Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Palace of Illusions

If you were born in the era of Mahabharat (I mean B.R. Chopra's TV series Mahabharat) then you might be able to remember that when the series started in India maximum TV sets were sold.

The roads would be vacant on Sunday mornings. At my house everyone would just drop whatever they were doing and the entire family would be glued to the TV. I was a kid then and enjoyed the arrow fights, magic parts. I watched it again and read few books on it when I was a little older and at that time I could really understand the drama in it.

I don’t know if Mahabharata ever happened as it is told today. If it didn’t occur in real and just happens to be a novel by Vyasa then what an astounding piece of imagination…!

No novel in the world can be compared to Mahabharat. It’s fascinating story, fights, captivating magic and most of all intriguing characters… It has probably the most convoluted character personalities ever written about so far. Mahabharat stories are every Indian’s fascination, something that they hear in their grandmother’s stories. We all are in love with everything about it - anguish, vengeance, covetousness, the supernatural, philosophy, odium, splendor, bravery, heroism…

We love everything about the characters from the bottom of our hearts – they are haughty, kind, egoist, greedy, vindictive and enigmatic. Each character is unique and none is straight forward with all good qualities… they all have shades of grey.

No wonder in India they say each fight’s reason is a female – Biggest war in the history of India (they happened thousands of years ago and now we do not have any proof whatsoever if they really happened) Ramayana and Mahabharata happened because of Sita and Draupadi respectively… I would say they were the stimulating agents.

Palace of Illusions is a book by Chithra Banerjee. It is based on the life of Draupadi – the woman – the epitome of Femininity and Feminism.

I have no words to explain how much I liked it… it is just awesome!