It was the famous British fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I vividly remember the bright colourful pictures, the smooth binding, and the pungent paper smell. Though I lost the book, the contents are etched in my memory forever. Reading comics, short fairy tales was simple and mind-refreshing. As I grew older and started dabbling with novels, essays, research articles, non-fiction, biographies, etc. My appetite for reading grew voraciously.
Reading is useless if you don't understand what you read. In my opinion, It doesn't matter if you forget everything in the book, but you should at least have a vague idea of what the book chronicles upon. The most important part of reading is the application of knowledge. Until the knowledge is applied practically to various instances in life, it will lie idle in your memory bank and eventually fade away with time.
My way of reading a book consists of a minimum of two readings or four readings at maximum. If the book is quite simple and easy to assimilate then no more than two readings are required. But, if the book is quite complex and of utmost importance to the reader, multiple readings can be preferred. The most important part is to link the bookish stuff with real-life incidents or personal encounters. That way new neural pathways are established, new connections are built in the brain. Thus enabling one to apply the knowledge in real-life situations.
PHASES OF READING
The first reading is a simple, medium-paced reading that doesn't require much effort. The aim here is to familiarize me with the vocabulary, the various terminologies, and the chapter structuring in the book. I don't use any highlighter or pencil for the first reading.
The second reading is quite focussed and slow-paced. But hey, here's the catch, it doesn't require much effort as you have been familiar with the book once. In this phase, one may use a pencil to mark important points, statements, quotes, etc. I prefer the use of a pencil moreover than a highlighter, I like to keep it simple.
The third reading is simple and fast-paced. In this reading, I usually just glimpse over what I have pencil marked and underline the important markings with a pen. I prefer a black pen so that the highlighted text stands out boldly.
The fourth or the final reading is when you read the whole book from the start to the end for the last time. I don't usually mark or highlight anything during this phase. I just read and enjoy the book assuming it is the last time I am reading it.
Keywords: Reading, Books, Bibliophile.
By Dr. Kumar Mahabir
This year’s annual Bocas Lit Fest (Bocas Literary Festival) has just ended in Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago (23-35/4/21).
For the second year, it ran entirely virtual and online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is a great, exciting extended weekend event of readings, discussions, performances, interviews, workshops, storytelling, music, and film screenings.
I attend the event every year since its inception in 2011, adding to the buzz of activities with local, regional, and international writers, readers, publishers, and critics of literary and non-fiction works.
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The festival’s founder and director, Marina Salandy-Brown, must be commended for this initiative. Running for 10 years, Bocas Lit Fest has emerged as the Caribbean’s premier annual literary festival.
But … but Indo-Caribbean CULTURE has always been marginalized in Bocas Lit’ Fest as well as in CARIFESTA (Caribbean Festival of Arts). That topic has been explored in another article published elsewhere. SEE https://indocaribbeanpublications.com/2018/07/30/is-the-bocas-literary-festival-biased/
On Saturday, the Indo-Caribbean-built heritage in Trinidad received a rare treat in the premiere of a special half-hour film entitled Port of Spain: A Writer’s Heaven. The film features sites in the capital city which have been captured in classic and contemporary literature. It was hosted by Wendell Manwarren during a walking tour of the city.
The film took its title from a quote by Derek Walcott’s famous Nobel Prize speech: “Port of Spain . . . a downtown babel of shop signs and streets, mongrelized, polyglot, a ferment without a history, like heaven. Because that is what such a city is . . . a writer’s heaven.”
Among the several sites in and around Port of Spain highlighted in the film, two of them were of special interest: (1) the birthplace of novelist Ismith Khan, and (2) V.S. Naipaul’s House in St James.
Ismith Khan’s House in Port of Spain
The novelist Mohamed Ismith Khan (1925 – 2002) was born at 48 Frederick Street in Port of Spain in a two-story house that overlooked the iconic Woodford Square. That house also functioned as a jewelry shop which was described as “the largest and most famous jewelry shop in Port of Spain.” The description was made in Khan’s first major work The Jumbie Bird (1961), a semi-autobiographical novel.
Khan himself came from a historic family. He was born of a Muslim family of Indian Pathan descent. His dada [paternal grandfather], Kale Khan, had escaped by the Kanpur Railway train from colonial India to Guiana/Guyana after fighting as a sepoy [soldier] against the British in the Indian Rebellion/Mutiny of 1857.
His dada later moved to Princes Town in Trinidad and again fought against the British in the notable Muharram/Hosay Indian massacre in San Fernando in 1884. Kale Khan then moved to Port of Spain where he established his jewelry business.
Living in the capital city, the family witnessed and helped many destitute ex-indentured individuals and families converging to Port of Spain to await a ship to take them back home to India. In The Jumbie Bird, Khan describes the desperation of these “coolies” living like vagrants in the streets and under tents.
V.S. Naipaul’s House for Mr. Biswas
V.S. Naipaul’s House for Mr. Biswas was featured in the documentary. It was the home of writer, Seepersad Naipaul, and his wife Droapatie, and their sons, Vidia Naipaul and Shiva Naipaul. Born in Chaguanas in the Lion/Hanuman House, Vidia is the holder of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Literature, the only Trinidadian to have achieved this honor.
The house still stands intact today at 26 Nepaul Street in St James and is described in V.S.’s classic novel, A House for Mr. Biswas (1963): “It was like a huge and squat sentry-box: tall, square, two-storeyed, with a pyramidal roof of corrugated iron.” The novel has been ranked at number 72 in a list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library Review.
V.S. Naipaul lived in the house for four years from 1946 to 1950 before migrating to England on a Government scholarship to study at the University of Oxford.
His family resided in the house until it was sold to the government in 1996 on the advice of Professor Kenneth Ramchand led the NGO, Friends of Mr. Biswas. Ramchand was interviewed in the film by Manwarren.
Other members of the NGO included Ashvin Rai Akal, son of Naipaul’s sister, Savitri Akal; Rajendra Ramlogan, a lawyer; Dr. Radica Mahase, a historian; and Lenore Dorset, former protocol officer in the Office of the President.
The house was restored to its original form with some of the memorabilia either restored, reconstructed, or sourced from family members. The historical house in St James was eventually opened to the public as a literary museum 18 years later in 2014. Artifacts such as the yellow typewriter, the hat rack, the bookcase, and the dining table are all on display.