Bookish Witch

LOTUS-BORN: The Ballad Of Satyabhama by Srilakshmi Kochiyil

Book blurb:

“Srilakshmi weaves an enthralling tale spanning two avatars of Bhudevi and her undying love for Lord Vishnu. Her poetry, mellifluous and soothing, adds to the charm of the rich tapestry of the underlying tale. In reading through the journeys of Satyabhama and Andal, the reader gets a soulful experience of Prema and bhakti”

Genre: Fiction/Poetry

Pages: 191

Format: Kindle eBook

Price: 199 INR/$3.99

My Ratings: 4.2/5

This book is a beautiful poetic journey through Indian mythology. If you are allured by Indian mythology and have a love for poetry, this is the best combination to satiate your heart and mind.

What I liked about the book:
–> I was not aware of Satyabhama and other mythological characters+tales talked about in this book, so I absolutely loved learning about these and getting a poetic journey through my Indian roots.
–> It shows love from a different perspective and the depth+purity of love between Satyabhama and Lord Krishna can teach us all a thing or two.
–> History glorifies the tale of Radha- Krishna and Rukmani – Krishna and neglects Satyabhama However, the writer/poetess has given the space for the character to express herself which is quite noteworthy.
–> I’m a lover of flowers, so I loved how most poems draw analogy between humans and flowers, Satyabhama fascination with for flowers and how she even talks to them like they’re her friends.

What I did not like about the book:
–> It is confusing initially and can be boring, but it picks up pace after the first 10-15 pages.
–> I could not complete it in one seating, unlike most of my recent poetry book reads.
–> Some of the poems were quite dull and drab in comparison to most.

Quotable quotes:
–>We are not the ones who chose the stories we write. The stories choose us. They see in us, a spark of their own splendour and fire.
–> When one has secret love,
It is best spoken to flowers:
Silent spectators who will never spill your secrets.
–>A gem would lose its shine,
If confined in the darkness of a chest.
But a star,
Till it died,
It shone bright and beautiful,
And when the light would be snuffed out
It would become stardust,
Collected and wished upon.
–>It’s a pity most don’t believe in magic.
Logic, its misplaced counterpart,
Its actual companion,
Has taken center stage.
We all live by logic now,
Trying to fold all happenings
In fiery wrappings of reason
Tied with ribbons of cause and effect.
Of course logic is important.
Why else would it be magic’s consort?
We have merely separated both
Prized one and disregarded the other.
–> Isn’t that magic enough?
That despite the poison of hate
And greed
And selfishness,
We still thrive,
Healthy looking on the outside
And wilting like a flower deprived of sunlight
On the inside?
–> Poetry is such.
It is laughter and compassion and song.
It is an incantation of our hidden selves
Urging to let go of bindings
And flow freely like a waterfall.
–>Love is like a rose.
The harder you hold it in your palm
Curling up your fist
With insecurity and jealousy and fear,
The more it withers away
Crushed into a ball,
Bleeding and broken,
All the more difficult to salvage.
–> The magic word is none but one.
Selflessness.
We have taken and taken and taken.
Naturally, we find it difficult to give.
But once you start giving,
You will genuinely,
Never be able to stop.
–> When one season turns into another,
I am taught the most important lesson of all.
The fact, that nothing is permanent
Within the threshold of our lives.
–> Occurrence and ordeal is the nature of life.
But that does not cut out joy from our grasps.
–> Spring needs winter
As winter needs spring.
Without scorching summer
You will not understand the cool showers of monsoon.
–> Make today your celebration
Cherish it
For today will turn into yesterday
And tomorrow will not be the same as today.
–> Without meaning, the word
Is merely a string of alphabets
Just as a promise is powerless
Without purpose.
Just as words are powerless without its meaning,
So are our thoughts and perspectives.
–> Wealth isn’t evil-greed is
Criticism isn’t harsh-intolerance is
Time isn’t a factor-Laziness is
–>Detachment didn’t mean
That you wouldn’t own desire.
It meant that desire
Wouldn’t own you.
–>There is joy and sorrow,
Love and hate,
Success and failure
Positives and negatives.
And that is the beauty of balance>
Without the sun, the moon cannot thrive.
Without sorrow,
Joy will lose its comprehension
–>A deed done with love is quick,
It doesn’t look at consequences or reasons.
–>If awakened deeply within us,
Devotion can cleanse us in a way.
–> With numerous petals,
Pink and gentle,
Rising from grime and mud,
Lotus was a rising symbol of triumph.
–> But you need to break to be rebuilt.
If gold had to be purified
It had to embrace the heat of the fire.
–> It took immense strength to know
That breaking is the first step to forging.
That the heart can bear blows
And still love someone who was the reason for its breakage.

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