Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Week 6 Story: Shantanu Meets a Girl

It was just your average day as a king. I'd do my ruling business, order some servants around, eat like a me, and then go down to the river for my daily walk. However, this specific day, I met a girl. She was beautiful, and was washing her clothes in the river that I walk by. I had to speak to her. "Come here often?," I say, immediately regretting my stupid pickup line. "Not really," she says "I just moved here." "Well why don't I give you the Hastinapura welcome? Let me invite you over for dinner." And she came to dinner. And she came back over the next few weeks. We would talk and laugh and I was beginning to fall in love with her. I proposed and she accepted.

However, there was a catch. Not a huge catch, I just couldn't question any of her actions. Seems normal. She'd wear a weird shirt, I wouldn't comment. Not too hard for the first few years. But then it escalated. When she got pregnant for the first time and had the kid, she immediately took it to the river. I didn't ask why, but when she came back without the baby, I was suspicious. "I drowned the baby," she said. I couldn't believe my ears. Drowned the baby?! Our baby?! I know I'm not supposed to ask, but how could she. Over the course of the next few years, she drowned the next 6 babies we had. At the 8th baby, I said enough was enough and she had to tell me why she was doing such an awful thing. "I told you not to ask," she said "but I guess you're gonna hear it." She proceeded to tell me that she, my WIFE, was the incarnation of the river Ganga and our sons that she drowned were the Vasus, who were reincarnated as babies to be punished for stealing Vashishtha's cow. After telling me this, she took the last baby and just disappeared. Gone. Didn't even say goodbye. Women, am I right?

Ganga drowns her son (Blogspot)

Mahabharata by Narayan

Author's Note: I wrote this about Shantanu and his relationship with Ganga and how she drowns their children in the river when they have the babies. I told it through the perspective of the king and how he would react and his thoughts about the crazy situation that he got himself into.


Reading A: Mahabharata

Shantanu and Ganga
Shantanu falls in love with a woman at the river and she agrees to marry him as long as he never questions her actions. When they have children, she drowns each of them in the river, and he stops her once she is about to drown the eighth one. She explains to them that she is the river Ganga and gave birth to the eight gods, Vasus, who are being punished as humans for stealing Vasishtha's cow. When Ganga drowns the babies, she returns to heaven and takes the last son with her, he returns to Shantanu as an adult by the name of Bhishma.

Shantanu and Satyavati
Shantanu falls in love with a fisherman's daughter, Satyavati. He opposes their marraige because Shantanu already has Bhishma for a son. Bhishma vows to never have children to help his father. Shantanu and Satyavati have two kids, one becomes king but then dies, and Bhishma takes the throne instead of the other son because he is too young. Meanwhile, a neighboring king holds a ceremony for his daughters to select a husband and Bhishma seizes all three for Vichitravirya, the young king. One of the daughters, Amba, has already promised herself to another king so her father banishes her. She vows revenge on Bhishma. Vichitraviyra marries the two other daughters.

Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura
Vichitraviyra dies withouth having any sons, so Satyavati has the widows sleep with her son Vyasa, to bear children. He looks strange because of his strange religious rituals, so the widows are afraid of him when they sleep with him. One closes their eyes, so their son, Dhritarashtra, is blind. One turns pale with fear, so their son, Pandu, is born pale. But one of the widows has her maid sleep with Vyasa in her place and he likes her, so the son, Vidura, is born normal.

The Pandavas and the Kauravas
Dhritarashtra has a wife who covers her eyes to share his blindness. Pandu has two wives, Kunti and Madri, but cannot have children. Pandu is hunting and shoots a deer having sex but the deer is actually a celestial being in disguise who curses Pandu and says that he will also die making love. Pandu's wife has him have gods bear children for him, and he has 5 sons, called the Pandavas. Pandu can't resist his passion for Madri and dies making love to her. She jumps on his funeral pyre and leaves Kunti to take care of the sons.

The escape from the fire
The Pandavas set their house on fire that Purochana builds for them. It's a trap and everyone thinks they died but they escaped.

Life in hiding
A rakshasa is killed by Bhima, the sister of the rakshasa falls in love with him and they have a son. Vyasa urges the Pandavas to disguise themselves as beggars. They beg everyday until Kunti divides up the alms. Bhima also defeats another rakshasa.

Draupadi's swayamvara
King Drupada is having a swayamvara for his daughter and the Pandavas show up. Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu, is there with his brother Balarama and they recognize the Pandavas in disguise. During the contest, Arjuna is able to hit the target with his bow and wins Draupadi as his bride. The 5 brothers have to share Draupadi as their wife. But she had 5 husbands in a previous lifetime, and prayed to get them back. She got them back when she married the Pandava brothers. 

Pandava (Wikipedia)

Mahabharata by Narayan 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Comment Wall

This is the comment wall for my storybook portfolio! Feel free to leave a comment.


Rama (Dharma Wiki)

Tech Tip: YouTube Playlists

This is my YouTube playlist that I created. I use YouTube for several reasons. I like to find new music, I like funny videos, I like to keep up with the latest trends. This playlist is a few videos with music that I think is good. I play guitar as well, so there are some songs that highlight guitar playing.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Week 5 Story: Raymond's Crush

I was always jealous of Rob. He had it all. He was the star quarterback on the school's football team, class president, had the coolest best friend, Hayden, who was almost like a sidekick, and most importantly, he had Sara: the most beautiful girl in the world. I always admired her from afar. We had a few classes together and I'd be lucky if she even accidentally bumped into me in the hallway. My family could never associate with the likes of Rob and Sara. My sister, Sharon, tried to ask Rob to the prom freshman year, and Rob's brother, Lawrence, humiliated her in front of the whole school. I actually wouldn't have even seen Sara if it weren't for that moment.

I was so upset that Lawrence embarrassed Sharon that I had to find out who did it. When she pointed him out the next day, he was sitting at lunch with Rob, Hayden and Sara. While I was mad at Lawrence for what he did to my sister, I couldn't keep my eyes off of Sara. She was captivating. She came from a wealthy family too. Her dad, John Sutherland, is in charge of the city's workout gyms. Rob even had to bench press in front of him before he asked Sara out, just to prove to her dad that he was strong enough for his baby girl. 

But I'm rich too. Money isn't much though when you have no one to share it with. We have butlers and maids at my house, but it's just me, Sharon and my uncle Mark that live there. No one ever comes around. "Raymond why don't you ever bring a pretty girl home?," the maids tease. I tell them that I have a girlfriend, but she lives in a different town. When in reality, the only girl I'll ever love is in the arms of another man. I have to find a way to take her from him. 

This story was based off of the Ramayana by Narayan. 

Authors Note: It takes a modern spin on the character of Ravana. I made him a teenager with a crush on the modern-day version of Sita. 

Raymond- Ravana
Sara- Sita
Rob- Rama
Hayden- Hanuman
Lawrence- Lakshmana
 Mark-  Maricha
Sharon- Shurpanakha
John Sutherland- King Janaka

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tech Tips: Adobe Photoshop

I used Lynda to get a tutorial on Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. I used what I learned to create this funny and cheesy action movie poster, featuring me. I think having knowledge on the Adobe apps is helpful to know because it makes you more well-rounded when it comes to technology.

Reading Notes A and B: Sita Sings the Blues

For this week's reading, I chose to watch the movie: Sita Sings the Blues. The movie is a cartoon interpretation of the Ramayana. It is animated and tells the story in 3 different ways. The first story that is told is the story of a couple who gets split up because the man has to move to India for work. The woman eventually follows him but when she gets there, the relationship wasn't what it used to be. After she takes a trip to New York, he ends the relationship and she stays in America. Although she is heartbroken, she finds comfort in her new life and new cat while she begins to study the Ramayana. This has parallels to the Ramayana because of Sita trying to win Rama back after he rescues her and eventually being tired of it and being swallowed up by the earth. The second story being told is the actual Ramayana. It is told by 3 Indian shadow puppets through a comedic conversation and recalling of the story. During their story, an animated version of the Ramayana is told. Every so often, the animation style changes and a musical interlude happens with Sita singing old-timey songs while an important scene is happening. They are used to further the story and put music to crucial parts of the Ramayana, such as the scene where Hanuman and Rama rescue Sita from Ravana. I did notice one key difference in this version, Lakshmana isn't with Rama or Sita when they are banished into the forest, it's just the two of them. It wasn't a big deal, it just threw me off because I was used to him being there with them. Overall, I really liked Sita Sings the Blues. It was very funny and a lighthearted retelling of the Ramayana. I think I would even enjoy it if I didn't read the Ramayana or had to do it for an assignment, it was a really good movie and I would recommend it to anyone who is familiar with the Ramayana.

Sita Sings the Blues was directed and animated by Nina Paley

Sita Sings the Blues Poster ( Wikipedia )

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tech Tip: Meme Generator

I used Img Flip to make this meme. I feel like it is applicable for me in Indian Epics because there are so many extra credit opportunities for when I'm not feeling like doing a reading assignment and am being lazy. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Reading Notes: Ramayana Part C

Ravana Abducts Sita
When Lakshmana is away from Sita, Ravana comes to her disguised as a hermit. When he reveals himself, she tells him to leave, but he picks up the ground she is on and flies away.

Jatayu and Ravana
Jatayu tries to rescue Sita but Ravana kills him and he dies before he can tell Rama and Lakshmana where Ravana went.

Rama and Lakshmana Meet Hanuman
Rama and Lakshmana head to the kingdom of Kishkinda. There, the monkey Hanuman meets them and disguises himself as a scholar, but Rama sees through it. Hanuman is loyal to the younger brother of the king of Kishkinda.

The Story of Vail and Sugriva
Vail churned nectar from the ocean, so the gods gave him awesome fighting powers. Mayavi, the demon, challenged him, but Vail chased him into a cave. When they didn't come out, Sugriva's advisors told him to block the cave and trap the demon. When Vail came out, he was enraged at Sugriva and Sugriva fled to escape him. Vail took his wife.

Rama's Empathy for Sugriva
Rama feels empathy for Sugriva because he lost his wife and is in exile. They believe that they can defeat Vail. Vail is forbidden from the mountain because he once defeated a demon in the shape of a buffalo. He hurled the carcass and it landed near a sage that cursed Vail and said that he would die if he ever went to the mountain.

Sita's Jewelry
Sita threw her jewelry when being taken away and the monkeys found it. Sugriva has the jewelry and gave it to Rama.

Sugriva Battles Vail
Sugriva challenges Vail, Vail laughs at his challenge and his wife urges him not to fight. In the middle of the battle, Rama fires an arrow at Vail and Vail argues with Rama if he acted right or not. In the end, he decides that Rama did the right thing. He dies and Sugriva becomes king.

The Rainy Season
Rama and his brother spend the rainy season in the forest while Sugriva is supposed to form an army in the meantime. He forgets to form the army and Rama sends Lakshmana to remind him of his promise.

Lakshmana Visits Sugriva
When Laksmana comes, he kicks down the gates of the city. Hanuman invites Lakshmana to see Sugriva, who is drunk. Sugriva promises not to get drunk again and goes to see Rama.

Search Parties Sent
Sugriva forms an army and search parties are sent to find Sita. Rama tells Hanuman how to identify Sita.

Hanuman and Angada Head South
Hanuman and Angada are trapped in a tunnel and meet a mysterious nymph who had once been a goddess. The nymph returns to heaven and they break out of the tunnel, still haven't found Sita.

The two meet Sampathi, brother of Jatayu, the bird. His wings have been burned off when he fell to Earth. He says that he saw Ravana taking Sita to Lanka, across the ocean. Hanuman grows immensely and becomes a giant monkey so that he can step across the ocean.

Ramayana by Narayan

Hanuman (Free PNG)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Topic Brainstorm

Weapons of the Gods
I figured that doing a project over different weapons would be really cool and interesting. There are so many gods and so many weapons that they used in various battles, the possibilities are endless. I don't know much, or really at all, about the weapons the gods used, so I would love to learn more about them. One blog I saw had the weapons introduce themselves and tell stories, so I liked that take on it.
Weapons of the Gods

I enjoyed reading the Ramayana, so I would love to do a project over it. There are so many stories in it that could be retold, and so many people in the story whose perspective I could tell from. I know a little about the Ramayana, I read it, but I feel like there's more to be told, and more in-depth stories to be found.

I love music, I always have. So it would make sense that a music project interests me. I don't really know anything about Indian music, so I would love to listen to a wide variety of it and write about it. I'm sure there are stories as well that deal with music or have musical elements to them.
Rock on Hanuman

Epic Battles
If this class is called "Epics of India," I'm sure the battles are epic as well. I'm interested to learn more about the amazing battles that happened in Indian Epics. I haven't read or listened to any epic Indian battle stories, so this topic idea intrigues me. There are opportunities to write stories from both sides and to see different points of view on the battles.
Epic Battles

Kurukshetra War 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Reading B Notes: Ramayana

Rama's Exile
Lakshmana and Sita want to accompany Rama into exile and the king's charioteer supplies them with transportation. They manage to escape and once they finally get to the forest, King Dasharatha dies.

When Bharata returns to town, he finds out that his mother planned to make him king instead of Rama. He is outraged and finds Rama and tries to convince him to come back. Rama refuses, so Bharata takes his shoes back and places them on the throne.

Forest Life
As Rama, Lakshmana and Sita move deeper into the forest, they visit sages. One of the sage's wives gives her jewelry to Sita. They also meet the bird Jatayu, a friend of Dasharatha, who offers the group protection.

Ravana's Sister
Ravana, the rakshasa, has a sister named Shurpanakha. She is in love with Rama and tries to seduce him and get rid of Sita. Lakshmana stops her and mutilates her, but doesn't kill her. She then goes to Ravana's step-brother, Kara, who commands an army of demons to attack the group. Rama defeats them and Shurpanakha flees back to Ravana.

Ravana in Lanka
In Ravana's domain in Lanka, he has turned gods and gurus into servants to sweep and such. Ravana is furious when he sees what Lakshmana did to his sister. He also falls in love with Sita after hearing his sister describe her.

Ravana and Maricha
Ravana's uncle, Maricha's, mother was killed by Rama. Ravana wants Maricha to help him abduct Sita. Maricha is reluctant but helps Ravana by turning into a golden deer than captivates Sita. She wants Rama to capture the deer, but when Rama goes to capture it, Maricha disguises his voice as Rama and causes Sita to make Lakshamana go save him. This leaves Sita by herself.

Jatayu, Dasharatha's friend (Redbubble)

Ramayana by Narayan