Posts Tagged ‘Mahabharata’


(Besides ours, of course.)  It’s urban Indian design done masterfully.  Design Temple has worked with clients like MTV, Vogue, and the Taj Palace Hotels (they also did title design for The Namesake).  They’ve designed products, books and furniture as well – all in the name of Contemporary Indian Design.

Our favourites:  the Cheerharan Toilet Paper (inspired by a scene in the Mahabharata where the evil King Duryodhana orders the disrobing of Draupadi…in DT’s words, “That saree never came to an end, this toilet paper unfortunately will.”  Think potty traning and Mahabharata training for your kids all-in-one!) and the Shunya Laptop Bag (celebrating the binary opposition of shunya (Sanskrit for “zero”) and one).

It’s a lot to take in.  Enjoy:


Nala and Damayanti…a classic Indian love story.  It’s about a brave King (Nala) who falls in love with a Princess (Damayanti) he has never seen.  He merely hears about her beauty and intelligence through a sage who comes to his court – and he’s smitten!  Social decorum prevented Nala from professing his love for Damayanti in person, so he sends her messages via a golden swan.  Damayanti falls in love with Nala too this way, but in order for the couple to be united, she has to outwit the Gods Indra, Agni, Varuna and Yama – who also vie for her hand.

My father told me this story when I was a little girl – and I was so inspired that in my secret playtime I would pretend that I was Princess Damayanti.  So beautiful that even the Gods wanted to marry her…and so intelligent that she could outsmart them!  What a role model!

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’ve designed these precious printables  – based on the story of Nala and Damayanti.  And they’re free!  Just download, print (on cardstock), cut and fold.  (We’ve also included an option to print a simple “to” and “from” block for the front of the card).  The cards fold to a 3.5″ square – cut marks are indicated on the printout. 

You can punch a hole and secure with a ribbon (like we did), or just fasten with a sticker – no envelope needed (i’m sure the trees will thank us)! 

Download here:  Nala Card, Nala Cover
Damayanti Card, Damayanti Cover

And you can read the story to your kids here:  The Story of Nala and Damayanti

I hope your children are inspired as I was by the story!

The Archer
Author: Gnaana


Sometimes it takes a stranger to make you stop and appreciate the things in your life.  I was out one day and randomly started talking to a fellow South Asian, a Mr. Kareem, who was about my father’s age.  We started talking about children, and he was giving me some advice.  “You know, Kahlil Gibran described the relationship between a parent and a child to a bow and its arrow,” he said.  That analogy was so beautiful – I went home and looked up the exact language.

Here is the poem:

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Thank you, Mr. Kareem, for pointing me to these wonderful, inspirational words.  And I just ordered Gibran’s The Prophet from Amazon.