Wednesday, 1 September 2021

 It's been a while- well quite a while that I have jotted down a review though I have been reading some spectacular books. I am breaking the jinx..and my laziness with this review of the book 'Kunti' by Koral Dasgupta. I have quite a few reviews to pen including of Hindi writers too. So here goes. Hoping that my reading and reviewing keep pace this time.

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Kunti: The Sati Series II" src="" /></a><a href="">Kunti: The Sati Series II</a> by <a href="">Koral Dasgupta</a><br/>

My rating: <a href="">3 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />

Kunti by Koral Dasgupta is the second book in the series of the five satis namely Ahalya, Kunti, Draupadi, Mandodari and Tara. These stories are a retelling of the historical events as we know them through the epic sagas but the gaze is turned away from the traditional rendering of the events or tales. Here the point of view is of the ‘sati’- the heroine who states it as she must have seen it. That means through her the author brings out aspects that are not very obvious or are hidden due to more attention on certain other characters. Though the epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat have women with strongly etched characters and those that can stand apart on their own merit, they are largely seen wading in the shadows of the giants. Giants of the time when society was run mainly through the male thought process, the much clichéd—the patriarchal outlook. <br />And since the aspects being discussed are something that have happened eons of years ago the author has tried to shift the platform from the earth to some other planes where the cosmic lords like Surya, Indra might reside. While there is an incredibility about assuming (imagining) such worlds but the way it is approached indicates a scientific basis of the protagonist in attaining her answers to the puzzles instead of a magical appearance of things. <br />Kunti’s relationship with her husband Pandu is traversed with reasoning mind as to how it must have been for a warrior who was under the wings of the great Bhishma and who might have been riven by his own inadequacies as well as unable to match the charisma of his step brother. That Kunti is able to hold a candle to the latter in statesmanship and war craft and commands respect of all which is otherwise a privilege reserved for the husband, speaks of her ability and stature. Her actions further in the story only underline the maturity of her dealings towards her duties not only as a wife but the elder wife too. <br />All in all, as in all retellings one has to be circumspect about our traditional leanings about our sacred epics not to diss them but to see some overlooked aspects in a different light. <br />


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