Journey Through the Forests

https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/leisure/story/20230424-book-review-of-dattapaharam-the-jungle-book-2360111-2023-04-14


Dattapaharam: Call of the Forest by V.J.James

And here is the book, published by Penguin Random House India. Every dream begins with a hope of fruition. Though it takes sweat and perseverance to climb the mountain. But the happiness is worth all that struggle!


And Nature Beckons…

Here is the first look at the forthcoming translation- V.J.James’ brilliant book Dattapaharam: Call of the forest.

The novel is published by Penguin Random House.

Out in February 2023.

Do read. It is a book which cleanses the soul.


Of Two Forest Journeys

The whole universe is a magical place. What happens to us is decided by our thoughts/words/actions melding with the Universal Mind. How the sequence plays out is the beautiful magic.

Aranya Kanda : The canto of the forest , from Tulsidasji’s Shri Ramcharitmanas has gone into publication. The Lord explores the forests and blesses many a sage in this lovely portion. Mata Sita gets abducted by Ravan and Jatayu is granted salvation by Lord Ram. The poet describes the forests, the trees, animals and birds with much affection in the original Awadhi; and my adventure in understanding and interpreting was truly blessed by His Grace.

Simultaneously, I was translating Dattapaharam- a stunning novel about the forests and its great role in human lives; by V.J.James. The author is one of the most erudite and humble people I have known in my life. Truly has the Ramayana spoken of ‘fruit laden trees bending low’: great souls are utterly simple, so unassuming and kind. They also laugh a lot.

The fact that both the books are going into print together brings me much hope and cheer. They say when coincidences happen in a miraculous manner, when serendipity graces us, the divine plan is meeting our life plan.

May the Lord help us to follow the divine path always. And empower us to do our work with humility.

**

Few hymns to the magic:

While I was poring over the edits of Aranyakanda and reached the portion of Mareech getting killed by the Lord, I casually clicked on songs in my mobile with nothing particular in my mind.

The song enveloped my senses, enchanting me.

I gazed at the mobile screen.

There He was: My Lord Ram, so beautiful and glorious, with Sita, and she was staring at the golden deer!

Tumhi mere Ram, tumhi Ghanshyam!

How could that happen?

I called my friend in utter delight and she asked me to bow my head lower.

I did.

He watches over every speck of dust, does he not?

**

I was struggling with translating a sentence which spoke of ‘sighting that which lay beyond the visible.’ Indeed, the portion referred to seeing what usually remains unseen by going inwards…a deep, spiritually heavy sentence. Typical of the author’s style, super simple, and oh-so-heavy with meaning!

I tried many a combination and permutation. The zing of satisfaction did not come.

My phone pinged. Another dear friend had forwarded a Sufi song…Tu Jhoom sung by the inimitable Abida Parveen.

Ah, Lord! Just what I needed!

The sentence translated itself in matter of moments.

He watches over every green blade , does he not?
**

So both the forest journeys, soon to be in book forms, are hereby dedicated to the Lord.

He, who is love

He, who is kindness

He, who is mine

And yours