Archive for August, 2010


Sure there’s Jhumpa Lahiri and Arundhati Roy.  But what of Indian fiction written in native languages?  We in the West are pummeled with the importance of reading translations of War and Peace and Madame Bovary, but what of the Tolstoys and Flauberts of India?

I admit I don’t know have a huge knowledgebase of classical Indian fiction writers (meaning, those who write in their native languages).  I picked up few novels while living in Bangalore:  some by Sarat Chandra Chatterji (Devdas (of course), and Parineeta (much better than the movie – and I liked the movie) and Nishkriti (a little disturbing)) and also Tagore (Chokher Bali – absolutely brilliant).

There is certainly something to be said about native Indian fiction.  And I found a goldmine of a website:  DK Agencies – a Delhi-based book supplier which ships worldwide.  They have translated works from writers all over India – both classical and contemporary.  Hindi, Telugu, Punjabi, Tamil, Kannada…and the list goes on.  I can’t wait to get my hands on Premchand’s Short Stories.  Or maybe The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction – a little more contemporary(Outlook India calls this “the best produced paperback in the history of Indian publishing.”).  And many others that would be great additions to the library

Beach reading, no?

FREE Coloring Pages!
Author: Gnaana

Wondering how to keep the kids busy these days?  Gnaana is celebrating summer by offering FREE Coloring Pages of images from our Das Avatar Puzzle.

Just click on the individual images below and print the PDF on your home printer.  Have your kids color and decorate.  Hang them up or mail a set to Grandma – she’ll be so proud!

Happy August!

India Toy Matsya
India Toy Kurma

Copyright © 2008-2010 Gnaana Company, LLC.  All rights reserved.
*** For personal and home use only.  Commercial use and/or distribution prohibited.

Rajasthani Puppets
Author: Gnaana

There’s something about puppets that puts a smile on my face – whimsical and quirky, I think they are sublime symbols of the sheer delightfulness of childhood.

We went to a fabulous Jim Gamble puppet show over the weekend, featuring tales of the African Ashanti.  Which got me thinking about those beautiful Rajasthani Puppets from India.

Kathputlis, or wooden puppets with strings, are (or more accurately – were – thanks to to the proliferation of television) popular forms of entertainment in Rajasthani villages.  The pupetteer usally illustrates a folk tale, a scene from the Ramayana or the Mahabharatha, and even tackles more serious social issues (such as the dowry system and illiteracy) for older audiences.  Characterized by shrill voices and the incorporation of music, the tradition originated about a thousand years ago with the Bhat community, who staged shows for royal families.  Puppet India has a more detailed explanation of kathputlis and other puppets from all over India.

How cute would a pair of these look hanging in a kids room?

Image by Indialine

And if you can’t wait until your next trip to India to score some, you can purchase online at DD Heritage World or Jupiter and Sons (fair trade puppets at One World is Enough).  Be prepared for sticker shock, of course.

Top image by Vineet Bansal, Honorable Mention in MSU Global Focus 2008 Photography Competition.

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