22 October, 2020

Aranya Parva: A Forest Of Meaning...And Belonging

Having spent three decades walking along the foot-worn paths of Bastar, Madhu Ramnath casts an impassive eye on the land of his life-long love

Photo by Sanjay Rawat
Aranya Parva: A Forest Of Meaning...And Belonging

There’s something absolutely unique about this book. When young, many of us feel the urge at some moment of disillusionment or dissatisfaction. We want to get away from it all, to lose ourselves in some remote corner of the world—desert, forest, or perhaps an unknown, faraway town. Yet how many of us were actua­lly able to realise this fantasy, even in part? And how many such places have managed to exist in the world today?

Further, how often does a book make you feel, as you read it, that you are entering a new territory, richly imbued with elemental power and immensely fascinating?  And, should one undertake such a journey, even between the soft covers of a book, how many times is there a guide to accompany him, exploring, elucidating with delightful levity, albeit with deep knowledge and sensitivity about the intricacies of the people, their language, their customs, their habits and traditions?

Madhu Ramnath, author of this book, is not an anthropologist by training. Yet, his passionate engagement with the adivasis of...



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