The Baahubali Book Tag!!

Okay, guys!

I’m back after a short hiatus from WordPress. Don’t ask me why.

And to make up for my short absence: I’m back with a book tag LIKE NO OTHER.

This is an idea that has been exciting me so much, and one that I have been working on with a few friends to make it the best that it could possibly be. Let me jump right into it.

The Baahubali Book Tag.

The idea is to tag a book that you’ve read to the characters in S.S.Rajamouli’s historical fiction: Baahubali.

  • Amarendra Baahubali: Book that you are currently obsessed with. 

Amarendra

Everyone simply can’t shut up about Amarendra Bahubali, including myself. He’s the perfect husband, the perfect best friend, the perfect leader and also the perfect son. That’s probably why he died so young. So much perfection than a mortal being can possibly handle.

He’s become more than just a character. He’s now a national obsession.

And for me, this book would be Sita, Warrior of Mithila by, Amish Tripathi.

  • Devasena: Book with the most empowering female Protagonist. 

DEvasena

All books in the Song of Ice and Fire series by G.R.R.Martin.

Not because of the platinum blonde Khaleesi, not because of Cersei Lannister, not because of Lady Stoneheart, but because of Arya The Slaying Queen Stark.

I don’t think I am going to have to justify this anymore.

  • Sivagami: The Book with the most inspiring parenting.  

When it comes to parentinh, Sivagami shares a striking similarity with Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.

Sivagami

I am in love with Atticus Finch. I’ve never felt this way before, about a man in paper and ink – but I just fell so hopelessly in love with him. Sivagami raising two Prince Royals, under so much political pressure, but with grace and morals – is exactly how Atticus raises Jem and Scout in the orthodox southern county, teaching them values of humanity and love, and standing up against racism.

That’s just two inspiring parenting role models, right there.

  • Pallvalathevan: The Book with the most kick-ass villain you can’t help but love.

Rana

Ramayana, by Kamban.

I have never been so smitten by a villain, as I have been by Raavanan – the emperor of Lanka. Same goes with Rana Dagubbati in Bahubali. I mean, it makes me question some deep rooted issues. Why do they have to make violence and evil so attractive, JUST WHY!

I haven’t read Valmiki’s version of the epic.

(Yet.)

I’ve only read R.K. Narayan’s English translation of Kamba Ramayana –  and I was simply mind-blown at how villainy could be romanticized in such an endearing way. There’s this scene where Ravanan first listens to his sister describe Sita’s beauty and personality. He doesn’t even see her, mind you. He just hears about her.

And that just about does it.

He is tormented by love. He is struck ill with passion. He is ridden sick with lust.

And then the narrator beautifully compares and contrasts that to the first time Sita saw Rama – and that just takes it to a whole new level, that makes us rethink our boundaries of right and wrong, and how matters of the heart quite easily trespass that line.

When I saw Rana Daggubatti on screen – right from his attitude, to the way he carries himself, how he is respectful of his mother, and how smitten he is by Devasena – a girl he cannot have…..I strongly suspect that he’s been inspired by the Emperor of Lanka, as written by R.K.Narayan / Poet Kamban.

  • Kumara Verma: A popular book that disappointed you with its dumbness. 

Kumara Verma

Vampire Diaries.

*Takes in a deep breath*

Gaaaawwwdddd, Where do I even begin with Vampire Diaries.

THE HYPE WAS JUST TOO MUCH!!

EVERYONE IN SCHOOL WOULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT, OBSESSING OVER IT, THERE WAS THIS GANG OF PEOPLE WHO READ VAMPIRE DIARIES, AND THIS GANG THAT READS TWILIGHT AND IT WAS LIKE WAR. PROBLEM IS BY THEN, I WAS SO OVER THE TWILIGHT FEVER TOO, AND I JUST COULDN’T FIT INTO BOTH. ALL THE COOL KIDS READ IT, AND I WANTED TO TOO, BUT DANG IT I COULDN’T GET PAST A FEW PAGES WITHOUT GETTING SO SO SO IRRITATED AND FURIOUS BECAUSE THE WHOLE BOOK WAS SUCH TEENAGE DRAMA AND DUMBNESS AND NOW I CAN’T TURN OFF ALL THE CAPS BECAUSE I AM RELIVING THE TRAUMA OF BEING LEFT OUT OF A POPULAR OPINION LIKE JUST AAAAAARRRGGGHHHH

  • Mahendra Bhubali: The sequel that made you fall deeper in love with a series.

The secret of the Nagas – The Shiva Trilogy, by Amish Tripathi.

I’ve always found that second books can be most tricky to write because no matter how hard you try, you’ll be constantly attacked by the thought that you can never live up to the hype of the first book. I’ve also noticed that this is why the second book of most series are always a little disappointing.

But this book – it was even better than the first! There was so much happening, so much thickening of the plot, so many new characters – you guys, it’s just impossible to look away from the book.

I would love to read and re-read The Secret of the Nagas, any day any time, with any mood – and it would just mellow me out.

  • The Rebel Group Leader Whose Name No One Remembers: A book you love, but isn’t popular enough.  

Rebel

Foundation Trilogy, Issac Asimov.

I understand that this book has gotten a huge fan base in other countries, but I feel like India is yet to embrace the awesomeness of this book, that’s oozing with genius. The book is so witty! I’ve laughed and cried with it. It’s not a complicated read either.

I wish this book was more popular with the Indian audience – the way it deserves to be.

I’ve seen hardcore LOTR fans, potterheads, twilight fanatics, and even Jane Austen and Bronte lovers. But I feel like the ratio of people obsessed with Asimov could do with a tiny hike.

  • Pingalathevan: A book that didn’t get the credit it deserved. 

Pingala

That book for me would be: Love in the Time of Cholera.

The entire summer, I’ve been reading and re-reading the same book over and over again. I can’t seem to get enough of it. I know that some people are skeptical about this book. I know it’s a very intense, disturbing read. (For those of you that don’t know, the book involves some extremely disturbing parts where a seventy-year-old man, who was supposed to be the legal guardian of a fourteen-year-old girl sleeps with her, while he looks at it as a casual fling, the girl gets kind of deeply attached, and things kinda get awkward and uncomfortable from there….so…)

I have been obsessed with this book for the other realistic, heartbreaking and astounding narration that it holds. I’ve been recommending it to literally every single one of my friends. And when I say recommending, I mean forcing them to read it. While some enjoyed it and melted into it just the way I wanted them to, most of them just began focussing only on the creepy pedophile that the 70-year-oldld is, and began arguing with me how much they disliked the book – which begins to upset me, so I just stopped recommending it.

I just….I just wish this book got the attention that it deserves.

  • Avantika: The sequel that made you dislike a series. 

Avantika

New Moon, Twilight series.

I have never felt so much physical hurt of disappointment as I did with the New Moon book of the Twilight series. It was all the detox that I needed to flush the twilight obsession out of my system.

You see, I was once upon a time, a very long time ago, obsessed with Twilight. Probably when I was 14 years old or so – I loved Twilight before it was cool. Before it was a movie. Not just me, my entire squad of friends, couldn’t shut up about Edward and Bella. (Yes, judge me all you want, I probably deserve the shame.)

But in my defense, I was in my adolescence, and Stephenie Meyer just threw to my face a Shakespearean, Jane Austen-ish dreamy guy.

WHAT CHOICE DID I HAVE.

  • Kattappa: The book that has remained your most loyal friend.  

Katappa

Matilda, Roald Dahl.

I cannot put into words how much I love this book! It’s about a little girl, who loves to read, and has a special superpower:  she can move things without touching them. And Matilda uses that power to make the life of people she cares about, better.

This is basically a children’s book, told with a beautiful blend of good witted humor and magical realism.

Every time I go through a rough patch in life, feel challenged or just need to ward off negativity in general – Matilda is my healing magic. It restores love, hope and faith in my heart, in a way that only one other series has managed to do my entire life.

One that deserves to be here more than any other book, but I had to consciously avoid it because I was afraid it would be too predictable.

The Harry Potter Series.

XOXO.

Bala.

To follow the author on Facebook. Click Here. 

To Follow the author on Twitter, Click Here. 

P.S. I tag Priya Darshini, Deepika, Srichandra and Kavya Janani in this tag.

Backlinkyour post to this one, guys – so that I can keep track of the people you tag.

If you’re reading this, and we don’t know each other – consider yourself tagged by me, and let me know about your list too!

Can’t wait to see all the books that would come up.

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20 Comments

    1. Fantastic ….reminiscence of school days …few books closer to my heart…how would I fit in books to the characters? 😱😓

      1. Daarrrlinng! So glad you liked it =D P.S. I’m gonna do a best friends book tag a while later, and guess which one you’ll be? P.S. Please tell me you were not involved in the Vampire Diaries frenzy :/

    2. Oooh, a Baahubali book tag!! Nice one, bae! ❤ But one thing that surprised me was how you viewed Kumara Varma. He was one of the best characters in part two, sweet and goofy with his fear of battle and then inspired to be a brave warrior by Amarendra. He was the one to stick by their side as a protector till his end. I guess I can tag Percy Jackson and the Olympians to him 😀 It's funny and entertaining and consists of so much bravery as well.

      As for Amarendra Baahubali, the book I'm obsessed with and will always be obsessed with is my own – Ethereal, all five parts 😀 Coming to Kattappa, I'm a little hesitant to call him completely loyal and a real best friend, Bala. That's why tagged Priya into my comment, to see what she thinks too. Here in my house, the story of Baahubali is being reasearched and analysed to a huge level by all four of us ( 😀 ), which lead to something about Kattappa my mother said yesterday. And I can't help but agree with her.

      Before the scene Kattappa comes to kill him, he is seen to be begging Amarendra to leave him and go. He could have told him the truth, right? He could have blatantly told him he was sent to kill him. Amarendra tells him everything. And in that scene, he moves him (as well as us) by saying – Neer en arugil irukumvarai ennai kollum aan magan innum pirakavillai, mama – which is one of the most honest confessions. Even if he had to stab him, Kattappa could have been a true friend of his by confessing what he was about to do. I know it sounds eyebrow-raising but I found logic in it. And as for the stabbing scene, he does it from behind, which is one of the illegal ways to kill a warrior, and a warrior like Amarendra Baahubali should not be killed like that. Remember in Star Plus Mahabharat Karna steps down from the chariot to kill Abhimanyu to save him from further torture? He hugs him close and only stabs him from the front, with Abhimanyu knowing what he was going to do. I think if Kattappa had done those, he would have been really loyal, to his bond with Amarendra as well as his warrior ethics.

      I have no idea which book to tag with Kattappa 😀

      As for Pallvalthevan and Ravana, both of them may be romanticised when it comes to Devasena and Sita, but it didn't give either of them the right to seperate them from their husbands and hold them hostage for their own personal desires, to which they should be set on fire for 😀 I should tag the Twilight Saga with these two 😀 The book that is filled with unhealthy and dangerous obsessions 😀

      1. I forgot to add one more thing about Pallvalthevan. Tagging the Twilight Saga to him also means the obsession is forbidden. The way he imprisons Devasena obliterates any romanticism in his desire for her, since he lets her boil in the harsh sun, face heavy rain, thunder and lightning, and has no regard for any physiological difficulties she as a woman will undergo.

  1. Kumara Varma? He was funny, yet persistent; he had great mental vigour. You know why? Because he knew he was a coward and yet, he could not help but imagine Devasena to admire him when she refused Sivagami’s son’s hand. I cannot call him dumb, when he embraces his physical strength at the word of one believer. You’re right, Ishu.

    Kattappa in that scene, Ishu, was being loyal to the Crown. He begs Amarendra to leave him because his heart is not in the task he was about to do. And in his heart of hearts, he WANTED Amarendra to die just like it happened in the movie. Not because he wanted to insult his honour as a Kshatriya, no. Because he wanted his own honour to be tainted with that illegal back-stabbing as he caused Amarendra’s death. It was punishment to his own self that he took up when he killed him like that. Because the mortal disgust of killing someone who called him ‘Mama’ when he ought to have called him ‘Slave’ was not punishment enough. Because he needed that other dent upon his morals as a warrior to haunt him throughout his life. As for questioning his loyalty, he wanted us to question it, ridicule it, and dishonour his name. That’s what he deserved, in his own head.

    (Adding one other thing, he wanted Sivagami to be absolved of all blame in Amarendra’s eyes. No son could ever think that of his mother on his deathbed.)

    For Bhallaladeva, I say this : “He didn’t really love her! Guys, please stop saying that! He was only ever curious of her BECAUSE his companion suspected that Amarendra might be lurking for that much time in Kuntala due to love for her. It was a damn plot! To trick Sivagami into a situation like what happened!”

    1. I can understand your point, babe. Yes, he was being loyal to the Crown, that wasn’t the problem. He had to obey their command. My only problem was the way he did it. You said he deliberately stabbed him in the back from behind since he wished to be haunted by the memory. But if he wanted to be haunted and tainted by something, he should have chosen to be haunted by disobeying orders. Showing loyalty to the man who embraced him as his father/best friend instead of to the devil who treats him like a dog sounds a much better idea, in my opinion. I know he was tied to the throne, but still. He would have been much better off confessing everything to Amarendra. It would have really elevated the strength of their bond – showing his love for Amarendra is more than being dutiful to the throne that seats an animal – plus it’s not like a plan to prove Amarendra had no intention of attacking Bhalla to Sivagami would have been impossible. They have the entire kingdom standing behind Amarendra and Devesena! Who could touch them? Plus, Sivagami collapsed with guilt just hearing Amarendra’s last words of ‘Protect Mother’.

      I shout out the same, babe. Bhalla does not love Devasena! It was just lust coupled with rivalry. Just a chance to steal what Amarendra really loves from him, since he can’t apparently steal the kingdom’s heart away. And that lust turned atrocious the moment he had a chance to hold her hostage.

      Kumara Varma’s persistence and mental vigour is the reason I love him 😀 He has pictures of himself being a warrior hung all around his room, just to wish he was like that. One word of someone’s confidence in him was all it took. He was like Lakshmana when he went with Amarendra and Devasena, being their protector. He was a wonderful character. I was sad when they killed him 😦

      1. He can’t live with disobeying orders. You’ll know that when you read The Rise of Sivagami. He just can’t live with himself. He would have killed himself if he had confessed and disobeyed the Crown. Just like that.

        AND that’s not what he wanted to do, because it’s an EASY WAY OUT. He wanted to live with the shame (backstabbing), the hurt (killing Amarendra), and the dishonour (again, backstabbing). That’s the ultimate suffering. That’s how I defend his action in my head. I’ve accepted it as the most logical one I could accept.

        PS : I hated this decision much more than you could imagine. But, I felt a sense of fierce, maniacal pleasure in Kattappa doing this. I accepted his suffering as punishment. I would have liked to see him suffer more.

      2. I can completely understand your view. But to each his own, I guess. Mum and I think Kattappa’s actions are a bad insult to Amarendra Baahubali, a character who has been given the most majesty and importance. Kattappa may have wanted to live with the guilt and pain, but instead of stabbing him in the back, he could have stabbed him in the chest, right in the heart like Pinggalathevan kills Kumara Varma. Plunging the sword into the heart he was given a throne in would have induced the same agony to live with, but it would have been an honour to Amarendra at the same time, because the sword was driven into the front and not the back. It’s an insult to Devasena too, who had to face the truth her husband was killed from behind, a death that can be delivered to any normal man, who Amarendra Baahubali was not.

      3. And Kattappa needn’t have lived with guilt and pain – as per him unable to live with himself if he disobeyed the throne. He needn’t have killed Amarendra at all. He could have told Amarendra the truth, killed Palvaalthevan, as well as Pinggalathevan if needed to, straightened Sivagami’s head, and then kill himself. Giving people their rightful king would have been his honour.

        It would have been hard for everyone (including us audience, because except this one scene, I really do love Kattappa for being such a wonderful best friend, father figure and comrade-in-arms to Amarendra) to lose him, but in the act of dharma against a guy like Palvaalthevan and a situation like this, not everyone survives.

  2. Yeah, I know he COULD have done all those things. But, I still accept his actions somehow. We’re gonna have the dispute of a lifetime for this, darling! 😛

    The bottom-line on my case is, Kattappa is a complex person. The feeling of loyalty to the throne of Mahishmati binds his self together. Whatever be his heart’s voice, the bondage is prominent and over-powering. He defines himself by that and every desire of his heart is below that. He killed his son-equivalent (when he had none) for that, but he did it with such an effect that it pricks him to even draw a breath of life into his lungs. He sentenced himself with the most cruel thing he could think of.

    And as for thinking it was an insult to Amarendra, I do not think so. I’m not sure why, but, I respected him after death much more than I respected him before. Don’t ask me why!

    Again, Kattappa’s dharma is to obey, not question. Act, not react. Do, not say. That’s his nature.

    Let us continue this elsewhere before Bala murders us! 😀

    Sorry, Bala! 😀

  3. I agree with Priya.
    I understand your points too, Ishu, but I think Kattappa’s whole stance here was a symbolism. We don’t have to quantify it by contrasting it with other heroes in mythology, because that strips away the creative freedom of the plot.
    I agree with Priya’s take on complexity and flaws and above everything else, the main driving element of his character – DUTY.

    Not Honor, DUTY.

      1. Like Priya said, we’ll be here for a long time if we let this debate go on any further 😀 Even though I understand everything you guys say, I’m still unable to take it in and forgive Kattappa. It kind of made him so unreliable (He killed AMARENDRA BAAHUBALI!). One word from whatever monster sits on the throne, and he kills people’s hearts. I know duty is in his blood and he has no search for honour, which I commend, but it’s like Bhishma all over again. I have a dislike for lovely characters who stay on the side of adharma just for the sake of duty. It wrecks havoc.

        But what’s a story without such bedlam? 😀 Or a complex character like Kattappa to drive us all crazy in the process of determining whether he is good or bad?

        Let’s conclude this discussion saying the writers and creators of this saga have done an excellent job in making their characters have a huge impact on us to provoke us to spend time and energy in analysing said characters. Cause I’ll be watching both movies for God-Knows-How-Many-Times no matter what, and will also cry every time I see Amarendra Baahubali dying. And the way he dies! So majestically – the man swings his sword even during that moment – and like a King!

  4. That’s the point, Ishu! Don’t forgive him! I haven’t! He hasn’t! Devasena hasn’t! Nobody has!

    He wants us to hate him!

    And as for dutifully sinning characters, we can never accept them for what they are. But, that’s how life is. I take them with a grain of salt all the time. That’s how I’m taking Kattappa. He’s a good guy. But, his sense of duty leads him over a sinning path. Tomorrow, if Mahendra wants him to kill his best friend, he would still do it. Unless his bonds are broken. I am only thankful for his vow of Brammacharya, because the vow of bondage dies with him because of it.

    And I don’t cry watching Amarendra’s death. I howl like a dog with a broken heart. I cannot even appreciate the majesty of his dying moment properly.

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