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Bhava by U R Ananthamurthy
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A compelling tale of mystery, passion and spiritual exploration seventy-year-old Shastri; A reciter of Harikatha, encounters an Ayyappa pilgrim on a train. Around the pilgrim's neck is a Sri chakra amulet which looks like one that belonged to Saroja, Shastri's first wife. But Shastri thought he had killed Saroja years before, believing she was pregnant by another man. If the amulet is Saroja's, then she might have survived, and the pilgrim (Dinakar, a television star) could be Shastri's son. A similar story is revealed when Dinakar visits his old friend Narayan: either could be the father of Prasad, A young man destined for spiritual attainment. The interwoven lives of three generations play out variations on the same themes. Whose son am I? Whose father am I? Where are my roots? These mysteries of the past and present are explored, but there are no clear answers. And while significant in daily being , such questions lose urgency in the flux of becoming (Bhava means both being and becoming). So we are led to consider that Samsara-the world of illusion and embodiment-may not be very different from Sunya , the emptiness from which everything arises. At times a drama of cruelty and lust, at times a lyrical meditation on love and transformation, Bhava is an exceptional novel by one of India's most celebrated writers. Translated from the Kannada by Judith Kroll with the author.
Penguin Books Ltd; October 2000
344 pages; ISBN 9789351182870
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Title: Bhava
Author: U R Ananthamurthy
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