Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Origin of the Coconut

You can read more about Trishanku at Wikipedia. Here is the graphic from Amar Chitra Katha:

Trishanku wanted to enter heaven with his mortal body. Assisted by Sage Vishvamitra, he ascended, only to be thrown down by the devas. As he hurtled down, Vishvamitra propped him up with a long pole. The pole changed into a coconut tree. Trishanku's head became the nut and his beard, the fibre around it. Take off the fibre and you can see his eyes!

Here is a picture from Wikimedia showing the "face" you can see in a coconut:

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Big Sick

As you ponder the drama of marriages in the ancient epics, you might also want to ponder the drama of marriages in South Asian countries today, and in the South Asian diaspora also. A new film, The Big Sick, has become a big hit, and it raises a lot of important themes and questions; if you have seen the movie, read this article in the New York Times and see what you think: ‘The Big Sick,’ South Asian Identity and Me by Sopan Deb. And if you haven't seen the movie, definitely watch it if you get a chance! Here's the trailer:

And here's an interview at The View:

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hanuman and the Ebony Tree

This is a graphic from the folks at Amar Chitra Katha; you can read more about the Tendu tree, also known as East Indian Ebony, at Wikipedia.

How the Ebony Tree Turned Black

When Hanuman went to Lanka, he was captured by Ravana. His tail was bound with an oil-soaked cloth and set on fire. Hanuman, magically increasing the length of his tail, went through the city setting houses ablaze.

Later, he untied the cloth and wiped his soot-blackened hands on the bark of a tree nearby. This happened to be the Tendu tree. Ever since, the tree has had black wood.