We are at the cusp of the year 2015 awaiting for the new year to be exuberant all through. This year I have been lucky to read many mythological based novels which enriched my knowledge on various subjects. Although I am not the kind of reader who runs behind a particular genre, mythology has attracted me for the sake of how authors try to be different from the usual context of the yesteryear stories and how they make their own stamp in it.
I have been so curious to read the book Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged when I received the mail. The cover design illustration was particularly nice giving a indie feel intriguing the readers. Kudos to the designer for the excellent design. The author Utkarsh Patel tries to present his version of the tale of Shakuntala from the Mahabharata based on Vyasa’s original characterization.
The author had portrayed Shakuntala as the women who is bold expressing her views without fears, debates with the well learned sages like a modern day woman. He also visually depicts to the readers the patriarchal society that existed during her age. The author has established a link with the readers by presenting the stories in a continuous manner starting from Shakuntala’s childhood in the ashram, her meeting with the King of Hastinapur Dushyant and their marriage & separation due the curse and their reunion.
The fictional characters he has added as Shakuntala’s friends and Dushyant friends are adding good support for the flow of the story. Particularly when three friends see the peahen when Shakuntala worries about the marriage engaged to Priyamavada. Also the author gives his views on the patriarchal society through the thoughts of Shakuntala which was very satisfying.
The debate made by Shakuntala with his foster father Sage Kanva about Sati Ahalya on how she was made the victim while she was a scapegoat and her conversation with King Dushyant about hunting proves that Shakuntala was no lesser than a bold girl which every woman must acquire but at the same time be humble expressing her views in front of the learned and the aged.
The story was linear and is very helpful to the readers with the continuity without meandering elsewhere staying intact with the main thread of the tale. The peahen ignoring scene and the thoughts of Shakuntala on the same was the one I found particularly wonderful where the author has inscribed his stamp on the minds of the readers.
I haven’t yet read the version of Kalidasa’s Abijnanashakunthalam, so I found Utkarsh Patel’s version more interesting as this was the first time I am reading more about the wronged woman Shakuntala. The views are expressed clearly without sugar coating and the characters add much flavor to the tale reminding in the readers mind even after finishing.
Any mythology book lover would surely love this book. I finished the book in a single sitting and the narration wasn’t allowing me to keep the book down. The Time chapter was something unexpected. So its time for me to search and read the Shakuntala by Kalidasa.
About the Book :
Title : Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged
Author : Utkarsh Patel
Publisher : Rupa Publications
Genre : Mythology
Copy : Review Copy
ISBN : 978-8129137463, 8129137461
Kindle Edition : Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged by Utkarsh Patel (Kindle)