Book Review: Punyam by Ritesh Gupta

I love reading mythology, and this year I read many of them. So, there is no wonder that I picked up this book. The writing style was so engaging that I could almost picture myself with the characters. Epic scriptures like Mahabharata and Ramayana are a lengthy read with a lot of incidences, however, this book brings some of the stories from both. Overall, it’s a beautiful read.

Broadly putting, this book is a bouquet of short stories that brings the selected stories from Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana. These scriptures are source of Hindu mythology where you will find scores of stories from different point of views. I had a Panchatantra like experience with this book. But on a personal note, I liked all the stories from Mahabharata, may be they were episodic and high on adventure and action. From this section my two favourite stories are Arjuna – The Peerless Archer and Yudhishthira’s Predicament. Both stories were not heard by me previously. And both stories gives us strong message about the mettle of the character and finding perfect solutions during the adverse times.

From the first section, The Magnanimous Bear is a terrific story about the duties that follow in the wake of true religion. The bear was so kind, I hadn’t expected that. The last story was about individual and universal energy, it was nicely placed from the Chandogya Upanishad.

 To clear off many things, the author diligently provided notes at the end of the chapters. This felicitates the reading and improves the knowledge about scriptures.

On a spoiler alert, there is nothing that I can give you as a hunch, since it is a collection of short stories from different Indian holy scriptures, you better explore it. Yet I would like to confess if you are a beginner or new to Indian mythology, this book is a great help.

Brining alive stories from different sources is a tough job but Ritesh did it with an effortless élan. Like many books in the same category, I did enjoy it like anything.

If you liked the review and are curious about the book, please buy it from Amazon or Kindle.

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