Book Review Treat: A mystical majesty, The Woman


A girl’s life isn’t easy. But it definitely is interesting. Just because a woman has to face too many hardships in life doesn’t mean that she is doomed and she cannot be an inspiration to others. Or her life becomes any less meaningful. Rather, it’s her challenges and the grit and determination with which she faces them or raises her voice against them, is what determines her true power. A woman isn’t weak. She’s actually stronger than you think.

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Based on this theme, Ruchika Rastogi comes with a delightful story of a girl who braves it all yet manages to maintain her delicate, lotus like heart. The book “A Mystical Majesty: The Woman” is like interconnected essays forming a theme. The book is divided into various units which follow the journey of a girl through the various stages and the myriad challenges she faces at each step and how she manages the walk with grace and dignity so she doesn’t lose her footing.  Interspersed, there are beautiful sketched pictures of a girl through those different stages reflecting her dreams, passions, vision, personality, character, desire, ambition, setbacks- all in her eyes, smile, body and poise. These images help us understand the concept of the following Unit {as the essays are divided into Units yet all the Essays follow into a common theme and story} and helps us view the woman/girl as a human- someone more than her body, someone more than a corpse. A human with emotions and dreams, just like any other- something that the society conveniently forgets at many occasions. The poems at the end of each chapter beautifully summarizes the essence of the chapter.

The book starts with a Speech of Kiran Bedi which she gave at Pondicherry Engineering College on being a woman and balancing parenting with work. Kiran Bedi is just what many of the Indian women would aspire to be: a strong career woman, a fiery social activist, outspoken and champion for human rights, and with that all a good mother and wife. She shows that a woman is so much more than a doll in a kitchen. She can make so much more impact in the society if only her worth is recognized and encouraged.

A girl’s life starts with the freshness and wonder as that of a dew on a lotus: eagerness and lots of hope for the new world. She is cheerful, bubbly, full of motivation to do something. Something big.

Then the stage comes when people like to capture that jubilance, that airy freshness for their own desires. A man has to have the prettiest girl. Or a very multi-talented girl. Or an artistic girl. Whatever it be, he needs to have the best of the best. Though the girl is happy and herself full of hopes, little does she realize that the bird is entering her own cage. Her days of dreamy flight are over.

Motherhood is an exhilarating time. Even though we imagine it to be full of beauties, it is infact filled with a lot of mixed emotions. Apprehensions, fear, anxiety on one hand. Joy, excitement, hope, positivity on the other. Going through such range of emotions at your must vulnerable yet powerful time is in itself is a challenge. Carrying a child in your womb for 9 months isn’t the only one we get to know!

The following units and chapters focus on evolving relation between the mother and child. From a stage where mum is the child’s superhero to the stage where differences creep in and your mum is not ‘right’ all the time anymore, the myriad emotions a woman faces concerning her child is complex and delicate. Also then there are the challenges of a working mother. How does a woman balance her own identity and her identity as someone’s mother at the same time gracefully. Challenges and unnecessary politics don’t taint the pristine heart of a woman as her strong goals preserve her determination. Why do the men forget the woman who is their colleague/ subordinate is someone’s mother just like they have their own mothers. Would you met out to someone that which you won’t wish upon yourself?

Then comes the sacred crone stage of the woman when all that which made up major part of her identity is slowly falling out from her life like sands amidst the fingers. Her kids have grown up and they’ve made up their own careers. Now is the time the young birds fly away/ enter a new cage as they accept a new life for themselves. The mother as a nurturer and protector isn’t needed anymore as the kids are on their own now. Yet, this is a golden time for her to re-discover and re-build herself, as a new person.

The joys in her life is once again filled with the coming of her grandchildren. What she saw in her kids years back, she can relive once again in her grandchildren. Until, they are old enough to rely on their own parents. And once again the woman faces the new challenge of finding her true self away from the needs of family once again. She is reminded to find her role beyond that of a nurturer.

Supermen are only in movies. But superwomen are all around, in real life! A superwoman is hiding within each girl and perhaps she realizes it only when she has lived life full circle.

The writing style of author is easy to read and relatable. The story is in general essay form, though each essay is intertwined, leading to the main theme. However, it would have been better if the author could have written these as fiction, with stages from a girl’s life illustrated through relatable situations. The book has a lovely theme but this story is only a one time read. A metro read to be exact! The poems at the end of the essay, and sketches at beginning of the essay are wonderful add-ons. However, the Units could have been named as “Stages” since this Unit system gives this book a very kiddish structure, looking more like a textbook than s novel. I would say this book is a decent attempt by the author but considering the author’s background as PG in English and her experience with differently abled people, the bar of expectations is definitely raised high.

© 2016 Mind Pickles


Book Name: A Mystical Majesty: The Woman
Author Name: Ruchika Rastogi

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Salem Witch Trials


I was burned at the trials
Said I was a bitch
I am a witch, I have no hitch
But not a bloody bitch.

I was a witch
The Witch, the Wise
And I wasn’t a Christian.
Didn’t wear a cross on my heart
And this did they despise.

I believed in healing through plants
I believed in songs of the heart
I didn’t believe in war
I didn’t learn careful maneuvering
And that’s where lied my fault.

Thus, I was crucified
Into the flames of fire
The Time stood testimony
To the Injustice
Sprayed on my brothers and sisters
And It laughed,
These Devils
These Rogues
Camouflaging themselves in robes
Spreading the Plague, in the name of God
No Heaven is theirs
Only Hate and Fire
They Did Conspire
And they will rot for injustice
Like your skin did rot in the flames of their evil laughs.

Your ashes rose higher
And Higher
Carried you where you belong-
To Us
Since we know
You were Innocent, You did no wrong.

But these traitors
These Betrayers
Of Humanity
Have no place
They have no face
And they will lay
In the coffins of Burning Hell
No Injustice
In the name of God
Will ever serve you well.

Wear what robe ye may wear
Kiss what Cross ye may kiss
Call what name ye may call yerself
You will still bear the Snake’s Hiss.

On your skin, and Poison will flow
The same way that you did throw
On the lives, on names, and bodies of those
Those who were your innocent foes.

Ye said ye seek for God?
God or Satan, ye Fool!
‘Tis ain’t no work of Saint
Justice is never Cruel.

And the Angels have vaporized
With the bodies of yer victims,
But yours will badly freeze
God needs no fancy dress competitions
No Blood war can be His felicitation.

© 2016 Mind Pickles

A Tribute to those innocent victims who just did the mistake of following a different religion. Victims of bloody wars throughout time, the likes of which have created more and more atheists today. Let’s remember that religions were created for peace and oneness. Let’s not use the name of God for any exploitative act, more often than not which is a result of power play.


  • Salem Witch Trials had more to do with Medicine and Business than mere superstition and religion as many like to believe. The real reasons were Male Chauvinism at extreme plus threat to Medicine Business since these women from tribal communities etc were very adept in making”plant based natural medicines”. Healing through herbs and natural remedies were also considered “evil” and “devilish” in some religions.
    For more info on this, please visit:{No scripture on this Earth will ever encourage violence, murder and power play. Such people betrayed their own community and God. Crime doesn’t have a religion. Crime only has greedy intentions and delusional minds behind play. Do not support any criminal only because he wears the same clothes as you and hides behind the name of the God you pray}
  • Wicca is a religion of peace and oneness. It follows Nature Spirituality and gives a lot of respect to men and women. Especially Women. Witches don’t mean crazy people in crazy dresses. Witches actually mean “Wise”. Connecting to Earth and Nature is an integral part of Wicca. Contrary to stylized, fantasized Hollywood versions of witchcraft, Wicca is a nature based religion……it’s practices and beliefs are very much like the Eastern religions, which celebrate and respect all forms of Nature (all the different gods and goddesses symbolize divinity in all forms of Nature). Wicca isn’t the same as Satanism. No form of sacrifice, murder, violence etc is part of this religion. Nor can it be part of any religion. No form of exploitation or politics can be justified in the name of God.A brief article on Wicca:

    Debunking Myths on Wicca:

  • Human Race can have no evolution unless it learns oneness and peace.

Love’s Myriad Challenges


—- By Aditya Shrivastava

A big part of love means consciously opening yourself up to your beloved and sharing with your partner from what’s best in you. This means consciously choosing and risking being vulnerable and trusting your partner and revealing yourself.

The opening up of oneself occurs relatively easily in the beginning of most romantic relationships because the euphoria of new love encourages this–sharing ourselves, opening ourselves is reciprocated and also helps to increase the mutual intoxication and euphoria of falling in love.

But as love deepens and changes from novel to familiar, it also changes from automatic to conscious and deliberate, from easy to requiring effort and attention and attentiveness. It’s similar to the difference between stumbling upon someone else’s garden and consuming/enjoying in all of the flowers and vegetables and fruits you find there, versus learning to plant and tend to a garden of your very own.

Which means consciously and deliberately choosing to open yourself up instead of waiting to be opened up.

As your beloved becomes more important to you and more and more a part of you, loving your partner means actively choosing to open yourself up to him or her instead of passively waiting for this to happen for you automatically and or because the feeling or mood strikes you.


Consciously opening yourself up to your partner means allowing yourself to be vulnerable to loss, to death, to rejection, to pain, to disappointment—to the full gamut of the risks and rewards of intimacy—which also means choosing to open yourself to the possibility of beauty, consoling, tenderness, kindness, warmth, passion that can only be found in a mutually loving relationship.

Consciously opening yourself up to your partner and the relationship also means approaching your partner and the relationship from what’s best in you.

Thus, a sizeable part of consciously choosing to open yourself to your partner and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and real means trying to remove your own inner blocks to doing this.

And this almost certainly entails courage, insight, understanding, journaling, inner work.

We all have blocks to love. The blocks are not our fault. They are relics from our past, useful in the past because they helped us survive and make sense of what was confusing, new, foreign, dysfunctional, neglectful, even abusive, even traumatic in our past. Those blocks may be useful now, or they may be intrusive, counterproductive, and not needed now. Because now that we are grown and have survived and are in a different environment, different responses may likely serve us better, as well as serve better those we love.

And because we have grown and survived, we are capable of those different responses, if necessary, if warranted.

It will be up to us consider all of this.

And it will be up to us to choose.

We can take responsibility for our own life and relationship by making the choice to open ourselves and give and receive the love that those around us have for us as well as want and desire from us. Or we try to avoid that responsibility by continuing to act from the past and trying to love those around us from behind the safety and familiarity of our blocks and relics, and in spite of our blocks and relics, and see if we are actually able to love and be loved……


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Lack of degree can be good for you


Lack of degree can be good for you
“The lack of a degree is actually an advantage. If you are an engineer or a doctor, there is only one job you can do. But if you don’t have a degree, you can do anything”. —— Shiv Khera

Usually when we pursue a degree, it’s more on the opinions of people and less based on our strengths. However, lack of degree can be a great opportunity for you to pursue experiences for eg. A volunteering experience can pay you much better than a degree for a specific job. So keep exploring and see how you can contribute to the world in new ways. Doing a degree because everyone says so might not be as good as coming u with a new way to approach a problem through experiences.



I believe that when you are pursuing a degree, it takes up so much of your time and you’re only doing your studies on topics that someone has already chosen for you. Sure you took the course by your own choice, yet how a course is devised and what topics will be of more importance is left on someone else and you’re simply to follow that.
Though that’s not an entirely a bad thing (especially if the educational framework takes into consideration what is important and why, what kind of students will this course appeal to and finally makes the effort to keep it up-to-date as per the modern requirements of the society), then even a degree course can be of huge benefit.

But in so many countries, education system is really going through a dark future. In such a case, self education (whether it be completely homeschooling or whether it be supplemented with your degree education) can really be a life saver. Self education blinds all the boundaries of learning imposed on you by the government and the society. You could study what your soul desires for its growth and flowering. It’s like you’re an explorer with a compass and a map, and you have the full freedom to choose where you walk.

Lastly I would say, Life is too short to live like a caged bird. Open the gates, spread your wings and FLY!!!


© 2016 Mind Pickles