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Palace of Illusions, anyone? (Page 2)

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without-fathom

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without-fathom

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Posted: 18 May 2012 at 3:26am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Vibhishna

I haven't fathomed deep into Mahabharat yet. I am still in the learning stages.

But, I'd love to learn more. It does help to view the situation in another aspect or point of view. There was a book on Ramayan written from Ram's point of view. That book gave me a whole new perspective and I did learn quite a bit from it. I'm still trying to gather more in depth information on Mahabarat and the legends that led to the epic.

Incidentally, from where does the book start with? Since, its from Draupadi's point of view, I was wondering if it started with her Swayamvar or some time earlier.


P.S. I'm a fan of Sherlock too Wink

Actually no. That is another thing I like about the book. It is narrated from Draupadi's POV. But it does cover the entire epic. End to end. It just looks at Draupadi's life events through her eyes in subjective and objective hindsight patterns - and at the rest of the history and future and events that unravel around her, before her, or later - as instances as she views them in her "opinions". 

Originally posted by varaali

@ lola610,

Ashok Banker has come up with a series on Krishna? As if butchering Ramayana was not enough.Angry

@ Vibhishna,

Me too- Sherlock's fan.



I'm the unaware kind of mytho follower who just picks up the books and series in watching out of intrigue than anything else, upon recommendations from friends - since I'm not even a Hindu to know from home, so to say! 

ps: Aah, Sherlock fandom prevails here too Blushing

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..RamKiJanaki..

IF-Stunnerz

..RamKiJanaki..

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Posted: 18 May 2012 at 7:00am | IP Logged
Hi dear,
 
Nice topic! It's been a while since this forum has had some hard-core discussions, so thank you for opening this thread. We can use it to discuss other mytho-based novels written from the characters' perspectives.
 
I did read Palace of Illusions, but I didn't really like it.Embarrassed One of the major reasons is that it kind of butchered the character of Draupadi for me and made her seem like a base human. Yeah, she was a human, but she is said to be the avatar of Ma Shakti, and the way the book portrayed her...being constantly desirous towards Karna and feeling bitterness towards her husbands...is not how I'd like to see the character portrayed. Draupadi was a great woman, with fire and anger, but also gentleness and virtue in her character. The Palace of Illusions ignored her virtuous side and just portrayed her angry one.
 
Generally, I am not fond of feminists writing books about characters like Sita or Draupadi, not because I'm not a feminist or anything, but because feminism has no place in our sacred puranas. Sita and Draupadi were already great women without feminists attacking their characters. In books, I absolutely detest seeing Sita complaining about her "treatment" from Ram during the Agni Pariksha or Bhumi pravesh, or Draupadi being portrayed as a manipulative calculating woman similar to Manthara.
 
I think characters should be portrayed just as they were in the actual story. No one has the right to tamper with them just to portray feminism in the dwapar yuga or treta yuga, where it was non-existent.

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without-fathom

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without-fathom

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Posted: 18 May 2012 at 7:48am | IP Logged
^^ Hiya there (what should I call you?) 

And I'm glad to be in the middle of people who're up for discussion too! But my opinion in this case is quite the contrary to your's and interestingly on exactly similar contentions. 

Like you, I'm not a fan of feminist writings - not just in mytho, but at large - I just have twisted ideologies about how asserting feminism in fact like showcasing the imbalance, rather than bringing it to justice. But put that aside. For me, Palace of Illusions was not a feminist writing at all. It was the story retold from a female's POV, yes, looking at aspects and things as a woman might, rather than a man - and that makes a huge difference if the literature student in me can assert so! - and I thought it was well done. 

I want to add that at no point of my argument do I intend to slight your religious sentiments about any of this - so if I still err accidentally please overlook it as entirely unintended. Since I'm not from this religion, and agnostic in my thinking might be quite a factor at play in our difference of perceptions - but I do mean no offense at any point to anyone.

The thing is, for me, Mahabharat has been about reading a story - over and over to a number of times that I lost count of years ago - because somewhere within this epic I find literally every face of the world there is or can be. So far, the book has never failed me - it's like I can turn back to it at any point of my life and discover new ways to identify with characters, situations - if not personally, then at least in my understanding of the world around me. For me it has been that one story which is so complete, that it leaves out nothing. No shade of humans. No virtues. No vices. 

But what REALLY stands out for me in Mahabharat - more than Ramayan (which seems to be the more popularly followed epic on this forum? LOL) is that I can connect, even with the "God-incarnate" characters at a human level. The exact reason, that you quote for dissent from the book and Draupadi's portrayal in it. I find it me to recognize, comprehend and imbibe a lesson FAR more and better, or just even connect with a situation - when I can see it in human perspective. It doesn't mean I forsake their divine powers. It's just, that empathy goes a BIG way for me in connecting with it. In finding it instrumental as an exemplary epic that I can look upto and back at in some real life flesh and blood situations. I seem to find that kind of connection with Ramayan very loose. For me, Ramayan is that upper pedestal story with all glory and romanticism intact (not romanticism in the typical teen sense of course! but just in the way the tale has been glorified to a divine level at every nuance). I read that story, enjoy it, even have character preferences and take sides, lol - but I learn much less, than I do from Mahabharat. Ultimately, when it comes to my own life, situations where I can draw parallels and think about applying lessons, Mahabharat is more the guide. 

ps: Once again, really glad to just have people to talk this out with. Articulating thoughts just makes me even understand my own understanding better. And healthy dissent after all is the inception to widening our perceptions! Big smile

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Posted: 13 July 2012 at 9:47pm | IP Logged
Don't know if anyone is still up for discussing it still but just saying that..I loved it! :) some parts more than others of course and there were also parts i didnt like but overall I loved reading from the prespective of Draupadi who to say the least has always intrigued me :)
Theres a lot more I want to say about the book if anyone is still intrested in discussing it :)

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without-fathom

without-fathom

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without-fathom

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Posted: 15 July 2012 at 4:34am | IP Logged
Oh I do I do!!! But I'll probably take a fortnight before I can be back here! Got a week of crazy wrapping up schedules before I take off for a week of vacation - but am TOTALLY up for getting into this discussion after, if you are! 

Word to what you said about the different insight looking at things from Draupadi's POV - I think what I really liked about it was how much more I could empathize with her character, connect with her part in the story - given her flaws. Somehow her being greater than an ordinary woman with greater fortunes and destiny became more real and credible than a debatable mythical account, viewing her from this much closer first person narrative! And I could entirely put aside the make-believe Karan angle, and still connect much much better with just the journey she scales from being a child to a girl to a lady to a woman... to an individual at the end of her time... 

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Posted: 15 July 2012 at 4:23pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by without-fathom

Oh I do I do!!! But I'll probably take a fortnight before I can be back here! Got a week of crazy wrapping up schedules before I take off for a week of vacation - but am TOTALLY up for getting into this discussion after, if you are! 

Word to what you said about the different insight looking at things from Draupadi's POV - I think what I really liked about it was how much more I could empathize with her character, connect with her part in the story - given her flaws. Somehow her being greater than an ordinary woman with greater fortunes and destiny became more real and credible than a debatable mythical account, viewing her from this much closer first person narrative! And I could entirely put aside the make-believe Karan angle, and still connect much much better with just the journey she scales from being a child to a girl to a lady to a woman... to an individual at the end of her time... 

Wasnt expecting any replies but YAY there is someone! Big smile
OMG girl that Karan angle gave me a heart attack in the beginning, i pretty much went crazy searching up all over the internet initailly when I thought that what if it was true...thankfully it wasnt not only because it would lead people to point fingers at Draupadi who is already a pretty controversial character but also because she already had so many depressing incidents in her life and that one would be a bit too horrible, thinking that she never got true love either .Ouch 
See after reading the book I kind of realized that it was great for enjoyment and a lot of it was fairly true as well, but it could only be taken so far...In reality many people have referred to Draupadi as some goddess incarnation not any normal woman, and that is teh case for many Mahabharat characters..In fact I've heard things like Arjun was also not just any ordinary being hence the Geeta updesh wasnt really for him as he was intelligent enough anywyas but the whole thing was created to teach mankind a lesson..So I know in general that Mahabharat is not a story of normal human beings like us, yet I also admit that I still love thinking otherwise and it sure helps me connect more. Smile Their individual flaws just make it the more intresting and that whole mystery of whether they were Gods or not just makes it more mysterious and magical!...I've alwyas been a big Mahabharat fan, simply because it shows both the good and the evil. If you look at all teh individual characters, hardly any of them we completely good or evil...some where really evil nonetheless but you know what I mean? believably evil with maybe a drop of goodness somewhere. 
As the writer of the book, I think the author had a tough task in front of her simply because of the length and depth of the Mahabharat and I know she could only go into so much detail..I definitely think I liked the beginning portion of the book better as I think the second half was somewhat rushed..If I were to pick out my favourite parts its deinfitely the ones with Krishna whom I really adore. Embarrassed I know the author took a stance where Draupadi never had an idea or acknowledged that Krishna was God. I actually liked that a lot, because I guess this is what made Draupadi's adn Krishna's relationship more stronger and friendly because she literally considered him as a BEST FRIEND hence had no qualms complaining, fighting or sharing her grief with him. Smile
LOL I could keep writing but I guess Ill wait for you. And dont worry if it takes a fortnight..Im up for discussing Mahabharat anyday! Big smile

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