Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Mythology, Realism, Magic! Take your pick...
Lately, I have been reading quite a bit of mythology or what I call a whole new world of modern mythology. Have noticed quite a few themes about the authors who have been delving into this world of magic mixed with science and reality.
We have come a long way from the time that Valmiki and Veda Vyasa wrote the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. And we would always have the erstwhile C Rajagopalcharis, Ashok Bankers and the Devdutt Patnaiks of course, equally wondrous and fascinating, but what makes the newest breed of authors different?
The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi, Govinda by Krishna Udayasankar, Asura by Anand Neelakantan or even The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi are all different in their own right. They are adventuring into a new world of the not so godly gods, in all their avatars, but with a mixture of fascination and respect, I’m presuming, towards not just the text, but the entire theories in themselves.
There is all the talk of plots, adventures, action thrillers and even romance and sexual liaisons, all described with the same dexterity and ease, which one finds in the modern day novel, which probably has nothing to do with mythology. In fact, the language used in books by Amish, Neelakantan and Udayasankar; a mixture of modern terms and the age old words is fascinating.
What is it that makes them absorbing? It was probably the humour, which Amish writes with, or the anger which Anand Neelakantan shows towards Rama’s world, or it could be the smooth mannerisms of Krishna, which is put forward by Udayasankar and Sanghi.
There is a whole new set of opinions, whether it is creative storytelling or intelligent retelling. Call them what you will, interpretations or imagination they definitely make good reads.
I was interested to know of the hint of romance between Draupadi - Krishna in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s 'Palace of Illusions' and Govinda - Panchali in Udayasankar's Govinda. Also, the father/ daughter linkage of Ravana and Sita in Neelakantan’s 'Asura'. Or even the whole concept of the nuclear weapon and the Brahmastra, in Sanghi’s 'The Krishna Key'.
Of course, we might have heard in passing of these interesting facets to the story, but in these narratives, these plots are given a little breathing space, actually a whole new room, so as readers, we are allowed bits of our own imagination to take wing.