Insta Gita by Nupur Maskara: Book Review

Title: Insta Gita

Author: Nupur Maskara

Genre: Self help, Poetry, Religion, Theology

Insta Gita is a transcreation of the Bhagavad Gita, a poetic version of the verses in the scripture with the author’s added poetry, giving reactions from Arjuna’s perspective.

Review

The Bhagvad Gita has 700 verses in Sanskrit. While this Hindu scripture has acceptance across religions in India and is referred to as a guide to living right and with purpose, the original requires an in depth study.

Nupur’s Insta Gita distills the essence of the 18 chapters of the Gita in easy English language verses, summarising the important points, followed by author’s own little poems which are presented as reactions from Arjuna’s viewpoint.

The Gita is set as dialogue between the Pandava Prince, Arjuna and his charioteer, God Incarnate Lord Krishna as they stand in the battle field, ready to fight Arjuna’s extended family, the Kauravas.

At the moment of the commencement of the battle, Arjuna is beset with doubts. It is then that Krishna speaks to him of his duty, also elaborating upon many other philosophical concepts. This philosophical treatise becomes the text of the Gita.

For the layperson, it is difficult to wrap around one’s head around the philosophy that is propounded in this ancient text. And it is here that Insta Gita comes to the rescue of a reader like me, who has never read the original scripture but only come across a few of the learnings.

The book is divided into 18 chapters, each chapter talking of one part of the philosophy. The text captures the essence of the original and keeps it relatable and interesting.

The chapter names are not cryptic at all. I particularly liked the chapter names, God Zilla and Living La Vida Calma. In fact, the entire book is a friendly exposition of the deeper principles. I also found the usage of words like FYI, methinks, The Three Musketeers, K for Krishna as little steps that demystify the text and make it feel accessible.

The highlighted text in each chapter makes it easier to assimilate the important points in each chapter.

As a pointer to the practical usage of this knowledge in a person’s daily life, Nupur ends each chapter with a little poem of hers. She addresses Lord Krishna as K., which immediately makes the reader feel that the verses are accessible to anyone. She speaks from Arjuna’s perspective, of how he tries to use this philosophy in his life, training his body and mind.

Arjuna pauses midway
Between war and peace
His mind splits in two
Whichever way I choose
I know I’ll rue
But first to mine own self
I must be true

What works well

The format and the design of the book is very attractive. The heavy, prohibitive Sanskrit verses are transcreated in a form that is easy to follow.

The coloured pages, the summarising of the salient points and the little endearing images give the book a very contemporary feel.

The book ends with a colourful, easy to understand infographic on the Bhagavad Gita and how to use it in everyday life.

About the Author

Nupur Maskara likes writing short stuff that packs a punch. Expectedly, she began her career in advertising and is now in content writing. Her friends have branded her frequent blonde moments as Nupurisms. Read more of her work at her blog.

Verdict

Insta Gita packs a punch of wisdom in these bite sized verses that summarise the Gita’s main teachings.

Read it as a refresher and an immediate reference text.

Get the Kindle edition from Amazon.

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