Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book Review- Holy Hell (English)

Who is your idol? I sit there trying hard to fetch some answer for the innocent question. I might be the only one in the group who had to spend time for the question

Until recently Mata Amritanandamayi (henceforthe referred to as Mata) was a strong alternative force to reckon with , for the traditioal Christians. She preached about love, Hinduism. Big names flocked to the Ashram to get a free hug. She brought up empty churches and stood at the altar proclaiming Jesus and Krishna was one and the same
She built speciality hospitals for free, engineering colleges, performed miracles. Her bhajans were filled with white people spotting the white and ochre robes.
Back then we had some serious discussions in our church on the divinity of Mata and importance to vew things in a secular perspective. Many  a times the atmosphere got heated up as we realized we were not able to reproduce the 'love'. People who came back fromAIMS (her multi speciality hospital) sang praises of world class facility and care. Media never lost an opportunity to project the humanitarian work post-Tsunami period.
Amid, these bright lght, there were always a murmur of dissent and disagreement. Questions were asked on foreign fund, which was kept under tight wrap. Thanks to the empire's clout in political circle and media the dissent didn't get any traction.

Unknown to the empire a phase began of unruly growth of the Media powered by youthful restlessness of social network. The first shock came in the form of nurses trike in AIMS. Things got worse when goondas were sent to contain the situation. For the first time a  section of Media stood against the empire and first signs of crack started appearing. Soon after the incident a resident of the Ashram died under mysterious circumstances. The incident was contained by the police but the embers refused to die down.

'Holy Hell' shot  up into limelight when a prominent newspaper media used Facebook to publish parts of th content.
Soon it became a hot topic of discussion and debate . Coupled to that a few political entities dropped into give a religious tone to the whole çonspiracy'. The book had been infact on he stands two years ago. The fact that the book gained attention only recently, shows the anarchic power of social media.
I got hold of the book from a friend of mine. I finished the book in between a three hour train journey. The book is not a literary, philosophical or theological piece. It's a 220 page simple work designed for the layman. If the book hadn't raised a storm, the whole work would've disappeared into obscurity as soon as it were released.

Gail Tredwell was born into an Australian famiy. Well papmpered  by the western materialism, she did exibhit streaks of weakness and soft heartedness. Her family soon disintegrates, thanks to the typical 'western dysfonctional family model' She sets out o roam around Asia with her boyfriend.
Gail developes an attraction with Indian mysticism. The boyfriend leaves her back  in India as he could no longer stay there.  She stays in Arunachalam for a long time and then comes to know of Ámma. She moves in with her  and the story begins

The whole autobographical piece is based on the twenty years of her life with Mata. The book entertains with the fact that we didn't have much of an outsider's story on the orgin and growth of Amma. Most of the books were paid tributes or ínspired tributes'.

Before we start on what the book is about, it would be better to begin with what the book is not about.
The book is not a piece of literarure. It's very poorly edited and concieved
The book doesn't deal on the subject comprehensively, hence there are yawning gaps and at the end of 220 odd pages, we tend to think 'What the holy hell'

The book is more of a inter personal relationship between two ladies. One dominates over the other for some 20 years. The other lets herself to be dominated untl she call it quits . After another 15 years she comes out wit the book on her experience in hell.Sadly Gail chooses not to put herself at the guilty-box many a times. Hence she let go of the chance for a comprehensive study on influence of Indian spirituality among the masses. We can also sense a wee bit of sarcasm through out & there is absolutely nothing on what happened next (after the defection)
I had an argument with a friend on Mata's divinity. I signed off the argument by saying- It's easy to be divine. But too tough to be a human

It wouldn't be fair to opinionate on my part. But still two sentance for the wise

 It's divine to be justa human. If some woman says ' I don't menustruate', I would say 'See a doctor'

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.