Monday, January 16, 2017

Surpanakha was never wronged by Lord Ram and Lakshman; still, we blame them!


You know I love readings books and if it relates to mythology, you've got me glued to every page! It is never easy to recreate the character and the inner world of already known characters - the challenges are many and quite tricky for a writer. 

In the mythology genre, Kavita Kane is my favorite writer.  Her books Karna's Wife and Menaka's Choice had me spell bound!. Kavita Kane brought every character to life and I simply loved both these books. [My post in Writers Melon: Why are Kavita Kane's mythological narratives so compelling to read? ]

                                      [Source: Kavita Kane's Facebook page]

If you have read the Ramayana, you already know a little about the story of Surpanakha - the ''wronged'' sister of Ravana. In this novel, the author gives readers a glimpse of the inner world of Surpanakha - her childhood, her relationships with her parents and siblings, particularly Ravana. 

Surpanakha's nature is vulnerable and strong - an interesting paradox - similar to that of a stubborn child who wants attention and when she doesn't get it when she has to have it, she knows exactly how to get it. She manipulates people and situations to get things done her way even when she knows it boomerangs on her at the end.


The revelations in Kavita Kane's latest novel, Lankas's Princess, tell you why Surpanakha did what she did, why she thought in a certain way and why she manipulated her brother to be provoked by her narrative of how Lord Ram and Lakshman had treated her and all of this finally led to the abduction of Sita.

You also get to know that Ravana is a serial rapist - and the revelation is made by his own sister and mother! We also get to know about the curse on Ravana that forced him to behave like a gentleman towards Sita while she lived in Lanka. 

A couple of times it was tough for me to turn the pages of this book - only because I found it hard to come to terms with a woman as sweet, innocent and yet deceitful as Surpanakha seems to be: a sister who continuously goads her brother to abduct another woman who is already married to someone else and she even goads her brother in the presence of his wife! 


Ravana had loved her more than anything but she plans for his destruction at every step of the way, even at the cost of causing the deaths of innocent family members including her own son and her brother's son!

This book gives me something precious in the end - it tells me that Surpanakha and Ravana were not as wronged by Lord Ram and Lakshman as others made it out to be.

I am most certainly awaiting Kavita Kane's next book because she brings to life a meaningful narrative of mythological characters that have been much misunderstood and maligned. Through her narrative, she creates a realistic portrayal that makes readers want to inhabit that world. 

Who is your least favorite character in the Ramayana and why? 

Do write in and share your thoughts. I'd love to hear from you.

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