Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Answers to some burning questions

Q. What is CCSL?
A. CCSL = Contextual Contemporarization of Sacred Lore.
As a devout Hindu I felt it was my moral duty to popularize my rich culture and tradition. When I read the Mahabharata I quickly realised that Vyasa had much more to offer than the drab G-rated story offered on tele-series. I therefore took it upon myself to rekindle the rich traditions and morals expounded in such a well crafted and tantalizing way. Ladies and gentlemen I present "CCSL". I should admit that I have toned down the sexual explicitness here, but the original is always available. This is an effort to bring the original Mahabharata back to the bookshelves. Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.

Q. What is your resource for this series?
A. I refer to Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari as one of the main references. I brought this book back with me from my recent trip to India and as I read it I realised that this was a great spoof opportunity so I grabbed it. You can read this book in its entirety at Mahabharata . Other references come from online resources.

Q. Is the plot for your series identical to the original?
I use the original plot extensively but sometimes I make changes for the sake of humor or just creative liberties. For example, in this series Chitrangada is the younger brother while in the original he is the older brother. Another example is Amba gets a business card instead of a garland.

Q. Are there any other mythology series that you have written?
Yes. The Rishyasringa series which is also part of the Mahabharata in the book. This was my first jab at spoofing. Please refer to the sidebar for links.

Q. Can I link your post on my website?
Sure. Blogroll me, link me…all that jazz. The more the merrier. Please don't copy the entire blog and repost it elsewhere. Thanks.

Q. Have you read the Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor?
No, I haven’t had the chance yet. I intend to read it as soon as I am done with this series because it has been highly recommended by readers and friends.


parikrama said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mou said...

sweet :) You are perfectly within ur artistic rights to make such changes. I was reading Ramayana and found it a pretty vulnarable source for a spoof too. What say? :) We are lucky to have such rich and multi layered stories that can teach us so much, and yet entertain us as a bonus.

B o o said...

Crys, U ve a great blog here. Just luving the Mahabharata series. Keep them coming. Check out http://creativecommons.org/ for getting a copyright for ur blog. Its not much but its something! If anyone needs it, you do for the great job you are doing! :)

Ashish Gupta said...

Thanks for Mahabharata link! And do continue your series!

Sib said...

Well...you have a great spoof running, so I thought it would be a great link to have !

Keep up the good work.

Nandya said...

nandya signaling his hands, "YOU GO GIRL!!..."smirks"

Anirudh said...

hilarious..liked all ur chapters

Anirudh said...

r u really a female?..u think like a guy for sure..

Crystal blur said...

'Do I have a boyfriend?'...vaatratpana band kar kramya :p
I am glad you are enjoying this series. All I am really doing is reinterpreting the text in todays time. I should confess though that I have toned down on the vivid descriptions from the original. And yes I completely agree that Vyasa was a genius.
Hey thanks...I will check it out.
I thought the link would help refresh the memory on the original plot and orient readers to my series. Glad you are using it.
Bahut bahut dhanyawad :)
Smirk back at ya :p (Whats all the smirking about?)
:) :) :)

Crys :)

Anirudh said...

mahabharata is an amazing story..ok a factual question i was arguin with my friend about this..

actually in mahabharata does vyasa have sex with ambika and ambalika..or does he make them pregnant just by looking at them?

Kele Panchu said...

Thanks for the clarification and many thanks for the link. There is one Bengali writer Rajshekhar Basu alias 'Parashuram' who wrote many short storie based on Puranas and Mahabharata but all of them are written in bengali. I could find one translation of 'Panchapriya Panchali'. You and other members of your fan-club might enjoy it :)

Nandya said...

well waiting anxiously ...how am i going to kill my hols if i dont get my dose of Vichitra Mahabharat..

tmww said...

chaylaa tu marathi aahes? :o
malaa parikrama chyaa prashNaache uttar miLaalele aavaDel. :P

Gaurav said...

I'm linking you. You rock!

By the way, tujhe lihiNey malaa Cassandra Claire peksha barech jaasti avaDle. But then Vyasa did write a richer story than Tolkien. :)

Nikhil Kulkarni said...

waiting eagerly for the next chapter/episode ... plz post soon

Somshubhra said...

First time visitor here....Mahabharata series is hilarious! When's the next chapter coming up?

Ripu said...

are you for real, thats just great keep up the funny work. btw Banker did the same thing sexing up the epics but this is so much more reader freindly.

take care

atracus said...

My take on this exercise on a contemporarization of our sacred lore -

All of us here will agree that most Indians face a disconnect between ourselves and the stories of our lore. What is the reason for this disconnect? The reason is that these stories took place in a time and era that is really really old - the context is "archaic" and none of us can really relate to things. Does this mean that our ancestors were weird? Admit it or not, we understand (and sometimes identify) a weird conversation of college-kids using bronx lingo better than what we understand our sacred lore.
So what is Crystal trying to do here, with her apparently "sacrilegious" writing? This is a person who is trying to understand our lore by placing it in a modern context.
This goes contrary to the views of those who insist that our ancestors were different people, almost as if they were from another planet. I beg to differ - I think that each and every one of our ancestors must have been as human as you and me, and have probably been as stupid and as wise as you and me. When we understand them as human, only then can we appreciate their achievements, collective or individual.
To understand them, you will either need the exact context in which the story happened, or you can take the essence of the story and place it in a modern context.
THIS is the act of appreciating our heritage. Whearas, to simply put it on a pedestal and worship it as something untouchable is to be as dumb as putting einstein's picture in the pooja-ghar and praying to it to solve our energy crisis, instead of understanding and using his work to build nuclear energy systems. It is only when you look at our ancestors as touchable humans that you will be able to appreciate their achievements and your heritage - why they were able to generate philosophies that sustain till today. Gods don't generate philosophies - they have no need of theories on tackling life.
Being God is easy - you just are in total control by default.
Being human is difficult - managing parameters of choice and causalty is not really a piece of cake.
I read some messages to Crystal that accused her of blasphemy (these seem to be deleted, and rightly so). If you read our sacred lore yourselves, you will find that it is meant for an adult - you couldn't really read it to a child and expect the child to understand why, for example, Rishyashringa was attracted towards the breasts of the woman who has posed as a man.
So, all I'd say to those who find this offensive - grow up. Or, feel free to sue Maharshi Vyasa for publishing sexual content without an adult rating.

Or maybe, Crystal could also publish a censored version of her work for kids? :)

DiTtY said...

Dropped in here via Desipundit! Loved the Mahabharatha series! :)

Keep 'em coming! :)

Prasad said...

i suggest that u better put in some ads in ur blog from google adsense. The content is awesome and at the rate people are reading u can earn a huge amout from google. Morning when i checked ur blog for the first time, there were just 5900 odd visitors,, now there are more than 6200 odd ones.. waye to go.. keep up the good work.. u deserve to be rewarded for the same ..

Saturday Night Takeout said...

Very very funny. Damn cool. Got this link off Gaurav's blog; easily worth it.

PS- I wonder what'll happen if and when the ShivSenaRSSVHPetcetc find this blog? :D Tread carefully, CB.

Crystal blur said...

Thanks everybody for your interest and comments.

Atracus, I couldn't have said it better.

The man...I am currently romancing this asur.

Gaurav....link dilya baddal dhanyavaad. Laffing @ Vyasa Tolkien comment.

Will check out the link :)

The version that I am reading completely skipped the Vyasa Ambika story. I had to find it through other resources, so I can't answer your Q. Soweee :)

Currently I want my webpage to be ad-free but I will keep that possibility in my mind. Its a great suggestion...thanks.

Hey I am glad you enjoyed the series. Regarding your P.S. , as Atracus said in his comment, I am just reinterpreting our texts and bringing it to a format that fits with our times. There is no malice involved. From the comments and responses I have received so far, I want to say that the readers (more often than not) get the intent. In any event, this is an internet blog and those who don't appreciate my writing can simply not read it :).

Nandya, Nikhil, Som,
The next chapter is in works...will be out soon :).


arvindiyer said...

We are all chameleons of karma..and Man am I glad to find this blog:) You keep the shastras and the sutras rolling..:) Happy Holidays!!

Aqua said...

you are wicked....haven't stopped laughing...and thanks gaurav for routing us here .

Peppy said...

yikes..forgot all about this series till i saw cry linked to a top loved/hated bloglist [well well whaddya know..guess which one crys made it to? yep..the latter, for the mahabharat series no less]..guess 'wicked writing' aint a compliment anymore :-p

[back into reading-o-sphere with a bang]


Shruthi said...

Next chapter please! Lots of us waiting! :)))

Lost-n-Found said...

hey when r u posting next? M dying for some more lols

spo0nman said...

Pretty funny :)

I hate to say this but once it gets out(of the circle) you'll be in trouble mahabharta being the source of the gitasar and all your spoof wont go too well with many *stupid* people.

Keep going on though ... you've hit on to pretty good stuff.

Have you read the arabian nights? Thats also loaded with sex which usually gets left out from all the popular interprtations of it.

Murga said...

;- ) (dropped jaw)

Hooked - line and sinker. Keep this up or I will die of boredom.
And....are they for real??

Aditya Bidikar said...

Wonderful take. I think this one's better than The Secret Diaries for one important reason. The Mahabharata is more of a sacred pony than LotR (for most people, at least), so when people are irreverent towards it, it seems more of a forbidden thing, which makes it better.

Keep going, or, as we say it in Marathi, Chalti ho. ;)

Saravana Kumar said...

Contrary to others I didn't quiet like the spoof involved here .. Its not that the writing goes bad, Mahabharatha is interesting whatever way it is told, for its a gem of india. So it is our duty to safeguard the sacredness of this book, what will others do if we ourselves make fun of such glorious books as such as Mahabharatha. Mahabharatha does have Sex and Violence in it ... Its definitely not G rated .... but it should be understood that Vyasa was such a great personality, when written by him it explains the real meaning of Sex and Violence and its significance to Dharma. No one else can emulate his writings, for he has single handedly classified the Vedas b4 he wrote Mahabharatha.

Think abt it ... continue with discretion .. good luck :)

mrajshekhar said...

super stuff. :-)
been falling off me chair with predictable regularity reading your inspired interpretation.
when you have time, google for a book called laughing matters (comic tradition in india) by lee siegel. this guy found that there is a rich vein of comic and satirical writings in indian history. often, he says, "parodies of the grand and serious literature".
and so, two things. one, you follow in a great tradition. :-)
and two, well, ahem, keep at it.

ps - and yes, you must read the great indian novel.

HutumpaNcha said...

Got the link from Gaurav's blog. Great work and wonderful reading. Keep it going

makash said...

this is awesome

Potter said...

Hi Crys, this is great stuff. I am an amateur blogger and I really admire your Rishyashringa Series. So I have a post in my blog linking this story in your blog. I have acknowledged you as its author in my post. But I have also copy pasted the story there, to make my post look big. Please forgive me for being selfish :)