Thoughts on the first 150 Pages

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Aug 18, 2009, 4:01:03 PM8/18/09
to Readers Anonymous
In the book’s opening pages, Panchaali relates the story of her birth.
Dhai Ma says that voices spoke from the fire just before Dhri and
Panchaali stepped from it. Given that this narrative is a retelling of
the ancient Indian epic, do you read these events as literal or
symbolic? How would you describe the reality and the illusions being
portrayed in the tale?


Aug 18, 2009, 4:07:29 PM8/18/09
to Readers Anonymous
Just to begin the discussion, I actually find the parts of the book
that take the literal meaning in the <i>Mahabharat</i> to be true as
rather annoying. I definetly more enjoy the novels that find an
explanation for the 'magical' happenings that occur in the Bible or
other ancient manuscripts; possibly this comes from me actually
studied ancient history and knowing the ancients can do incredible
feats. I believe the author did herself a disservice by not
attempting to explain the 'magical' happenings in another way.

I believe the author takes the illusions as being a literal
interpretation, therefore I am forced to take them as literal since no
other explanation is provided.

That being said, I am enjoying the story!


Aug 24, 2009, 11:25:28 AM8/24/09
to Readers Anonymous
This is from Michelle and has her thoughts on the story:

In the first pages I took the "birth from fire" story as figurative,
but I agree with you T, that the author takes them literally so I
began to take them literally to. Panchaali talks about other people
born of gods and goddesses, which seemed to make her birth more
literal then figurative.

I know that the Indian culture still has a lot of mysticism in it.
From my own studies I believe that our western culture has lost some
our own mysticism. It makes me wonder about the ties between
prosperity, happiness, family values, etc. and the presence of
mysticism in a culture, (if there is a tie that is). Is developing a
"stark reality" part of what makes our culture what it is? What would
we be like if we believed in more magic?

I'm enjoying the story. With where I'm at Panchaali seems to have
forgotten the advice the sage gave her before her marriage. She
remembers his prophecies but not his wisdom. The two times his words
would have come in handy she seems to have done the opposite, or so I
think. Still waiting to see how it all plays out and ties together.
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