A Mythological Craft has been edited by Nidhi Shah.
It is with unbound exhilaration that today I write about one of my most prized choices of books. One of the finest pieces of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Palace of Illusions.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni indulges in writing beautiful and critical pieces, always revolving around the life of Indian women. In this particular book, her choice of words to represent the story of the epic, The Mahabharata, is splendid. She infuses the words with such power, that they put the reader into a trance of reliving the epic. Enclosed in the body of the woman, who brought the downfall of humanity.
Chitra Banerjee also manages to brew in the philosophy of Krishna’s words through the Draupadi’s reflecting thoughts. Moreover, from Urvashi’s rejection from Arjuna, the Haughty Kunti’s words to Draupadi. Also from the irrevocable devotion of Bheem for her, and the fragile egos of all mortals, in spite of their puny purpose of existence.
The writer puts all the characters in the frame of importance, describing their role, presence in the most precise manner. One would since realise that as they read through the novel. The book also has the right touch of romance. It has the escalating emotions of love breeding in Draupadi’s heart for the glorious Karna, son of the Sun God. That happens to be essential to display the emotions which people forbid to feel in that era.
Women, in ancient India, in spite of receiving respect, never really received much recognition and consideration. They were mere people, the outrageously aspiring dreams of the kings to conquer the world surpassed them. And this was what instigated Chitra Banerjee to write this incredible epic from the perspective of the glorious queen, Draupadi.
She had many roles, first of all, daughter of the most powerful king, Drupad. The sister of Drishtadyumna who was to kill the greatest saint of that time. The wife of the five most powerful warriors of all time, and the devotee and friend of Krishna. She portrays herself as a fiery woman, with an inquisitive spirit. Burning for the desires of recognition like her brother since childhood, she prudently establishes herself as a symbol of feminism, reaching out to all even today.
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