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MahanayakThe Faces and other stories

Puranic Tales for Cynical People
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Puranic Tales for Cynical People

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Puranic Tales for Cynical People






Rajshekhar Bose (Parashuram), the second son of Chandrashekhar Bose and Lakshmimani Devi, was born in Bamunpara village of Bardhaman district, on 16 March, 1880 and grew up at his father’s work place, Darbhanga, North Bihar. His major achievements are those of compiling Chalantika, the pioneer handy Bengali dictionary, and condensing into lucid Bengali prose the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. He also wrote several essays, published in three collections, covering a vast range of topics. Under the pen-name Parashuram, he wrote a hundred short stories, published in nine collections. The Universities of Calcutta and Jadavpur awarded him the Jagattarini and Sarojini Medals, Hony. D.Litt. and Rabindra Purashkar. He also received the Sahitya Akademi Award and was honoured with the Padmabhushan by the President of India. He passed away on 27 April, 1960.

Pradip Bhattacharya, born in 1947, is from Kolkata. He is a former member of the Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, and is on the editorial board of its Journal of Human Values and also on the Board of Directors of Webel Technologies Ltd. He has written several books and numerous papers on Public Administration, Comparative Mythology, the Mahabharata, Homeopathy, Management, and human values.

Shekhar Sen has written A Brief History of the Army Postal Service, translated Dejram Sharma’s collection of poems, and Bandanwar from Hindi to Bengali, co-authored, with Pradip Bhattacharya, Prachin Bharate Ebong Mahabharate Netritwa O Kshamatar Byabahar, and has written many articles which were published in various books, journals and newspapers. He was the Director of the Postal Training Centres at Vadodara and Mysore, and served for five years as Senior Deputy Director at the LBS National Academy of Administration, and as Regional Director of Central Board of Film Censors, at Kolkata. He is currently translating Jaimini's Ashwamedhika Parva.

Puranic Tales for Cynical People

In a style that is curiously light and acerbic at the same time, Rajshekhar “Parashuram” Bose places well-known characters from the Puranas in situations that “might have been.” Surpanakha’s wooden nose and ear pieces fall off as she becomes hysterical reminiscing about her heartbreaking love for Ram; Mahaveer Hanuman’s wife-hunt ends in despair; Durvasa finds his rattle years later, in the Kali Yug, tangled in his beard – thanks to a few mice; and Hanuman appears again at a séance in the 1950’s to explain Ram’s rule and the politics of power, and even delivers the proverbial kick in the butt to a couple of so-called patriots.

This vintage wine in a whole new bottle has the fizz and bite to make even the most hardened cynics drunk on laughter, and make them sit back and say, “Didn’t I tell you so!”

Praise for Puranic Tales for Cynical People

Bengalis have in short stories by Parashuram and Rabindranath Tagore perhaps the world’s best models for precision and economy of language. In his … collection of stories, Parashuram’s prose defies editing. Not a word is in excess; every sentence is stripped to its cleanest component.

– Jyoti Sanyal, The Sunday Statesman


To read an extract, click (The Hindu) here



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