Name-The Palace Of Illusions
Author-Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Category-Literary Fiction, Mythology
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, who teaches creative writing at the University of Houston, is the author of this book. Her works have been translated into 29 languages, including Russian, Dutch, Japanese, and Bengali, to name a few. Many of her works have been adapted into films and stage productions. Her other notable works include Arranged Marriage, The Queen of Dreams, and The Mistress of Spices.
Wherein today's world, women are coming up and playing their role in each and every field, born in a completely Patriarchal society a woman so strong who not only bore the social stigmas but dared to speak up against it, we had Draupadi-the daughter of king Draupad also called Panchali-the wife to 5 husbands. This is not just Mahabharata but Draupadi's Mahabharata, the events viewed from the sight of a woman. The author has developed a well-written Indian epic that uniquely covers the full Mahabharata era. The epic weaves myth, religion, philosophy, history, science, superstition, and statecraft into its innumerable stories-within-stories to create a rich world filled with psychological complexity. At the core of the novel lies the great Mahabharata war between Pandavas and Kauravas.
Here are some highlights to how Draupadi bore a lot in her life as a woman:
1.She was born from fire and was isolated in a separate palace and everyone used to talk about her due to her dark skin.
2.She returns to Kunti with other Pandavas after being married to Arjuna in her Swayamvar, and Kunti asks them to share whatever they have between themselves, making her the wife of five husbands.
3.She gives up her dream to marry Karna in favor of Arjuna.
4.During the Chausar game, the Pandavas lost everything, including Draupadi, who became Duryodhan's slave.
5.Duryodhan, who asked his brother Dusashan for vastraharan(disrobe) in front of a packed court, humiliated her and caused her to lose her self-respect. Dusashan pulled her hair and dragged her to the court. There were wise men, rulers, ministers, rishis, and her husbands, but none of them lifted their voices to stop such a heinous act. So that Dushasan gets tired, Krishna made Draupadi's saree infinite.
6.During the war, everyone blamed Draupadi for starting the conflict, including many women.
7.After the war and years of Pandava rule and crowning Parikshit as the king, Draupadi along with Pandavas carry their journey towards the Himalayas where Draupadi falls off the edge of the road and lands on a plain, where she spends some time and dies in vain. Since the Pandavas were ahead and it was against the rules to take back measures, none of the brothers approached Draupadi for help.
We get to know that in Draupadi's entire life, in childhood she had her brother and in her later life, she had Krishna as the only true companion who understood her well.
This novel, along with Draupadi, is a fantastic source of inspiration for all modern women. Despite all the hurdles, she stood strong in society setting an example for the rest of the world. The work depicts not only Draupadi's trials, but also other realistic parts of life and human conduct in many situations, and it teaches us a way of life. Conversations between Arjuna and Krishna, and all other events from the story give valuable life lessons.
Aren't we all pawns in the hands of time, the greatest player of them all? -Krishna(The Palace Of Illusions)
Until next time, stay strong and keep moving despite all the difficulties.