The Palace of Illusions – Book review

Rewriting The Mahabharatha is in itself an arduous task. But to rewrite the same epic from a woman’s perspective is something which is even tougher. But Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has achieved it and what a wonderful story it is.

The entire Mahabhratha in under four hundred pages is  narrated through Draupadi’s eyes. The writing throughout is so beautiful that I felt like I was there beside Draupadi and watched it all – from the Swamyamwar to the dice game, to their exile and the war – with my own eyes. When Draupadi was happy, I was happy. When she cried I could feel her pain. And when she was angered I wanted vengeance as much as she did. Even though we are centuries apart I could empathize and associate with being born in a man’s world. I couldnt help but cry as she narrated the death of Abhimanyu. The author has in her writing described Paanchali as the indepndent and haughty woman that she is. Her relationships with her mother-in-law, her five husbands, Krishna and Karna have been expressed ever so beautifully.

The story itself is so powerful and Divakarunis writing so splendid that as you finish the book you will be a changed person. The language is so eloquent that you cannot help but be moved at the sad yet beautiful story of a woman with five husbands who loved a man she could never have.

This Women’s day go buy yourself The Palace of Illusions and read it because the book celebrates the true spirit of a woman.

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