The Palace of Illusions by Divakaruni 64

Written by award-winning novelist and poet Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, it is a re-imagining and a re-telling of the famous Indian epic Mahabharata. But, there’s a twist: it is told from the perspective of a Draupadi, a woman who is generally seen as the main cause of the great war. The Palace of Illusions refers to the beautiful palace that the Pandavas built and the only place where Panchaali felt at home. It also refers to the Hindu concept of Maya.

The novel takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. It traces the life of Draupadi from her magical birth from fire till her death in the Himalayas. Driven by the fact that she is made for greatness, she finds herself in situations which would be impossible to think of women of those times. From living in exile in forests to being married to five husbands at the same, she supports the Pandavas in all their life quests.

The book also shows instances of her inharmonious relationship with her mother-in-law, her complicated friendship with the divine Krishna, and her secret attraction to her husband’s most dangerous enemy: Karna.

Despite Draupadi is portrayed as a fierce woman constantly forming new rules in a patriarchial society, Divakaruni has succeeded in bringing the reader, lush descriptions of Indian beauty and Hindu grace.

To conclude, though The Palace of Illusions provides a radiant entree into an ancient mythology virtually unknown to the Western world. Divakaruni’s impulse to flesh out the women of the Mahabharat results in a charming and remarkable book.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Does it really make sense to worship Durga when you don’t understand what she truly stands for? 491

 

While checking my FB timeline today,  I was overwhelmed with ‘Happy Ashtami’ wishes. It was so lovely to see Maa Durga in so many different styles and designs. I was scrolling for more and was stopped by a small post by a young girl.  The post had a small message, a question rather straight to the society.

The post said-

Also known as the warrior goddess, Maa Durga stands for strength. She is the epitome of beauty, power, gender equality and knowledge. Increasingly, one looks at her more as a symbol of feminine power rather than a divine mother, for she stands for empowerment.

Just like her, women in India are powerful, righteous and courageous. However, this is truly ironical to what we are witnessing around us. Unfortunately, the society is filled with minds that continue undermining the voice of a woman and treat her as a ‘second-class’ citizen. It’s disheartening to see this hypocritical behavior across our cities, towns, villages, workplace, universities and schools. Does it really make sense to worship her when you don’t understand what she truly stands for?

And I was…left with no words….!!

Does it really make sense to worship Durga when you don’t understand what she truly stands for?

 

We all believe that Goddess Durga is the Supreme Goddess, is the embodiment of Pure Love, Courage, and Divine Light.

She is-

Shakti – Energy

Bhakti – Devotion

Mukti – Liberation

Today on the occasion of Ashtami, I would like to request all that if you worship her as the power of the Supreme Being that preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation and believe that she protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces then start acknowledging the presence of  ‘Durga’ in women around you. Trust me, this is what each woman wants to say aloud to everybody.

She is your Mother,  Sister, Wife, daughter, Friend, Colleague……She is Durga!

YES….Her power reflects in every woman!

Happy Durga Ashtami to All!!

My Life… My Rules..!! But is Your Life Yours Alone? 695

It’s become quite a common line among most teenagers every time they were questioned or been advised on how they move with things in life. I have come across so many positive lines and articles that says your life is yours alone and no one will step up for it. It is only in your own hands that how you rule it.

These things are true, but what they mean is entirely different from the way it is used among the younger generations today. The way the trend is going, many like to say the famous line as “My life, my rules!” bluntly without thinking the consequences and the situation. Yes, our life is for us to live but we must not forget that our life is linked with many others living around us. People who care for us and who love us.

Every time I hear someone tell me it’s their life and they like to do things as however they want, it makes me feel sad because people just don’t know what life is all about.

Do you still think your life is yours alone? Here are a few reasons that explain why it is not-

1. Your life matters to your family

The moment you were born you become a part of someone’s life. Your parents and people who may love you. As you grow older there are lot many others who walk in your life. Some stay and some move on. But is your life alone? No! Your life is linked to many others who love to see you happy. We need to give something to get what we need.

When people decide to take off their life, they do not realize that they do not actually have the complete rights to do that. Because they fail to understand that it is easy for the person who dies, but it is difficult for the person who lives knowing that the one person who he or she loved most is not there with them anymore. So, I strongly deny that your life is not yours alone.

2. We live in a community

A person who tells you that he or she does not care about what the society thinks is the first person who is usually lying. People say that to convince themselves that they do not care, in truth they actually care. It is a reverse mechanism. When you are faced with rejection or some kind of negative responses to something or by someone, immediately many try to think that they do not care. Every human craves for recognition and to be identified for their potential. Instead of showing ignorance, it’s better to face criticism in a constructive way, After all, it is the same society which is going to give you all the things that you desire to be happy. Your existence is linked with the society you live in.

3. Following rules may help sometime

Agreed that some rules are baseless, but many are useful for us. Some rules are made for our own safety and protection. Most often the younger generation becomes agitated when they are restricted to many things. The first thing what we need to recognize is anything too much is not good. It is not the problem of having rules instead it is the problem of not knowing how to deal with them.

4. It is selfish

When someone says it’s my lifestyle, do not meddle, it sounds too prude and selfish to me. There are some people who try to be an unnecessary part of our lives when we are not interested. Some are even toxic. However, there are different ways to make sure that you keep such people at bay. But the way people go on with a rant of “My life! My rules” seems totally a selfish attitude. Sometimes it is also an escapism of laziness in order to avoid taking responsibilities.

We, humans, are social creatures and we need interactions with other people around us whether we like it or not, to survive. We may choose not to care but there are people who care for us more than we like to acknowledge. Hence, do not ever forget that your life is not yours alone. Sometimes we live by rules made by someone else just to keep the people we love happy even though it may not be something we wanted. Trust me, the result will always keep us happy in the end too. Life is to share and live together and care for one another. Embrace it, Enjoy it and Love it with everyone else in it.