The Tenth Rasa

The Tenth Rasa

Product ID: 19919

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Author: Michael Heyman
Translator(s)/ Edito: Sumanyu Satpathy/Anushka Ravishankar
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 223
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143100866


Welcome to the carnival of nonsense—where hankies turn into mischievous cats, a messiah is born with her feet in her mouth, you can fave hun by socking on the ree-raw and your favourite corn cakes are made of . . . are you sure you want to know?

For the last eighteen hundred years Indian arts have been seen in terms of strictly classified emotional effects known as the nine rasas. The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense celebrates, for the very first time, what Sukumar Ray called the spirit of whimsy, or the tenth rasa, through the topsy-turvy, irreverent, melodic genre of nonsense literature.

This fabulous selection of poetry and prose, brilliantly translated from seventeen Indian languages across India, includes works by Rabindranath Tagore, Sukumar Ray, Vinda Karandikar, Gulzar, Dash Benhur, Manoj Das, Navakanta Barua, Mangesh Padgavkar, Sri Sri, Vaikom Mohammad Basheer, Kunjunni and other known, lesser-known and previously unpublished authors. In forms as varied as stories and songs for children and adults, lullabies, folk tales, Bollywood song lyrics and medieval court verse, the writers open doors to wildly imaginative worlds populated by peculiar characters and fantastical creatures, where only nonsense makes perfect sense.

Crackling with wit, wordplay and riotous rhymes, and frequently revelling in pure gibberish, this immensely entertaining collection will delight you from start to finish.


SUMANYU SATPATHY is a professor of English at Delhi University and one of the only nonsense scholars in India. He also specializes in modernism, post-colonial theory and queer theory, among other topics. He has written and edited several books, including Re-viewing Reviewing: The Reception of Modernist Poetry in the TLS (1912-1932) and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and has published papers in various scholarly journals. He has been awarded international fellowships from the USA, Canada and Great Britain.

ANUSHKA RAVISHANKAR is the only Indian nonsense writer published in English in India. Originally a mathematics graduate, she has written numerous plays and works of verse, fiction and non-fiction for children. Anushka’s Tiger on a Tree has won several awards, including the Andersen Award in Italy, and has been included in the 2005 Notable Children’s Book List by the American Library Association. She lives in New Delhi with her husband, Ravi, and daughter, Akshara.




Uncovering the Tenth Rasa: An Introduction
An Indian Nonsense Naissance

Tradition and Modernity in Indian Nonsense

Is Nonsense?

Literary Nonsense

Nonsense in Hindi Film

Folk Nonsence Nursery and Folk Rhymes

Folk Drama

Folk Tale

Never-Ending Tales and Chain Verses

Game Rhymes

Festival and Ceremony Verse

Lullaby and Folk Song

Thorn Texts

The Rising Stars