The Palace Of Illusions

Jan 28, 2014

The Palace Of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
My rating 5 out of 5 star
To start with, I love the title The Palace Of Illusions and the way it was used as a metaphor to Draupadi's earthly body when she was dying. Coming to the story, one reason we read Mahabharath over and over is the beauty of its characters, rather their complexity I should say. The palace of Illusions is one such reason to re-read Mahabharath - the story told from the view point of Draupadi. 

Now that am expecting to see the story from Draupadi's viewpoint, I would expect to know her feelings, perceptions and thoughts. Draupadi's childhood, her feelings for Karna, her palatial desires, her distress in being a witness to the war and for having been a cause of it, her state of mind post the war have been depicted very well. Few places like when she was subjected to being the wife of five husbands, being humiliated in the court of kauravas, her post-marital status in panchaal, her relationship with the other wives of her husbands and her motherhood could have been dealt more deeply. I feel that could have given this retelling a more feminine touch. At the same time, the author does succeed in bringing out the restless nature of Draupadi throughout the book. I liked the reminiscences of dying Draupadi. 
I particularly enjoyed the depiction of Krishna as a minor king acclaimed by few to have divine powers. I also liked the portions where the author hints about incidents and leaves the rest to be either understood or researched depending on the readers  knowledge on Mahabharath. Overall, it is a thought-provoking take on Mahabharath.
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1 comment:

  1. I loved this book too. It was a very refreshing read with a different touch of perception. I agree with you about need for detailing more in some areas where Draupadi's emotions would have been high.


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