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Ganesha Goes to Lunch: Classics From Mystic India (Mandala Classics) Paperback – April 20, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kamla K. Kapur is well known in her native India as a poet, author, and playwright. Her previous work includes Ganesha Goes to Lunch (2007) and Rumi’s Tales from the Silk Road (2009). Kapur has also published two books of poetry, As a Fountain in a Garden and Radha Speaks, numerous short stories, and a series of award winning plays. Kapur was on the faculty of Grossmont College in San Diego, California, for eighteen years and taught courses in play writing, poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, mythology, Shakespeare, and women’s literature. She and her husband, Payson Stevens, divide their time living in the Kullu Valley in the Indian Himalayas and in Southern California. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh is Professor of Religious Studies at Colby College. She holds the Crawford Family endowed chair. She has published extensively in the field of Sikhism. Her views have also been aired on television and radio around the world. She serves as a trustee for the American Institute for Indian Studies, and is on the editorial board of the History of Religions.
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Product Details

  • Series: Mandala Classics
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Mandala Publishing (April 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601091028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601091024
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ganesha Goes to Lunch by Kamla K. Kapur is a collection of twenty four stories drawn from the oral tradition of mythical tales in India. The stories are retold in contemporary language, and maintain the essential structure and characteristics of the folklores. Kamla's choice of stories ranges from tales about why Ganesha has elephant's trunk, to the marriage of Shiv-Parvati to the creation of Brahma and universe. The story of the friendship of Sudama and Krishna is retold as is the tale of Vishwamitra-Vashisht rivalry.

The Bharatiya (Indian) tradition thrives on stories passed on from generation to generation. Each generation adds its own experience to knowledge and reinterprets the understanding passed to them. The Hindu myths by their very nature don't have absolutes. They represent Gods or men trapped in their vices, roused or limited by their virtues, acting in response to the demands that existence as humans on earth demands from us. The attempt is to create examples as prototypes to deal with contradictions and complexities that daily strife, be it in war, peace, family matters, need, greed, valor, and amorous desires lead us to. This had lead to several epics about avataars or incarnations, and as humans Gods lead exemplary lives, faulting at times, and suffering for them. In Kamla's collection, the gems from the boundless sea of folklore are picked, polished and repackaged to lure Western audiences as well as those Indian readers who have learned most from English education and English Literature.

The book has a number of pictures and illustrations, which allow a non-Indian reader to visualize the God or character in question. We Indians grow up with these tales, and somehow we imbibe their lessons into our being without realizing when or how.
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Format: Paperback
Ms. Kapur has done a fantastic job collecting and re-telling these tales from classic India. Her writing is beautiful and engaging and magnificently profound. I recently got this book and read a tale or two each day on my commute to and from work, and while I thoroughly enjoy Ms. Kapur's writing I really enjoy the reflection afterwards on the meanings of the tales and what they mean to my life within this universe. As with all of the very best writing, it engages the soul long after reading it.
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Format: Paperback
Ganesha Goes to Lunch is a grand mix-up of Gods and mortals... all doing the best they can considering the limitations (and non-limitations) of their realities. The treat is that we are afforded a front row seat and, while enjoying ourselves all the while, suddenly discover that teachings of profound wisdom have somehow been assimilated.

A wonderful and imaginative journey with the power to inform, inspire and - ultimately transform the reader. Thank you, Kamla Kapur for the (wild elephant) ride!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I adored this book! Suddenly I saw ancient India full of marvels like flying party space craft, magical lessons that the gods, themselves learn and show us, drama, contentment and colorful myths that were only names to me before coming to life right in front of my eyes. I chose to read one story at a time and savored each one like a magnificent dish!
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Format: Paperback
It is no surprise to me that nearly all reviewers have rated this beautiful little book with all the stars possible. Not being a student of the huge panoply of Hindu characters I found this a delightful, fascinating and never overwhelming way of being introduced to a small fraction of the myths and characters which make up the richness of the HIndu tradition. Kamla's collaboration with a tremendously talented illustrator just intensifies the pleasure in exploring these stories.

Having met the author both in California and Himachal Pradesh northern India and gotten a sense of her character I am not at all surprised that she has captured so well the significance as well as the humor contained in these stories, which originally were told to her by her own parents. Although her own religious background is Sikhism (a wonderful expression of which is found in her more recent book The Singing Guru) she has shown an impressive breadth in tackling the Hindu Ganesha's stories as well as the Sufi tradition in her earlier book Rumi's Tales from the Silk Road." I highly recommend them all and hope that she is encouraged to continue her path of exploring other subjects in this clear and engaging way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love reading this book. I'm reading it for the second time now and I'm loving it just as much as the first time. When I close the book at night after reading a story or two, I go to sleep with a smile on my face and a happy feeling in my heart. I really, really love this book! Thanks!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Please don't let the title fool you, this is a heady little collection of beautiful interpretations. The language is poetic and well thought out. It is a great collection of stories. I very much enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
A friend recommended this book as an introduction to Hinduism and I absolutely love it! Each chapter is a different story, and it's very informative about the Hindu Gods. There are so many morals and the author has a beautiful style of writing. Definitely recommend!
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