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Book Review: Song of Draupadi by Ira Mukhoty

Song of Draupadi
Author: Ira Mukhoty
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Rating: 4.5/5

The stories inscribed in mythology often invite various perspectives that elicit debates on the correctness of the actions of the characters and the viability of their stratagems. Mahabharat is one of those stories. Several perspectives and multiple theories have been perpetuated in our minds since time immemorial. One such character whose actions and spirit are constantly under scrutiny is Draupadi, the common wife of the five Pandava brothers.

Combining the voices of ten women from Mahabharat, Song of Draupadi is a concoction of several female personalities who made their way through the patriarchal society to pave a path to their own destiny. Written from the perspective of Draupadi, this book successfully takes the readers on a journey that not only promises courageous moments of triumph but also delivers vulnerable moments of sorrow and helplessness. The balance among several emotions that cloud the overall atmosphere of the story makes the narrative euphonious. Right from Kunti, Gandhari and Ganga to Satyavati, Gauri and Draupadi, each woman has a distinct voice. What might surprise the readers is the insight with which the author lucidly illustrates their state of mind. Using vivid imagery, the author deftly captures the essence of every moment- whether it is the yearning for a companion who could have stayed back and taken a break from strenuous walking or the dilemma of leaving behind all the people/things she loves so that the tradition of marriage can be carried forward- each scenario is laced with words that exemplify the feelings.

Song of Draupadi is crisp and doesn’t falter at any point. Well-researched and bold, this book keeps you hooked till the very end. Overall, Song of Draupadi explores the lives of several women in a different light even though they all meet the same fate as was decided by their destiny at the time of the events. Brilliant writing! Highly recommended!

Best wishes to the author!

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