Trust based on weakness is often betrayed.
Author: Rajiv Mittal
The Panchatheertha Part 1 by Rajiv Mittal is divided into two parts. The loss of friends and gaining friends. There are several stories like The story of the blue jackal, The Lion and the Jackal.
Firstly I did not like the cover of the book. It could have been much much better. The title of the book ‘Panchatheertha’ meaning five pilgrimages is beautiful. The author tried to beautifully conceptualize the book.
The book has stories that deals with various emotions that we witness in our day to day lives. The plot of the story is different but could have been more interesting. It’s a well-researched and a detailed book. The narration of the story is crisp and appealing.
The language used by the author is simple and easy. The writing style of the author is witty and apt. One needs to take there own time to understand the stories. At some places, I was not able to connect with the story. The pace of the story is too slow.
The author has analysed both the perspective of Loss and Gain with Panchatantra in the backdrop. The character development done by the author is good. Each character had a vital role to play. The author justified the characters very well with the plot. There are so many things to learn from this book.
The humour makes it a witty read. It’s a plus thing that I liked about the book. Well, a good book with an interesting plot. A slow paced and a bit heavy read for me as I was not able to connect with the book . The blurb of the book is interesting.
Overall, It has a unique plot with an interesting narration and lots of Humour.
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The Panchatheertha (five pilgrimages) Part 1 is a facetious, satirical revision of sections 1 & 2 of The Panchatantra, the masterpiece Vishnu Sharma wrote between 1200 BCE to 300 CE. The stories are primarily about statecraft and full of wisdom and morals. Despite that, youngsters found them very entertaining. In the tales, animals act and speak on behalf of human beings. The series begins with a parent story that unfolds story after story; each strung to the other by a narrator.
Vishnu Sharma’s reincarnation Shiva Varma has, in this redraft, revived the ancient Indian tradition of parampara (continuation of knowledge from one guru to the next). In his excitement, he forgot the younger age group of his shishyas (students). His characters now try to explain the motives for their actions, also express their feelings; something The Panchatantra had cleverly avoided doing. Within its pages, animals are still made to think and behave like human beings but have not otherwise been harmed in any way.
The Panchatheertha was considered lost but the discovery of two altered strategies ‘The Loss of Friends’ and ‘Gaining Friends’ should create hope within the large and growing community that has had considerable success with the first and complete failure with the second. Those wanting to meet Shiva Varma are hereby informed he dislikes economists, preferring astrology. He is in samadhi, (seclusion / deep meditation) and not in hiding.
There are many intriguing characters not known to Vishnu Sharma in this adaptation; from a sex consultant plying his trade in the locality Ajilundpenodhoka in district Makasam… to a devadasi (courtesan) wanting to conduct the temple prayers because she is bored… to Sage Narada Muni!
Bibliophiles are urged to read the original Panchatantra (which Shiva Varma did consider including as an appendix), to truly appreciate the extent to which history gets distorted when it is made to explain itself. Historically, the appendix has been viewed as a vestigial organ with no real function. This is why Shiva Varma chose not to include it… or so he claims.