Whimsical Legends


Author: Vithal Rajan

PB | pp.332 | 2019

The author has written these stories from a place where dreams are the metaphors of our inner life.

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For hundreds of thousands of years, human beings sat around camp fires while the old told of legends from their ancient past. All our ancient epics grew out of these legends, part history retold, part dreamtime. Can the Angel Gabriel, to whose activities we owe so much, appear again to comfort a Muslim boy? Why shouldn’t that happen? If the universe permits time-travel, can an Indian find his long lost daughter through a wormhole? Will Mulla Naseeruddin help solve an old mathematical puzzle? Could an English memsahib, shipped to India to marry a colourless officer, find love in the arms of a rebel Indian during the momentous days of the Sepoy Mutiny? Would a Prince wish to escape the trammels of pomp and circumstance to find peace in an ordinary life? Why are there no legends about the discovery of numbers? Did a Hindu tribesman, marching in through the Kyber Pass, thousands of years ago, encounter an earlier settler, in peace or in war? The great epic of the Mahabharata is full of many legends, some shrouded in inexplicable mystery. How did a warlike patriarchal society accept that the great Queen Draupadi could marry five husbands? Can an ancient Buddhist king teach us anything about politics? And we do believe animals can talk, don’t we? When I came out of my dreamtime, I wrote down the stories for you, for dreams are the metaphors of our inner life.

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Vithal Rajan





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About the Author

Vithal Rajan has been a peace activist all his life. He is a political economist with a doctorate from the London School of Economics. He was a mediator for the Church in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. He was Director of the WWF-International, and first Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award, Sweden [also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize]. He has founded Indian NGOs working for rural development and communal harmony. He was made an Officer, Order of Canada in 2006 for lifelong service to humanity.


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