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Ganesha Goes to Lunch

September 24, 2015

Epics of ancient India rank with the timeless myths of classical Greece and Rome in the power of their language and the underlying moral lessons. The “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata, ” both origianlly written in Sanskrit, contain vibrant stories of kings and princes, sages and tricksters, demons and gods, damsels in distress and mighty heroes. “Ganesha Goes to Lunch” collects some of the most vivid stories from these and other early Indian folklore and spiritual texts including the Vedas and the Puranas. These stories feature the gods of India in their celestial and earthly abodes, hapless humans struggling with life’s many problems, and gods and humans interacting. Assembled by Kamla Kapur, these stories illustrate the great spiritual and practical themes of the human condition. Kamla Kapur brings her poet’s eye and ear to the retelling of these stories, recreating and dramatizing them to illuminate their relevance to modern times.

“Kapur recasts ancient tales with a delightful modern sensibility. This book is a charming introduction to the gold mine of yogic lore many students have yet to explore.” Source: Linda Johnsen, Yoga & Joyful Living.

Kamla K. Kapur (aka Kamal Kapur) was born and raised in India, and is a citizen of the United States. She got her Bachelor’s in English Honors from India, and her Masters’ Degree in literature from Kent State University, Ohio,USA. She also took classes in creative writing from the University of Iowa, and the University of California in San Diego. During her time in the USA, many of her poems were published in prestigious American journals and quarterlies.

She returned to India (1974-78), was a freelance writer for The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, and The Tribune, and taught English Literature at Delhi University. Her poetry and short stories were published in the original English and in Hindi and Punjabi translation in journals and magazines. In 1977, she won two prestigious Indian National Awards, The Sultan Padamsee Award for Playwriting in English. Her full length play, The Curlew’s Cry, a bi-lingual play, was produced by Yatrik, New Delhi. A Punjabi translation of her play, Clytemnestra was produced by The Company in Chandigarh. Her award-winning Zanana, was produced at the National School of Drama, New Delhi. Seven of her plays were published in Enact, New Delhi.

Since 1985, Ms Kapur has been commuting between the USA and India. Her full length plays, Hamlet’s Father, Kepler Dreams, and Clytemnestra were showcased at the Marin Shakespeare Festival in San Francisco, Gas Lamp Quarter Theatre in San Diego, and Dramatic Risks Theatre Group in New York, respectively. She was selected by the New Mexico Arts Division as the Playwright in Residence for two years. Five of her short stories have been published in Parabola (New York) and two in the anthology,The Inner Journey: Views from the Hindu Tradition (2007). She has recently completed her first novel, The Autobiography of Saint Padma the Whore, a chapter of which was published by in Our Feet Walk The Sky (Aunt Lute Press, Berkeley, California, USA), and a fantasy novel, Malini in Whirlwood.

Ms. Kapur was on the faculty of Grossmont College in San Diego, California for 18 years and taught creative writing courses in play writing, poetry, creative non-fiction, fiction, and courses in mythology, Shakespeare, and Women’s Literature. She lives half the year in a remote Kullu Valley in the Himalayas and the other half in California, with her husband Payson R. Stevens.

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