Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: The Palace of Illusions

Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Picador India
ISBN: 978-0-330-45853-5
Pages: 360


'Panchali's Mahabharat' - says it all! 

The author has given Draupadi a chance, well deserved, to voice her opinions, feelings and thoughts over the biggest battle of mythological India. 

Mahabharta has always been described as out of the world tale of heroic men, their values, beliefs, perceptions and their outlook of the world and people. The author adds another dimension to the narration of this folklore. 

The book trails the life of Panchali - wife of five Pandava brothers, the story of her birth, her lonely childhood, her relationship with her brother, her marriage, fondness for Arjun, secret emotional connect with Karna, sour yet perfunctory relationship with kunti, undying hatred for Kaurvas and story of her revenge....all in her words. 

The beauty of the tale is though the reader knows the series of events, its characters and the end, yet look forward for Panachali's narration, to know her part of story, the war within herself, her confusions, perceptions and her vulnerabilities. 

A story of a young girl, wife, mother, daughter in law, a princess, queen and finally a distraught wife which grows indifferent and tired with life as she moves towards her end.

A must read for all those who love to dig into history and its characters!

The Outlook has summed it perfectly -  'Divakurani has given Draupadi a powerful voice'!!

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