Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Mythological Monologues - Book Review

Let me first of all thank Blogchatter for giving me this opportunity to not only get to read the book Mythological Monologues (which I had tabled for reading as I had unfortunately missed to read the posts during the A2Z challenge),  but I also am thankful to  Blogchatter for giving me an opportunity to review this very book as a part of the assigned book review process.

Book Intro - Cover And Title

As the title of the book goes "Mythological Monologues" very aptly describes what the book is about that is monologues of various mythological characters but in no ordinary style. The monologues are in poetic style of the various epic characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Each monologue is an introspective rendition of the mythological character from his or her perspective and pedestal.

The cover page depicting the peacock feather on a yellow silk is very symbolic to the mythological character Govind. But the aura of mythology is not limited to the cover or for that matter to the distinctive dedication. The peacock feather also accompanies you all along carrying with it the essence throughout till the end of the mystical mythological journey.

Sneak Peek Into The Book

Genre - The book might be categorized into poetry genre and mythology based but it is a definite treat for even the non-poetry lovers clan. The narrative of each mythological character as depicted by the author is no less than a short recital like a sing song tale. Each recital deciphering the multifaceted aspects of the mythological characters like presenting the scene of Ramayan or Mahabharat as viewed from their eyes.

Characters & Theme - As the book is based on mythology all the characters are from mythology, taking you back to the memory lanes of those times when you would have either watched these mythological epics cast on Doordarshan or heard of the tales from your grandparents for sure. Most of the characters are important mythological characters and are known but what's intriguing is the perspectives of each of their roles which they played in the mythology battles. 

The book not only delves into the minds of Ekalavya, Bhishma, Arjuna, Draupadi, Sita, Bharata or Lakshman but also of those who have been termed as being on the non-righteous side in the mythologies like those of Karna, Indrajit, Kaikeyi. Not to mention some conspicuous mythological characters that the book has very well highlighted and brought forward their significance as well in the epics like Chitrangada and Urmila. And last but not the least my personal favorite was the monologue caricature of queen Satyavati - the ambitious queen who embraced her vices not batting an eyelid for the galore of judgments! 

Be it the heart rendering and blood boiling scene of Draupadi's vastra haran or the spine chilling scene of Abhimanyu's killing on the battle field or for that matter the earth shattering scene of Janaki deciding to reunite with mother Earth renouncing her ever giving altruism the book describes the contemplation of each character adorning their thoughts in poetic verses of monologues. 

Literary Sense - Considering that the author hails from the field of literature and is an experienced author, the book is rich in terms of literary usage. And when accompanied with the richness of mythology weaved in the interplay of poetic verses it sure leaves the reader mesmerized.

A few quotes from the book that are my personal favorites:

"All my dilemma dissolved into thin air,
I gave up my borrowed beauty, 
And returned to the woman that I am"

"I am the chosen one
Chosen to fight various battles
I may be battered
I may be tired of fighting and losing,
Yet I am fiery and opinionated 
Beautiful and compassionate 
Because I have the lord by my side"

"I would never forgive myself
For failing Panchali on that fateful day
Panchali - the strong opinionated woman
Whose fearlessness always inspired me
To be a better man and a better warrior"

"I-Abhimanyu died like a brave, noble warrior
People will talk about my bravery for ages,
Whereas my murderers will always be
Looked down for their cowardly act.
In my defeat, I triumphed
Through my death, I became immortal."

"How desperately we humans love
The deceptive blanket and material ties!
How fiercely we humans think
Our existence would lose all meaning without them!
How dangerously we humans are
Chained in the web of illusion and attachment! "

"An ideal wife, mother, warrior
I claimed to be with foremost pride.
I was oblivious when the seeds of desire
To be better than queen Kausalya
Gave birth to a poisonous tree
That destroyed my Arcadia."

My Two Pence 

The concept, literature and the poetic style of the mythological monologues is sure to capture your attention. The book in itself coming from an experienced writer is professionally done and is a work of art. Mythology as such has a lot to teach us and especially when the times are trying the subtle lessons coming from our good old mythology are a much needed reminder. The concept of what is righteous and what is not....good versus bad...right versus wrong and why things happen the way they do?! Does every thing that happens have a greater purpose?! Are they all part of a greater ploy of the almighty!? Does each soul choose its purpose its destiny its journey before stepping into this mortal life?! These are some of the questions that the book will leave you with. Mythology being my personal favorite subject this book was definitely a treat for me to delve into. To just read the book it may take an hour with the lucid style and flow of the poems but to absorb the book in it's entirety and bask in it's true essence each poetic monologue is to be savored. This is one such book, the essence of which, even after turning the last page will still stay with you. Although the world has migrated to a more paper light platform of Kindle I personally would recommend to definitely endeavor to print this book going ahead to do complete justice to the work put in. 

The book is available at this link (free download for a limited period) 

PS : This being my maiden attempt at book review kindly pardon me for any shortcomings.

Link to my own book Dots And Streaks is here

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Saibal Barman said...

Have had a quick read of the entire book....the verses, mostly in modern form, are quite interesting to deal with mythological subjects....the touches of modern look are also evident in portraying some Bengali literature, the contrary idea came into being in mid 19th century when Michael Madhusudan Dutt wrote, "Meghnadbad Kavya"....currently, I am enjoying reading through an amazingly analytical writing on Ramayana by Culture Historian, Dr Nrisinga Prashad Bhaduri, which inspires one to have relook into character strength of those, who have been idolized for so long for erratic social perception and religious such context, a lyrical form of character statements of epic figures is definitely a reward to the field of poetry...overall, love it.
Thanks for your beautiful review...regards

Sonia Dogra said...

Wonderfully penned review. You've made me eager to quickly do my mandatory and move to poetry books. Thanks!

Jyoti Jha said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the book Mythological Monologues. You have brought out the spirit of the book beautifully in your review.

Dashy said...

Wonderful review. Thankyou for a glimpse into the book, will read soon. ❤️

Ira Mishra said...

Thanks so much sir... I have conveyed your comments to the author of the book and she was overjoyed hearing to your good words. Thanks so much for talking about the book on analytical writing of Ramayana..will definitely look for it. I had read a book earlier on Mahabharata as seen from the eyes of Draupadi called 'Palace Of Illusions' which was also an interesting read.

Ira Mishra said...

Thanks so much for your good words Sonia. Your book is no less a treat to delve into as well :)

Ira Mishra said...

Thanks so much Jyoti :)

Ira Mishra said...

Thanks so much Darshana... Yes, it is a must read :)

Tomichan Matheikal said...

Purba is a good writer. She has chosen some fascinating characters here.

Saibal Barman said...

Haven"t read the book you'd mentioned....wl read it..thanks

Ira Mishra said...

She indeed has sir... Thanks so much for your comments