Hellllooooooooooo again !!
We have a LOT of stuff going on in India recently
But amid all the tension, I am back with yet another book review, this time it is The Curse Of Gandhari by Aditi Banerjee
I still haven’t recovered from the Mahabharata addiction and I am still reading stuff about it.
So here is a review of yet another book related to the epic
As you might have read in my last book review, which was about THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS by CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI, I talked about how this book was from Draupadi’s perspective.
On the other hand, this book is from Gandhari’s perspective, who, her whole life and after has been criticized for being a bad mother to her children as well as has been topic for debates on whether her decision to blindfold herself was out of spite or was it seriously for, as she claimed, “prevention of experiencing the world her husband couldn’t” (Dhritrashtra, her husband, was blind from birth).
I feel that her THIS action was THE MAIN cause for all the misfortune that followed her sons and her family.
If she had not blindfolded herself (which I till date believe was out of spite), she would have been able to take better care of her 100 sons !!
(look at luck. A blind mother who has to bring up 100 sons !! plus 1 daughter !!! god !)
That was some simple discussion. Now on to the REAL book review
I found this book quite VERY interesting
Because I was reading the Mahabharata from a character’s perspective that Ii despise from the very beginning
I don’t know, a lot of people defend Gandhari on her actions, but from inside I am never able to accept these justifications
A lot of people defend her because of the “conditions” she faced throughout her life. But one thing is clear here, she chose to blindfold and push herself towards darkness. She at least had an option in that, if she didn’t in marriage.
The thing I liked was this book was very open ended.
The people who like Gandhari and support her actions would also like this book and the people who don’t will too.
The book displays her life, from the moment she was about to get married until her end.
1. The story is from Gandhari’s perspective and what she thought and went through in the epic of Mahabharata. But she isn’t exactly the STORYTELLER in the book. The story is told from a third-person but the only focus is Gandhari
2. The timeline of the story constantly keeps changing.
The story starts with her being in a forest where she, Kunti and Dhritrashtra (accompanied by Sanjay, his chariot which is the only person that CAN be considered as his friend) have gone 15 years after the great war, to seek penance
They are sick and tired, specially Gandhari as she has refused to eat anything.
The only thing they want now is a peaceful death
Both Kunti and Dhritrashtra are somewhat excited. (Kunti is contented of all the good deeds she has performed and is happily interested to go to heaven. Dhritrashtra THINKS that he too s going to go in heaven and it excited.)
The only person who is doubtful, not happy or contented, is Gandhari.
Cause she believes that she hasn’t done anything good that she can feel contented about.
She has only one day to live
And she is having flashbacks
And the flashbacks are what we are getting to read
I personally REALLY liked this book.
One can feel the emotions that this book is filled with.
Quite honestly I would like to give this book a 5/5 cause:
- The format in which the story is told is original
- The idealogy of Gandhari shines bright in the book as compared to THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS, which was rather a drab representation of her views and thoughts
- In context to the 2nd statement, one could feel the original vibes from it. I can guarantee that whoever reads this book will at least get to know one more new thing about Gandhari and her life. For eg., Gandhari and Satyavati had a very good relationship in the beginning cause they both very intellectual, knew how the court works and diplomatic. Also because they both had their set of problems which they could share
One more thing I have to say
Although Draupadi and Kunti were portrayed as the heroines of Mahabharata, no one knew how to manage a kingdom or the principles or the working of the court better than Gandhari
But her one foolish decision resulted in the neglection of all the rest of her qualities which at that time only a few possessed
THAT WAS THAT !!
Hope you enjoyed as much as Ii reading the Book
Do give this book a try
Perf for people who wanna know more about this underrated character
Giving this a 5/5 for the solid potrayalof Gandhari’s character
See you next week
TA TA !!