Cost: Rs. 399/- Paperback (available on flipkart)
ISBN: 978-0-307-47249-6 (0-307-47249-3)
Some words before I can say something:
“Staring down from my rooms at the bare compound stretching below, I’d feel dejection settle on my shoulders like a shawl of iron. When I had my own palace, I promised myself, it would be totally different. I closed my eyes and imagined a riot of color and sound, birds singing in mango and custard apple orchards, butterflies flitting among jasmines, and in the midst of it—but I could not imagine yet the shape that my future home would take. Would it be elegant as crystal? Solidly precious, like a jewel–studded goblet? Delicate and intricate, like gold filigree? I only knew that it would mirror my deepest being. There I would finally be at home.”
“Mahabharat” almost every Hindu in India knows the epic. Every person must have seen atleast one episode of the B.R. Chopra – Mahabhata but still if a book written about Mahabhata puts you in the readers’ dilemma of the painful near future blow of ending the book but still unable to pull away from it just to delay the blow, it’s not difficult to say you want rate the book a 5 on 5 or even more and that book for me was “Palace of Illusions” by Chitra Banerjee Devikaruni.
Palace of Illusions is all about Mahabharat but from the point of view of the fire born princess of Panchal - Draupadi, who is often blamed to be the reason for the great battle of Kurukshetra. But this book totally wipes off that black patch and pries more into her life, proving prudently that she was human and fate pulled the strings for her. A girl who was not accepted gracefully by a father who longed for a son, whose pride forced her into the worst mistake of her life that would haunt her for eternity, who was torn between feelings but accepted what was chosen for her, who was made to marry five men just for the sake of a mother’s wish,who accompanied her family through ups and downs throughout her life, who lost everything and yet she stayed as a pillar for her family, who had to share the only person she ever loved with her best friend’s sister and who confided and truly believe only in Krishna till her last breath, that is the Panchalli Chitra makes our hearts wrench for.
Chitra’s style of writing breaks the old male centric Palace of Illusion that people had made for Draupadi’s image for ages and creates this new perspective of the life of the strongest female character of Indian history/mythology. Chitra peels every page of Draupadi’s life with a poetic vigour that is sure to captivate the hearts of readers. The interactions between Krishna and Draupadi are crafted brilliantly with complete conviction and dash of truth that even we can relate to easily. The book is a fast read and leaves you on a very high note after the end.
1. You can easily relate to the story and still find things different from what you know
2. An enjoyable read for people even with no knowledge of Mahabharat (including the non Hindu people) and not boring like the usual mythology books
3. The character involvement helps you remember each and every person till the very end and thus easy to keep track of events.
I couldn't find anything actually.
I couldn't find anything actually.
All said and done Palace of illusions is a must read and a book I would happily pick for re-reads. It completely wipes out the haughty queen, culprit of almost everything, male centric Mahabharat’s Panchalli’s image and makes you empathize with her, smile when she smiles, feel her rage, get hit by her humiliation, love her passion and bravery and admire the new and maybe the true Draupadi.