Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Biography: An Italian Paradise

Italy is the country I fell in love with, and it only took two weeks when I was only eighteen years old. I had only ever been out of the country twice, to go to Mexico, so to say the least I had never been so excited. I could have lived without the flight that seemed to last forever, but it was worth it. The trip that inspired me to study their language for two years in college, and the country that drove my passion for culture, food, and fashion. From traveling to Venice, Rome, and cities throughout Tuscany, there isn't a day I don't wish I was back there. The beautiful thing about Italy is that everyone can name multiple cities they have heard of. It is a country of rich history and nature that enamor the tourist that get the opportunity to visit. To the cities I haven't been able to travel to yet in Italy, Florence, Milan, Naples, Sicily, Capri, and many more, I will come back to my home away from home.

Note: I wanted to write my story in the first person point of view so the reader could experience my vacation in a more indulgent manor. But rather the vacation itself, I want the reader to experience the love I developed for Italy from that trip alone. I want the story to come alive and the best way I know how to is to speak to my reader, as if it is written just for them.

(Italian Vineyard by me)

Reading Notes: Mahabharata Part B

Wife of the Five Pandavas is the one story that stood out to me the most. The Pandava brothers went towards their mother, Kunti, to tell her that had a marvelous gift. Kunti told her sons to share the gift, as they become a foundation of brotherhood. Yudhishthira, one of the brothers, told their mother that the gift was Princess Draupadi. Arjuna had won her at the "auction" of sorts for wives (might I add, I find great offense to this). Kunti becomes a little upset at the idea of this and the fatal consequences that may follow. Arjuna then said how he had won the princess and so she was destined to be his bride. They begin to bicker a little and decide that Drupada should have the final say in who Princess Draupadi should marry. Every Pandava desired to have her as bride though. King Drupada was sad his daughter had been sent away and sent his son away in disguise to see what was happening with his daughter. When Drupada's son returned with what had just happened, the king was happy that the brothers were kshatriyas and not the brahmins. Drupada sent word to the Pandavas that there would be a wedding feast, so the Pandavas went. The brothers tell Drupada that Arjuna had won Draupadi. Drupada visibly ecstatic. Drupada invited the Pandavas to stay at the palace for a couple of days so the brothers did. The oldest brother and Drupada decided that a great rishi should be invited to way in on the decision of who Drupadi should be the bride of, so Vyasa came. Vyasa told them that Draupadi was the re-incarnation of a woman who had prayed five times for a husband. So Draupadi was destined to marry all five of the brothers, as these brothers were all incarnations of Indra. Drupada gave permission for his daughter to marry all the brothers, so all the brothers wed Draupadi. Drupada gave the Pandavas many gifts and this was the end.

Source: Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie

(Pandavas: wikipedia)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Reading Notes: Mahabharata Part A

Drona was the biggest character that stood out to me within this reading. This story was written by Donald A. Mackenzie and surrounds the life of Drona. We start of with Bhishma looking far and wide for a warrior that had brains. This man would be Drona, son of Bharadwaja. Drona was more than happy to train the princes and bring them to their title of standing. Drona had no mother, since he was born by a nymph. Drupada was somewhat of a brother to Drona, as he was of similar origin. Drupada's father though was Prishata. As they grew into men, fate divided the two apart. Drupada became King of Panchala and Drona married Kripi. Drona and Kripi had a son named Ashwatthaman. Drona was devoted to raising his son. Drona received heavenly weapons and the power to control them from Jamadagni. Drona wanted to share his wealth with Drupada, so he went to his childhood friend. Drupada basically spit in his face through words and so Drona hurried away from the kingdom without a remark.

The next story that is important to the previous is Drona's Revenge written by Donald A. Mackenzie. Drona, at this point, has built a mighty army that is ready to fight Drupada. Drona tells his army to defeat Drupada and to bring him to Drona. A war began and Drupada was eventually defeated by Pandava. They destroyed the city and brought Drupada to Drona. The two men begin to speak, in a passive aggressive tone. Drupada asks to be friends again and Drona agrees. Drona took possession of half of Drupada's kingdom and the two men went on their way. Drupada also knew that he would never be able to defeat Drona, so he never tried to fight again. The Pandavas started a great war with surrounding kingdoms and extended their kingdom for many miles.

Source: Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie

(Mahabharata: wikipedia)

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Week 5 Story: Chasing After a Hopeless Love

There was once the Girl who imagined a life of happiness. Girl had always been fascinated with the idea of love and all the beautiful things it was associated with. She looked up to her parents and saw the happiness they had on the daily. She had always wanted to find the perfect boy, who could sweep her off her feet. Girl was seventeen when she met Boy, and she thought this was it. Everything started off as a fairytale, literally. The flowers, gifts, the perfect dates, it was all there. Words have a powerful role when it comes to love, but actions speak louder than those words. Over time, those actions began to change from the words she was receiving. The idea of that romantic love began to slip away, as manipulation and distrust began to creep in. As time went on, everything became more and more dark. Girl was left vulnerable and all alone, while Boy and the romantic idea of love ran away. The fairytale love was over and Girl realized relationships aren't meant to be like the movies. Love doesn't work like that, it's raw and real. Girl then realized, that young love wasn't meant to last. At least for the most part. There can be imposters, fakes, and even just other people who are as lost as you. And even sometimes, the love was real, it just wasn't the right timing. As people grow in life, they inevitably change. Love you have can change, it can grow, or it can disappear. There are different types of love, from family, friends, and life partners. They all have one thing in common though. Love should be trusting, but also independent. Through all the issues of life, love was just like everything else. Seemingly impossible until you find your true Golden Deer.

Author's Note: I took the story of The Golden Deer and turned it into a hopeless romance story. The Golden Deer is represented in my story as the idea of love and the tricks it can play on the mind. Sita is represented by "girl" in my story, as I wanted this story to be more abstract rather than assign character names. On the same level, Rama and Lakshman's roles in this story are combined to create the idea of "boy". Other than those aspects, I went more or less off base from the original story.

Source: The Golden Deer by Sister Nivedita

Red Rose On The Floor, Love, Sad Girl, Lost Love
(Red Rose: pixabay)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Reading Notes: Sister Nivedita Reading B

Source: Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists: Ramayana by Sister Nivedita

The first story that caught my interest was Sita's Second Trial that I found refreshing from this viewpoint. Rama, at this point in time, has been governing Ayodhya for ten thousand years. Sita was now with child and Rama wanted to give her a special gift, so he asked if there was anything she desired. Sita wanted to visit the hermitages of the sages so Rama planned the visit. Rama was later that night talking with his counsellors and friends, and asked what the citizens had been saying of Sita. They then told him that everyone had been speaking ill of Sita and her time with Ravana. Rama's heart sank and he told everyone how faithful Sita had been in her time with Ravana. Rama knew he could not have a wife though that no one believed in. Rama instructed Lakshman to take Sita on the trip. Lakshman began to weep on the trip and when Sita asked what was wrong, he said he simply missed Rama. Lakshman then informs Sita he has been instructed by Sita to leave her there, as she has been renounced. Sita faints at this news. Sita asks Lakshman to send a message back to Rama, that she had always been faithfully and loving of Rama and she would never do anything to betray him. Lakshman returned to Rama and Valmiki's son found Sita along the river-side. Valmiki took Sita back to their hermitage and gave her to the wives to shower her with affection. Lakshman then told Rama the deed was done, and everyone was a mess of emotions. Lakshman left Rama alone and came across a dog waiting at the gates, and he asked what he needed. The dog replied he had a message for Rama, but he could not enter to tell him due to his ungodly nature. The dog simply would not enter.

File:Sister Nivedita home morum.jpg
(Sister Nivedita Home Morum: wikimedia)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Reading Notes: Sister Nivedita Reading A

Source: Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists: Ramayana by Sister Nivedita

From the section of readings by Sister Nivedita, the first story I loved from her viewpoint was the Golden Deer. Sita, Rama and Lakshman are in the woods when they come across a beautiful deer. This wasn't any average deer though, as it was Maricha, an obedient servant of Ravana. He transformed into a magnificent golden deer that attracted the eye of anyone who crossed its path. Maricha roamed around hoping to be seen by Sita and he eventually was. Sita begged Rama to either catch or kill the deer for her, and Rama, in his own fascination, agreed. Lakshman was weary though and warned Rama that it might be a rakshasa in a disguise. Rama chose not to listen and to leave Sita in Lakshman's protection while he went to hunt down the deer. Rama intended to bring back the deer skin with his arrival. Rama hunted the deer farther and farther away from his wife and brother and eventually grew tired. Maricha was joined then by another deer he created to trap Rama. Rama brought out his bow and arrow and shot the deer. As Maricha was dying, he assumed his own form and tried to draw Lakshman away from Sita. In Rama's voice, he called out for Rama's wife and brother. Once Sita heard this cry, she forced Lakshman to leave to go help Rama, even though Lakshman knew it was not a good idea to leave her alone. Sita said some cruel things and so Lakshman was forced to leave Sita alone in the woods. 

The next story following this one was Sita Stolen, which I felt added to this previous story. Sita was now all alone in the forest and Ravana assumed the form of a beggar to approach her. The forest fell silent because everything knew who he was and was scared of him. Ravana asked Sita to become his wife and he would give her palaces and jewels. This made Sita mad and she yelled at him how she was loyal to Rama. Ravana became enraged and turned into a monster that rose up into the sky. After a quick battle, Ravana grabbed Sita and took her away up in the sky. Sita dropped her belongings down in the hopes they would find their way back to Rama. 

File:Sister Nivedita image.jpg
(Sister Nivedita: wikimedia)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Storybook Plan

For my storybook, I want to rewrite a tragic type love story into a more modern version of the story. I found three stories about Pramadvara and Ruru I wanted to include within this story book as it is centered around these two and their tragic love story. The first one is the complete story of Pramadvara and Ruru. The next is the general story of what happened to these two individuals and the myth surrounding it. Thirdly, the story of Ruru after the death of Pramdvara will be included. I hope to intertwine these three stories so each page on the story book is a more detailed look into their love story and every part along the way. I want the reader to get a better look into this interesting love story since it is not covered within the readings of my Indian Epics course. 
(Pramadvara and the snake)

Biography: An Italian Paradise

Italy is the country I fell in love with, and it only took two weeks when I was only eighteen years old. I had only ever been out of the cou...