Tag Archives: assamese blogger

THE LONELINESS OF HIRA BARUA: Translated Work

Today I am sharing my thoughts on THE LONELINESS OF HIRA BARUA, a collection of Assamese short stories that ooze the essence of my beautiful motherland Assam.

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(This blog posts also contain a review copy that was sent to me by publishers. However, all opinions expressed are my own and in no way influenced by external parties)

The Loneliness of Hira Barua, by Arupa Patangia Kalita
The Loneliness of Hira Barua, by Arupa Patangia Kalita
synopsis

Hira Barua, an ageing widow living in a conflict-ridden region of Assam with her beloved Tibetan spaniel fears she is beginning to resemble a lonely Englishwoman from her past. A vicious sexual assault by the invading military drives a group of women into a shelter home. On a fateful night, a group of prostitutes make an extraordinary sacrifice for the safety of their companions.

In these, and thirteen other piercing, intimate portraits, women navigate family, violence, trauma, ambition and domesticity with caution, grace and a quiet resilience.

Originally published as Mariam Austin othoba Hira Barua, this remarkable collection by one of Assam’s finest living writers won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2014. In this brilliant English translation, Arupa Patangia Kalita’s powerful voice is brought to fresh and vivid life. Written in a variety of styles, from gritty social realism, folklore to magical realism, The Loneliness of Hira Barua is a modern classic of Indian literature. 

Check out my reading vlog for this book here!

my review

The Loneliness of Hira Barua is a collection of 15 short stories by Arupa Patangia Kalita. It was translated from the original Assamese মৰিয়ম আষ্টিন অথবা হীৰা বৰুৱা, by Ranjita Biswas. It is a collection of tales set in the beautiful land of Assam and a wonderfully visual one at that. Thank you to PanMacmillan India for sending me a copy of this amazing collection!

The Women in these Stories

At the core, these stories all revolve around women in various stages of life – young Mainao, the outspoken and righteous Surabhi Barua, married Nibha-Bou, to Kuntibala who showers love blindly upon her son, Brinda khuri, and ending with the eponymous Hira Barua. Along with the diversity in their ages, these women face various problems and Biswas’s translation sets a beautiful motion for the storytelling. The reader is ensnared by this lyrical and poetic writing, which is often interspersed with these various serious and sometimes tragic issues.

Themes

These women all face oppression in different ways – from archaic rules of society, and the patriarchal bonds that clip their wings, to blind emotions that bind them and make them blind to some perhaps not so right things. These stories deal with the militancy that once ravaged the state and at the same time, the loneliness that grips so many people especially in the late stages of their life.

It is also because of these serious topics that reading this collection was an intense affair for me. I would put it down and take a break for a while because my heart would break reading these stories. But then I would always go back to it because such is the allure of this beautiful collection of store. There is an astounding depiction of my dear motherland. Assam and her beauty are unfurled as if Bohagi has let open her voluminous hair leaving behind a beautiful aroma.

The Loneliness of Hira Barua, Books-as-Outfits Challenge
The Loneliness of Hira Barua, Books-as-Outfits Challenge

Overall, I loved this book and am surely going back to rereading it soon! 5/5 stars! Check out my Youtube reading vlog for this book here.

If you want to see more such book-related content check out my Book Instagram page, and Youtube Channel!

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Vitamin G: Gratitude, Prashant Jain, 2018

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Title: Vitamin G: Gratitude
Author: Prashant Jain
Publisher: BSC Publishers and Distributors
Format: EBook
Language: English
Pages: 199
 
Synopsis:
Do you feel taken for Granted by your loved ones?
Is there too much complaining in your workplace?
Do you wish there was less Entitlement and Envy in the world?
Then “Vitamin G: Gratitude for a Magical Life ‘ is the Answer!
You will shift to practicing authentic gratitude in a world of transactional thanking with this book.
Through stories, humour, exercises, wordplay, reflections and 42 quick practices (that you can do in less than 5 minutes a day) makes Magic happen in all aspects of your life like relationships, health, happiness, work, business, money.
Embracing Gratitude and Grateful Living through this book will help you develop resilience to face life’s major challenges and adversities, rewire your brain towards optimism, and heal through emotional and physical wellbeing, as well as unleash inner and outer abundance.
Through almost a decade of life experimentation, latest scientific proven research, ancient wisdom and practical daily common sense, the techniques in this book will help you connect to Gratitude and grateful living at the core of your being through the 6A framework.
In “Vitamin G: Gratitude”, Prashant Jain – Entrepreneur & Gratitude Coach, brings together incidents from his life with a narrative, making the case for the miraculous power of gratitude to bring joy, increase life satisfaction and maximize the quality of life.
This book draws insights from Prashant’s own inspiring story of being a millionaire at 24 to facing adversities and depression besides two suicide attempts, to resurrecting and creating a magical life of fulfillment through the transformational power of Grateful Living.
Author Profile:
Prashant Jain went from selling his company for a million USD to Softbank and JP Morgan when 25, to witnessing the tumble of the stock market crash, the dotcom bust and the 9/11 aftermath to being clinically diagnosed as depressed and attempting suicide twice facing adversity and challenges in health, relationships and finances. Today he is back to running successful companies with turnover in millions, physical, emotional, mental wellbeing and a fulfilled Joyful Life
This book is a part of the #MissionBillionThanks that the author took up in Sep 2016 to magnify the gratefulness on our planet. Prashant Jain is a Dagsi Scholar from Wright State University, USA with a Master’s in Computer Science. He is a Serial Entrepreneur who has started and successfully run multiple businesses over the last two decades, foraying from e-commerce and technology, to gifting Solutions and Wellness.
Prashant’s interests span Behavioural psychology, teaching, spirituality, micro blogging, photography and travelling. Author website : www.prashantjain.in
 
My review:
As a person who loves to read self-help books, Vitamin G came as a welcome surprise, one that turned out to be my new favourite in the self-help genre. However, classifying Vitamin G as a mere self-help book would be an injustice to the book. It was inspiring and entertaining even. At so many instances, it was a helpful guide as well. Today, people are becoming more and more conscious of leading a holistic lifestyle. And thus, practicing gratitude is something that is done by so many people. And just as well. Having done it myself, I am a staunch advocate for it. And if you ever want to start on this path, which you definitely should, I think this book would be a great help. If you do not have time to maintain a gratitude journal, please do make so, and use it along with this wonderful book.
The anecdotes provided were also helpful as it made the whole narrative very relatable and thus easy for the reader to follow. The practice sheets were also a good addition- they will truly help the individual reader. I took some time to read this book myself- as I wanted the best experience for myself too. And after I finally finished it, I had such praises for it that my mother also intends to read it after she finishes her current read. If you have a teenager in your life, I think this book would be a good gift; I personally know that it would have helped me in my teenage rebellious phase.
The book is divided into 6 parts with 7 chapters for each and that made a total of 42 practices. All of these are based on gratitude and the practice sheets after each were truly a great addition, like I have already mentioned. These exercises are simple and easy and perhaps doing one each morning or two each every day, will really help. The concepts of minimalism and poverty as well as habit stacking were also surprising but very unique concepts. I loved them.
 
Recommendations:
This book was a really short and inspiring book. I LOVED IT! Rating it a 4/5 stars!