Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas by Trisha Das is a roller coaster with all the perfect elements of brilliant new-age fiction, as I like to call it. It is a fun-filled, joyous ride about four women from a forgotten era of time. This one-of-a-kind book, which also has a sequel, explores the “what if” perspective, delving into an account in which these four ladies decide to visit Earth and explore the realities of “Kalyuga.”
You know, there haven’t been many books that I’ve enjoyed re-reading (aside from classics and bestsellers, of course!) That is because there is very rarely such interesting stuff put in there for me to be able to read it all over again and still enjoy it. I mean entertainment. You know, like when you’re pursuing and reading a title solely for the purpose of a breakthrough, or indulgent reading, as they call it? I also like to refer to it as “happy reading,” because these titles always make me smile.
Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas by Trisha Das, is one such title for me. A story that is a mix of so many exciting genres, this is an amazing perspective, more like a foray into a probable “what if” kind of fictitious scenario where the writer Trisha has tried to explore what all could transpire when a system takes place wherein 4 women from the golden echelon of time decide to cross over the wheel of life and mortal boundaries, re-visiting Earth, the very place they have lived and gone away from. With Draupadi planning a “romp” to the earth disguised as mortal beings, this is one escapade she and the others, namely Kunti, Gandhari, and Amba, decide to undertake to explore the ways of the mortal world in the Kalyuga. Being “fed up” of sorts with their perfect kind of life in heaven, when these four, who have each had a powerful history and a past of their own individually, decide to visit earth, what must happen but a hilarious, spellbinding, extraordinarily magical journey of unlimited proportions?
From the time the book starts, I was really smitten by how, in spite of having a mythological character base, Trisha kept a unique, fresh approach to them and even the plot. Yes, mythology does not appeal to many reader groups, and yet twisting it in such a way that you are actually nudged to go back and check the facts and history of these characters is surely a one-up for the writer
Coming back to the plot, the way Trisha has sketched each and every one of them, well, one word for it: fabulous! Draupadi is a free-spirited, restless, highly intelligent soul who has waited all her life for the right validation and freedom from wrong “hashtagging.” I loved how she has been portrayed; her clarity of thought, her perception, and her ideologies are so powerful. I was particularly taken with her aura and demeanour in this one.
There is Kunti next—the mother of the five Pandavas. Again, it was an insightful experience to be able to see through and realise how she, as a mother, has indeed sacrificed herself to give her kids the best. And yet, even in the Kalyuga era, Karna’s struggles and relentless strivings continue. Isn’t it heartbreaking?
Then comes Gandhari, mother of the Kauravas. Another lovely viewpoint is provided by Trisha in the form of her character, who highlights her flaws and expresses her concerns. Trisha’s perspective was refreshing, a different stature to Gandhari, which is so intricate and yet speaks of wisdom on another level.
And then there is Amba, probably the Mahabharata’s most undervalued character. The way Trisha has created the entire love story between Amba and Zafar makes you go, “Wow, I wish I had an admirer like her.” So ordinary, a mortal “regular” love, has she yearned for aeons? It is a treat to read the entire vortex of emotions Amba brings to this fictitious account. Yes, love is the most important thing in life. Blessed are those who are loved; blessed are those who are respected and validated, and Trisha’s writing contains far more than the amusing fictional account this story appears to be at first.
A smart and fun premise, there is so much brought to the table with this one by Trisha that it only made me go back and admire what I always say and believe in. Yes, the written word has a lot of power, and works like these demonstrate how! The plethora of characters created, the emotions they bring, the message Trisha puts across, and most importantly, the manner she has chosen for this to be a one-off, unique experience, is what makes you want to go back to it again and again. Women have been fighting for their rights, their space, their spirit, and, most importantly, their presence and identity for centuries, which we all know but refuse to acknowledge… And yet, bringing it all across in such a fun fiesta that entertains you while also providing much-needed insight is a winning combination.
A brilliant piece of writing You will laugh, cry, be cupid, wicked, and sensual (I adore you, Zafar and Amba). And finally, you will go bananas with this colourful rigmarole that Trisha has created. A carnival of colours, a riot of laughter, a celebration of life, a scattering of emotions—I mean, there is everything you’d desire in this one. (BTW, there is Shashiben too; yes, she is a goddess, but I won’t reveal which one, so go and read it to find out, you guys.)
The reason I go back to it every time is the same. Solace, simplicity, and a sense of fulfilment As a reader, as a human, and most importantly, as a woman.
Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas
So, I hope you guys liked my thoughts. A Humorous Take on Mythological Fiction—Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas
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