The book is the fifth volume in the Penguin series on ‘The Story of Indian Business’ edited by Gurcharan Das. This book has been authored by Arshia Sattar and is a collection of short stories and carefully selected extracts from well-known Sanskrit works.
It could be asked how a slim volume of 23 short stories and extracts could add value differently from that created by reading the main source materials since all the latter are themselves available in English translations by several eminent persons not excluding the current author herself. Ramayana, for instance, is available in several high-quality translations and commentaries all of which have high readership even while the original Sanskrit (Valmiki’s) and Hindi(Tulsidas) versions themselves get recited across cities and households and social gatherings on a near daily basis. Several go to the extent of saying it is their guide to life. The moot point is ‘which life’? Spiritual or the Mundane? That of the ‘hereafter’ or that of the’ here and now’? Take for example the case of Ayodhya.