Kama: The Rid­dle of de­sire

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - - Comment - Sud­hiren­dar Sharma let­ters@htlive.com ■

KGur­cha­ran Das 548pp, ~799 Pen­guin ama or de­sire has a com­pelling qual­ity that preys on hu­man vul­ner­a­bil­ity of­ten at the cost of the other three goals of life or­dained in the scrip­tures, Dharma, Artha and Mok­sha. Overt em­pha­sis on th­ese three goals may have de­val­ued kama to the ex­tent that its im­mense creative force has been left un­ex­plored by most. In re­al­ity, mid­dle-class moral­ity has placed kama solely within the sen­su­ous­ness of a hu­man body, lim­it­ing it to the idea of ro­man­tic pas­sion that ful­fils one’s ca­pa­bil­ity for (sex­ual) plea­sure alone. If it is in­deed as de­plorable as it is made out to be why do philo­soph­i­cal trea­tises and an­cient texts fea­ture it as one of the four goals of life?

With an as­tute mind and a keen ro­man­tic eye, Gur­cha­ran Das pieces to­gether the rid­dle of de­sire to re­store some bal­ance as kama con­tin­ues to os­cil­late be­tween what he calls kama op­ti­mists and kama pes­simists. While the op­ti­mists seek to draw a mean­ing­ful pur­pose of life from it, the pes­simists con­sider it a hu­man lim­i­ta­tion.

A FIC­TIONAL MEM­OIR, THE BOOK IS AN AM­BI­TIOUS UN­DER­TAK­ING ON BAL­ANC­ING THE DI­CHOTOMY OF KAMA’S EX­IS­TENCE IN THE BODY AND ITS RE­FLEC­TION IN THE MIND AND ITS ROLE IN FIND­ING THE MEAN­ING OF LIFE

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