Which given names are unique to your language, country or culture?

Malayalam Although Malayalam is a relatively new language as compared to the more ancient languages from which it was coined, there are (were?) some given names among our lot that I haven’t heard being used in any other language. Before I go any further, I need to explain a bit of history behind our naming…

Who are some pre-vedic deities?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I assume that by the term ‘pre-vedic’, the question refers to the Vedic time period and not to the vedas themselves. As I understand it, the present day deities have come to be worshipped only over the past 4000(?) years or so. Prior to that, I have observed from my…

Why are religious stories not called “mythology”?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Hmm… mythology. A word I hate with a certain passion. Each time I see it being used, I feel a sense of anger bubbling within me. The word ‘mythology’ originated from several European languages with the root word ‘myth’ which is basically a study of some kind of folk stories…

Why is colorism so tolerated in India?

Answer by  Raakhee V. Menon: Because in India (and in most South Asian countries, for that matter), fair skin automatically translates to beautiful. It doesn’t matter if the facial features are far from perfect. As long as the person is fair, they are considered as beautiful/handsome. I don’t think this is an age-old system, though….

What are some things every Indian should know about Indian history?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I’m sure many of you would have seen Shashi Tharoor’s video that was in circulation on social media where he is seen verbally bludgeoning a person who asked a cheeky question regarding the contribution of the British to India. For those who haven’t watched it yet, here’s the video…  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_fHt523H0o…

Is the Telugu movie Bahubali a real story from history?

Or Fantasy script created by Director Rajamouli Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: As per his own admission, the story of Baahubali is a work of fiction that took form in the mind of S.S. Rajamouli’s father K.V. Vijayendra Prasad. I had, however, come across the name of Mahishmati earlier. I have seen it mentioned in…

Are there any mentions of Afghanistan and Tajikistan in Hinduism?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Present day Afghanistan and Tajikistan were very affluent kingdoms during the Vedic period. The kingdom of Gandhara is said to have been located in and around present-day Afghanistan. Gandhara was one of the most respected kingdoms of the time, so much so that the illustrious Kuru dynasty chose one of…

How is King Dushyanta related to Mahabharata?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: It’s a long lineage spreading over several generations from Dushyanta to the main heroes that we are familiar with in the Mahabharata, viz., the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The entire lineage has been traced in the Adi Parva Book of the Mahabharata. I have added the link to the page…