Wednesday 10 June 2020

My Village My Country - Mera Gaon Mera Desh

Roots are very special. No matter where we currently stay, a part of us still resides in our native place and the places we have stayed before. 

Memories have a magical effect as we take a trip down the lanes that have made a permanent place in our hearts and minds. 

Reading Shri Durga Prasad Dash's book, My Village My Country made me experience this connection.

Interesting Title

When I first saw the title of this book - "My Village My Country"; translated into Hindi, the theme means- "Mera Gaon Mera Desh", the Bollywood fan in me instantly remembered some Hindi movies and songs:

"Dharti sunahari; ambar neela; har mausam rangeela- eisa desh hai mera."
Golden earth; blue sky; every season is colourful - that's my country.

Apt and Attractive Cover

I also liked the apt and attractive cover page of "My Village My Country - Glimpses into the Heart and Soul of Hindustan". Don't fail to notice the streamers in the backdrop of the title. They are ubiquitous in every function of Odisha, and perhaps in other places of India too.
When I first saw the cover, I knew this was from one of the remote villages of Odisha, India.

About The Author

Having read the author, Shri Durga Prasad Dash's blog posts earlier, I was aware of his Odisha connection. Shri Dash blogs at Pebbles And Waves- "Miscellany of an Indian Yogi". He has been a soldier, trainer and yoga teacher, and has travelled and explored India. 
He is the author of seven books- Life Sutras, Parenting Sutras, Songs of a Mystic, Experiments in Short Fictions, The Miscellany of an Indian Yogi, and Understanding Bhagavad Gita.

Odisha From Cover Page!

Had his name not been a part of the book's cover-image, I would still have been cent percent sure about the geographical location of the place. It has to be Odisha. The temple and the personality captured in the image signify the identity. The said photograph is of the Dakshineswara temple near Shri Dash's native village- Nua Mahulia. It was great to be introduced to this thirteenth century Shiva temple that was discovered, excavated and renovated three decades back. This shows the kind of treasures Odisha has that need to explored, documented and shared.

Learnings And Discovery

I realized that we both hail from the same district of Odisha - Ganjam. Still, I had never heard the name of the author's village, "Nua Mahulia". He dedicates his book to the villagers of Nua Mahulia. Though I do know about the other cultural stories and products he has written about, it was a pleasure to read his book.

There is so much to learn and explore! The yearning for discovery of roots is interesting and there is the excitement to greet what is at the other side of the door! Such instant travel based on experience is much recommended during this tough time when Covid19 pandemic has imposed severe travel restrictions even in the city we reside, and also places worldwide...

Connections And Shared Experiences

What is the difference between the Vedas and Upanishads?

Any idea about- Lord Vishnu and his gatekeepers – Jaya and Vijaya? 
What are the types of Yoga?

What is the connection of India with 'Zen'?
Do you believe that it started from Japan and China? 

I have visited some of the places covered by the author in his book. While there is the familiarity, there is also a chance to view from a different lens.
The author has shared his own theories viz. the naming of Mandia. We can conclude so if someone has/had documented this, and provided we get to learn and have access to such documentation.

Rivers have a fascinating history. I truly hope the author undertakes his planned bike journey and after river Kaveri, he decides to cover the route of the Mahanadi, Rushikulya, and other rivers of Odisha. That will be enriching.

It is humbling for this reviewer to find a mention of her name in the Acknowledgements section and also this blog find mention in Page-33 in the chapter related to Odisha's food.

Many are yet to know that the Rasagola, better known as Rasgulla, has originated in Odisha.
Did you know about its link with the Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha ?

Our India truly has an amazing wealth of knowledge.
How much do we know?

Consisting of 128 pages including the cover, "My Village My Country" shows that there is so much to discover & explore in our villages and country. 
Shri Dash's research and pains to share these glimpses are praise-worthy. This book will surely be an eye-opener for many. 

Download this book on Amazon to see Odisha and India through the eyes of the author.
(There was free download offer on Blogchatter site for a limited time.)
Download - My Village My Country

My eBook "Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha" is also available for free download here.
Do download these eBooks and learn more about our Odisha and India.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful review. It is in my bucket list also to cover a river from Odisha.


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