I have been reading this book, nausea, for quite a long time. No matter how short this book is, don’t fall for the less number of pages, it is a lot of content that exhausts an average mind. When I began this book, I read 85 pages in a single go. But then, I didn’t dare touch it for two months. It is not that I didn’t want to open the book; there was never a moment that I didn’t think about it.


Everything I look reminds of “nausea”. The way Jean-Paul Satre wrote the book, he takes time to explain everything around the character. The character hits an existential crisis and begins to observe everything around him keenly. He begins to explain everything to us in a detailed manner. We are reading his journal, the pages left from his diary. His name is Antoine Roquentin, and his dairy explains all his thoughts and feelings about everything.

There is a page where Antoine explains how he felt anxious when he thought about his existence. He keeps reminding himself that he exists. And he keeps repeating “I think therefore I exist” in his mind numerous times and at the end, says, “I think therefore I am moustache” and loses it! He begins to question everything since he picks up a rock to skip it in a river; begins to question the essence of stone, and since then, he asks the nature of everything.


He begins to contemplate people, their actions, lifestyles; doesn’t see meaning in doing whatever it is. And he questions everything in a rather radical manner by drowning in absurd imaginations. Jean-Paul Sartre has carefully written the thoughts of Antoin in a way that while reading the pages that consist of anxious thoughts, we feel nervous too. I found myself observing everything in a more detailed manner and started describing things around me after reading 85 pages in a single go. I’m like Antoin too, and this book acted like the rock for him in his story.

Ever since I have read those pages, I became sensitive to smell. I began keen on observing the smells of everything. I even had a vomiting sensation, literal Nausea after sniffing certain smells. All the world is smells, visuals, audio, touch and taste. And there is nothing more to it; I feared reading this book any more. I needed time to continue reading this gem. And I have overloaded myself with it. After this overdose, something continued its journey with me—the meaning of this particular book.


Even though I have more 80 pages to read, I somehow knew where he was leading with the rest of the book. The effect that the 85 pages have done to my mind, I had the thoughts of Antoin for next 80 pages. I understood Antoin, and I suffered from similar views. I knew where Jean-Paul would lead me next. And I had existential crisis myself at the age of 19, and it was four years ago on 21st September that I first this ‘nausea’ that Sartre calls.


This Nausea bothered me, and I had cried multiple nights because I didn’t know anything anymore. Everything seemed false because nothing had any meaning. I don’t know if this is how it feels for everyone, but the way Sartre had written it down, I could relate to it. I resumed reading the remaining pages to see if I was right and yes, I was. And I predicted right, and it went over like I thought it would. But it was more beautiful than the first half of the book. He did not just raise multiple existential questions; he tried to resolve it.


Even though the resolution is not correctly baked, even Sartre knows that. He didn’t claim to have answers for the problems. Instead, he ended with a note of temporary patches that Antoin would do to avoid Nausea. It is a significant literary work as its style is new, post-modern and unique. Not only for its academic brilliance, but it is also philosophically sound. Unlike other books which claim to be resolutions of your life and offer fake solutions through influence, Nausea is pretty much straight forward and asks you questions. It is up to you to resolve those questions, or you can choose to embrace them.

Indian literature is something I have always adored from the culture of India. Today, I am going to give you a brief insight into Indian literature, which is not exclusively known all over the world. But it is always appreciated and loved by every person who knows about it.

Literature-

The beauty of Indian tradition is that it is one of the oldest kinds of literature in the world. It is primarily written and essentially oral format literature.

Usually, the language was used to compose songs, recite poems and later was slowly converted as a written form. 

One among such kinds of literature is Sanskrit literature which is very close to India’s heart. It later has been used to create many languages.

Sanskrit-

Using Sanskrit as a base, India has officially recognised 22 languages. Many pieces of literature have been produced in these languages over many years.

In Indian culture, Hindu literary traditions have been dominant due to its large part of occupance in the literary work. The Vedas, which are considered a sacred form of knowledge, is the most privileged part of Indian literature. 

There are many other works like the Hindu epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata, treatises like Vaastu Shastra for architecture and town planning, and Arthashastra for political sciences. Works like the Vedas, Upanishads, and Manusmriti which are a part of Hindu holy texts are still used by many people in various parts of the world. 

Some other literary works like the Tamil literature has a rich literary tradition going back to 2000 years. It is highly known for its poetries in epics, the philosophy and the secular forms.

A few other literary works that made the golden era of Indian literature are ‘Mricchakatika’ by Shudraka, ‘Abhijanam Shakuntalam’ and ‘Meghdoot’ by Kalidasa, ‘Ratnavali’ by Sri Harsha and ‘Svapna Vasavadattam’ by Bhaasa. 

Chanakya’s ‘Arthashastra’ and Vatsyayana’s ‘Kamasutra’ have also been mentioned in academics. Arthashastra has been taken as a base for the economic framework of India.

Indian literature has its traces in the vernacular languages of the northern Indian stories of Krishna and Rama like religious love poems written in Maithili (eastern Hindi of Bihar) and 12th-century poems by Jaydev, called the ‘Gitagovinda’.

A huge part of literature was produced in the form of personal devotion to a god especially addressed to Rama (who is considered as an avatar of Vishnu, the God). The Avadhi (eastern Hindi) works of a writer named Tulsi Das, and his ‘Ramcharitmanas’ includes this type of work. 

In the early stages, many people like gurus (founders of the Sikh religion) like Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Arjun Dev, composed bhakti hymns in the devotion of their deities. 

My personal favourite is the Rajasthani princess and poet Mira Bai who in the 16th century, expressed her love and devotion in lyric verses to the lord Krishna in an exceptional manner. A Gujarati poet named Narsimh Mehta also did similar work.

Hindi-

It started as religious and philosophical poetry in medieval periods in the form of dialects like Avadhi and Brij. Writers like Kabir and Tulsidas are the most famous figures from this period. In modern times, the Khadi dialect was used more which lead to the creation of a variety of literature in Sanskrit.

The first prose written in Hindi was Chandrakanta, a prose written by Devaki Nandan Khatri. Munshi Premchand, a Hindi novelist, Maithili Sharan Gupt, Jaishankar Prasad, Sumitranandan Pant, Mahadevi Varma, and Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ are the most famous figures from this period.

In the recent 150 years, many writers have contributed to the development of modern Indian literature. Rabindranath Tagore, a writer from Bengal, was the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize for literature (Gitanjali) in the year 1913.

English literature-

With the influence of Western ideologies and the introduction of the printing press in the British era, a literary revolution occurred. The writers wrote mostly for supporting the cause of freedom struggle and for removing the existing social evils. 

The great examples of the English literature in India are Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Vivekananda. Ram Mohan Roy’s campaign to introduce scientific education in India and Swami Vivekananda’s works contributed to a great part of English literature.

Several other writers like R.K. Narayan, who wrote novels and tales of the village in southern India like ‘Swami and Friends’ and Mulk Raj Anand, who wrote novels like ‘Untouchable’ (1935) and ‘Coolie’ (1936), became famous in the modern period of India. 

Among the younger authors, Anita Desai, who wrote famous novels like ‘Clear Light of Day’ (1980) and ‘In Custody’ became famous.

Novelists/ writers like Arun Kolatkar and R. Parthasarathy, Toru Dutt, Sarojini Naidu, Aurobindo, Dom Moraes, P. Lal, A.K. Ramanujan, Kamala Das, Raja Rao, Khushwant Singh, Salman Rushdie, K.R. Sreenivasan Iyengar, G.V. Desani, M. Ananthanarayanan, Nlissim E Zekiel, Bhadani Bhattacharya, Manohar Malgonkar, Arun Joshi, Kamala Markandaya, C.D. Narasimhaiah, Nayantara Sahgal, O.V. Vijayan, and M.K. Naik are also well-known for their works.

Among the latest writers are Sashi Tharoor (‘Show Business’), Allan Sealy (‘The Trotter-Nama’), Amitav Ghosh (‘Circle of Reason’, ‘Shadow Lines’), Vikram Seth (‘A Suitable Boy’), Upamanyu Chatterjee (‘English August’), Vikram Chandra (‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’) and Upamanyu Chatterjee (‘English August’).

Women authors like Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize Winner for ‘God of Small Things’, Jhumpa Lahiri, 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner in Fiction, Shobha De, etc. have taken a boom in recent times of the literature.

You can find more about Indian literature here- http://factsanddetails.com/india/Arts_Culture_Media_Sports/sub7_5a/entry-4236.html

Vincent Van Gogh grew curious towards butterflies and moths between 1889 and 1890. He liked the metaphorical representation of human transformation through the Metamorphosis of insects, and especially Moths and Butterflies. When he was drawing such transforming creatures, he found this beautiful Moth. He described this moth as ‘Death’s Head Moth’ to his brother in his letter. Also in this letter, Van Gogh said he wouldn’t like to draw it because to draw it, he has to kill such a beautiful creature. It did take him a lot of thinking, but in the end he drew this Great Peacock Moth and added to the collection of his Butterfly Series. The thing that made Van Gogh curious was the shape this Moth carried on its back. It looks like a human skull. And the colors of it; dark greens and grays; it looked like death to Van Gogh.

The reason behind his interest in butterflies, as we stated earlier was his metaphorical interpretation towards human transformation. Van Gogh believed that humans have the capacity to transform; not physically, but mentally. He wanted to symbolize this characteristic of transformation by pressing on to the concept of Butterfly and Moth metamorphosis. He used his butterfly series to symbolize hope and transformation in humans. He wondered about the possibilities present in the universe when he started drawing butterflies. He used to think about the prostitutes in brothels that he used to meet when he thinks of metamorphosis. He talked about hope referring to prostitutes and butterflies. “Like the caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly, imagining the various possibilities in the world, what may these prostitutes become in the future?” he wrote in a letter to his friend.

The Metamorphosis

Crawling on the green leaves,
I saw the kids joyously jumping and playing with the butterflies.
Looking at all the colorful cousins of mine, 
I decided to be the one with most of the colors on me.

Every time I chew on the leaf,
My only thought is to progress.
To progress enough,
For me to fly high, with the wings of my own.

Crawling inch by inch and eating all the leaf,
I shed my skin in the hope of gaining new.
Each time I shed my skin,
I think the time has come.

But each time a new skin comes,
The more disappointed I become.
The pressure on me is un-imaginable.
The stress to be the best.

Have no thoughts of becoming something else,
Have no plans of what to do next either.
But my goal was just to thrive.
To flap my wings and make people smile.

Saw my friends shedding their final skin.
Saw them build a nest,
Saw them break it out,
And saw them fly away.

Each day passes,
I become more sad.
Is this my final form?
Can I not transform?

But thinking about it made me hate,
Hate the thought of not transforming.
Swallowing the grudge that I carry,
I started despising the colorful winged creatures.

Began to wonder my unique nature,
Began to observe my difference.
By now there is no confusion,
It is evident that I am different from those who crawled with me.

Somewhere inside,
Even when I don’t want to accept,
I know that I am not one of them,
That I can never be a butterfly.

Days have passed,
And the pressure increased too.
Shed my final skin,
Built my own shell.

Curious were the kids,
To see what color that I would turn.
But I don’t wonder anymore,
That I already know that I’m different.

Days passed and changes began.
I don’t like myself anymore.
The darkness sucked me in,
Into a big void.
And soon it became me, the void.

I tore the shell and came out.
Shocked were the kids but I don’t care.
I heard a cry instead of a laugh.
My reflections didn’t look colorful.

But I knew it long back,
That I will turn up gray.
I don't want to cry,
Because not my mistake.

Being a butterfly,
Would be a mistake.
For I was never one with those color winged things,
I have always been the Great Gray Moth!

Mistake was mine,
To dream of being them.
But no matter what you think I’m,
This is my Metamorphosis.

This is my tribute to the thought of Metamorphosis of Van Gogh. For him it was hope, and for me it is change. Change that you have when you finally knew yourself; the true yourself!

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