Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Book Review : 'Lanka's Princess' by Kavita Kane
Well, Kavita Kane is back and I am sorry that I could not come out with a review earlier, but here it is, nevertheless. ‘Lanka’s Princess’ is a book, that makes it complete. Nowadays, I have begun to enjoy mythological fiction, with all the twist, I guess it needed. With Anand Neelakantan taking care of all the male figures, whom I have enjoyed and I guess they all deserve the kind of good boy imagery too, we now have Kane handling the female figures… and deservedly so… Always did wonder about Surpanakha and now, she seems to have gotten it.
A very well researched book, it shows Surpanakha as the earliest, Meenakshi. The daughter of Kaikesi and Rishi Vishvaras, who is as hard as nails but needed to fight back against her mother, who did not like her because she was a girl-child, and a dark skinned one, and also her brothers who were on their own trips and her father too, at times, when she was expecting support from him. The only love, she got was from her brother, Kumbha, but it never was enough. As time goes by, Ravan is the ‘destined’ ruler of Lanka, taking it away from his step brother, Kubera.
As Ravan is cursed, that if he takes any woman, if she does not wish it to be so, he is destined to be hurt very badly, but Kaikesi fights her war against fortune, itself. Meenakshi falls in love with Vidyujiva, who is Ravan’s enemy. Everything seems to fall in place, and Vidyujiva, who seems to get on with Ravan, is suddenly killed in the battlefield, when he goes to fight with him.
The two had a child too, Kumar. Meenakshi, who is now at loggerheads with her brother and family, who had accused him of cheating, not once, but many a time. She runs away from her immediate family, to find solace in the forest of Dandak, with her uncle, Mareecha. Her anger is unabated and threatening to kill Ravan, and preparing Kumar to slay him. But fate has it in for her, since Kumar is killed by Lakshman, quite by mistake, and Meenakshi, who is now destined to be Surpanakha, will have to find her way again.
Anger and desperation lead her deeper into Dandak, and she meets Ram, Sita and Lakshman. As, she wants to find a way to kill Lakshman and Ram, she also thinks of a plan to kill Ravan too, but she ends up getting defaced and hurt badly.
Then, it was according to her plan that she goes to her brother complaining of all the atrocities done to her by Ram and Lakshman. We all know the story of what happens after.
As we know what happens to Lanka and Ravan, after but there was much more to happen with Lakshman. The story goes on to explain what we might have missed in the entire story, and how the Ramayana was also Meenakshi’s story as much as it was Sita’s, later.
There was so much more to the story, Kaikesi’s own story about how she got Lanka back again and Ravan’s never ending quest for power. With Meenakshi’s own struggle for the best in her world, her ways of finding her own finest things in the harshest ways of the world. How fate had played tricks and how she ended up the way she was, the poor Meenakshi ended up playing Surpanakha in the entire play of Ramayana.
Whether you feel sorry for her, or if you feel slightly bad for her fortune, it might be completely up to you, but if she deserves this read, the Kavita Kane, you have nailed it...
You can Buy the Book, right here.