This is the 21st Generation, and we have Gen X and the next generation citizens reigning the world. But what remains unchanged is the ever debatable books or epics like Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Also, it is to be observed that the women characters of these epics that were once confined to only the tales and the books are now being studied in detail. There have been many books in the fiction genre emerging with this as the central topic. The female protagonists of the stories are the reflection or the mirror images of the then-women characters but in a new avatar! Be it queens or princesses or warrior princesses, many of them are inspired by these two epics.
IRA MUKHOTY is the author of Daughters of the Sun: Empresses, Queens and Begums
of the Mughal Empire and Heroines: Powerful Indian Women in Myth and History. Living
in one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, she developed an
interest in the evolution of mythology and history, the erasure of women from these
histories, and the continuing relevance this has on the status of women in India.
She writes rigorously researched narrative histories that are accessible to the lay
reader. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband and two daughters.
In this connection, talking about Ira Mukhoty‘s book – Song of Draupadi stands apart!. Apart from the mentions of the ever-talked superheroes of the epic story, the main focus on the character of Draupadi is something worth reading. Mahabharata itself is a massive treasure box of tales in it, and weaving them together with Draupadi as the central character makes the book interesting.
Ira Mukhoty is one of the celebrated writer\author for her previous works and exclusive characterisations. Though they may not please profound literature acumen, the detailed writing and sub-stories written out of fiction will surely entertain the readers who look for novelty in old stories. This trend is quite popular in today’s Indian fiction writing. Many other contemporary authors took myth-fiction as the main subject and woven iconic stories that went on to create a tide for nearly a decade. There have been new women authors who focused on the women characters from the epics, and Ira joins the group of these writers who primarily focus on the women characters.
There is a lesser book that discusses or talk about the women characters who took life-changing decisions, who were strong enough to hold the significant loss that occurred to them and their families, who were brave enough to fight with the most demonic men, who were brutally virtuous to defend their integrity and many such. Though these women are merely mentioned, there are certain women characters who are never even discussed. In this book, Ira Mukhoty also focused on Drapadi’s mother and her helping-aid in detail that is worth mentioning.
The book cover is an intense art of Draupadi depicting many emotions in her face. The magic of modern art in showing Draupadi will surely make the readers pick up the book. The language in the book is simple and straightforward. Though the vocabulary seems not to make a great impact or is pleasing, the grammar is fine. The narration, which is as smooth as water, also illustrates Draupadi’s longing and unconditional love towards Arjuna. The ever-debatable system of patriarchy is logically yet thematically described through many events\incidents.
The narrative of Mahabharatha takes a new face when the story is re-told from a woman’s perspective, and this is proven here. This talks about the amount of research and study that the author has done for the book. In one of her previous interviews, author Ira Mukhoty said that when she checked on the female characters from epic books like Ramayana, she wanted to explain to her daughters and was astonished that no such study in details was present. These women from the warrior lineage are often portrayed as submissive, weak, and male-obedient characters. Taking into account then and now prejudices, situations, could-have-been-the-reason type decisions, physical and appealing descriptions, this book – Song of Draupadi is an assertive expression of Mahabharatha.
Reviewed By – Swapna Peri at Criticspace Journal
A passionate book reviewer, writer, narrator, translator, and copy editor, Swapna has a B. Tech in Computer Science and is a former SAP Technical Consultant. She is the writer, narrator, editor, and translator for three books published with Literoma Publishing, Kolkata. She created and manages the “Book Reviews Café” official blog and Facebook page that contains all the book reviews. Swapna is also a content writer and reviewer with Storizen Magazine, CriticSpace Journals website, The Literature Times website, The Asian Review website, and The Literature Today website. She is a columnist with one of the leading women’s websites in Telugu named ‘Vihanga’.
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