From the bestselling author of Kari comes a brilliant new interpretation of mythology. Combining stories from the Adi Parva which precede the main narrative. Amruta Patil’s Adi Parva is a feminist retelling of the Mahabharat, with an interesting focus on its women characters. Review by Sandhya. Adi Parva: Churning of the Ocean | Amruta Patil. Worth its weight in gold. To know if a tale is worth its weight in gold, check if it reveals itself.
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Book Review | Adi Parva: Churning of the Ocean – Livemint
Adi Parva is the story of the Mahabharat as it stretches into infinity before the birth of the Pandavas. With stories nested within stories and told in the format of a graphic novel, the book begins with blood red panels. Red with the blood spilt on the land of Kurukshetra, in a war of titanic proportions.
A sole vulture zooms in on specks of white: The story is told by a woman sutradhaar the narrator — not just any woman — the river Ganga herself in human form, a mute witness to all of history.
No longer mute, though, as she tells the tale to those gathered, wanting to know more. This sets an unusual, feminist tone to the narrative. It is a narrative in which the women are often overshadowed by the string of glorious achievements of the male characters.
That is how history has always been recorded. The writer gets under the skin of these women and tells it like it must have been through their eyes, their emotions, aptil and wishes. We feel the pain of lost dreams with the beauteous Gandhari when she is tricked sdi marrying a blind king.
The horror of the unwanted sexual relations forced on Ambika and Ambalika who are reduced to no more than wombs which carry the heir to the throne. The rejection felt by Amba when she is spurned both by her intended Shalva, and later Bheeshma, when she turns to him, since his hasty actions were the reason she lost the life she had dreamed of.
Amruta Patil also brings forth the strength of her women characters, forging their own way in a social landscape that is obviously patriarchal. The forthrightness of Shakuntala in the way she speaks to her husband Dushyant about the truth and the rights of her son.
Fantasy Book Critic: GUEST REVIEW: Adi Parva by Amruta Patil (Reviewed by Max Gladstone)
The steadfastness of Kunti in her support of her husband, despite the rejection she suffers. Ambawho speaks up for her rights, literally fighting to avenge the insult to her womanhood.
And of course, there is Ganga, not just the sutradhaar of this book, aamruta also a player of calculated unpredictability and passion. There is also the commentary made on the actual story, thinly disguised as the narrative.
The Mahabharat is an immense narrative; each re-telling and each reader finds different perspectives.
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There are layers in the narrative, revealing fresh insights. As Ganga says at the end: You may sit atop gold like a clueless, territorial dragon, but what you do not understand can never be your own. Amruta Patil is a writer to watch. The very title of her book Adi Parva promises sequels, as there is the hope that she tackles each parva section of the Mahabharat with equal panache; as does the passing on of the baton of the narrative by Ganga to the wounded Ashwatthama at the end.
We get a small share of the proceeds — every little bit will help us continue bringing you the content you like! I am also immensely fascinated by Mahabharata. Review by Sandhya Renukamba Adi Parva is the story of the Mahabharat as it stretches into infinity before the birth of the Pandavas.
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