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Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God: Retracing the Ramayana Through India Paperback – November, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
As travel writing, it doesn't get better than this. So refreshing to not be talked down to and he avoids the horrible snobbishness often encountered in the gendre.
I just wanted to savor each page. It's not a book you flip through. I was sorry when I finished it. I just wish I could give it six stars.
This work is held together with a strong narrative thread. Beginning each chapter by retelling a passage from the Ramayana, he then applies this theme to modern Indian culture, and compares this with life in America. Despite a reflexive defensiveness of American culture and government, he portrays a deeply nuanced understanding of the complexities of Indian traditions as they clash with modernity. For example, he dispels any notion that Hindu fatalism is the same thing as passivity. Unlike Christianity, you can't just pray for salvation in Hinduism; you have to earn it and change yourself to adapt to an unchanging world. In a later chapter, he credits Hinduism's adaptability to the well-educated elite's acceptance of metaphorical (rather than literal) interpretation of the Vedas, and credits Sikhism's sustainability to its openness that the Gods of all religions are really different manifestations of the same entity.Read more ›
It touches upon a myriad of social, economic, political, emotional and ultimately human themes from the Ramayan epic and juxtapositions them with the present day Indian psyche.
The substance is informative and interesting without falling into the trap of being academic or verbose.
The author's style is succinct, witty and appropriately poignant.
Being a non-resident Indian, I was pleased to read such a well written and objective analysis of such a behemoth of a country.
This is a very vast, tricky and interconnected subject matter to tackle.
Jonah Blank does it with aplomb.
I would recommend that anyone wanting to know about India read this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The very best sort of travel writing. In search of the spirit of one of India's great epics, the Ramayana, Blank travels the length and breadth of the subcontinent with eyes wide... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Shelley
A book that is a way into some facets and issues of indian society, a travel through the spirit of Ramayana as told by a journalist through the words and experiences of leades,... Read morePublished on February 13, 2009 by R. Singh
I guess this book has been out for some time, but I had not known about it until I stumbled upon it at the bookstore and I am very glad I did. Read morePublished on September 16, 2004 by Elizabeth Schneider
This is a wonderful book about the travel experiences of a young Harvard scholar in South Asia and how they evoked or resonated with certain episodes of the Ramayana. Read morePublished on June 16, 2004 by David Fowler
A unique travel book that traces the steps of the man-god Rama across India, and gives us a vivid portrait of India today. Read morePublished on December 2, 2003 by steve estvanik
In Budapest, I met a man who wanted to walk to India as a trial-by-fire to the Eastern mystics who preach detachment from worldly comforts as a way to purify the spirit. Read morePublished on August 30, 2002 by carlos reyes