Mythologies have always intrigued me and this particular pick ‘ Palace of Illusions’ by Chitra Banerjee had a lot of recommendations before it came to my reading list. Ahh!! The stories of Mahabharat. I have grown up reading and listening to various versions of Mahabharata but this one was different. The version of Mahabharat from the Draupadi’s viewpoint.
Though we have often come across while reading Mahabharat that how Paanchali’ better known as Draupadi has been the cause of greatest war of relic times ‘Mahabharata’. From being born from fire(ygaya) to the wife of five Pandavas , the greatest warriors of that time, her journey has been nothing more than the life of a warrior.
“She describes herself as the princes who lodged for acceptance, the guilty girl whose heart listen, the wife who balanced her fivefold role precariously, the rebellious daughter in law, the queen who ruled in the most magical of palaces, the distracted mother, the beloved companion of Krishna, who refused to learn the lessons he offered , the woman obsessed with vengeance-none of them were the true Panchaali“
B. Chitra, The Palace of Illusions
About book: The author has beautifully narrated the epic from the vision of Draupadi. The reason behind her birth, her relationship with the father, her liking towards Karan inspite of being married to Pandavas and the ideology with which she was brought up. Being a female herself, the author was able to bring out the hidden emotions of a queen who had a lot to contribute in the history. The book discusses all the major event that happened during dwapar yug and how Draupadi being a part of it reacted to the events that changed the course of her life.
Language: The language of the book can be easily comprehended and the author leaves no stone unturned to hook the readers to the book. The characterization of the main characters has especially been taken care off so as to maintain the sanctity of the literature.
Title of the book : ‘Palace of Illusion’ the title of the book is well thought off as the seed of the greatest war was planted in the magical palace known as Indraprastha. A palace where everything was magical and illusionary, right from corridors to room entrance, gardens and fountains, etc. Draupadi’s attachment to her luxurious life and loosing it out to Duryodhan after Chausar always ignited her urge to get it back.
Recommendations: It’s a good read especially for people who love reading fictional and mythological stories but I would not comment on facts mentioned by the author. There are different versions to our mythologies but this read is different as it caters to the female version that has been regarded as heroic in their deeds. All together it’s an interesting read.