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Monday, June 04, 2018

Book Review : ‘The Fisher Queen's Dynasty' by Kavita Kane

Read up, 'The Fisher  Queen's Dynasty' by Kavita Kane. The woman, who was destined to be a queen, the lady who was not desired because of the colour of her skin, or the foul smell of fish, which wafted from her very being, or even due to her livelihood. Yet in spite of all these, she rose on to become the queen. Not just any queen, but the queen of the Kurus.

Although, she was not wanted by the man, who had given birth to her, though her twin brother was taken and brought up, at her father's palace. She was then brought up by her uncle, Dasharaj.

Satyavati or Kali was brought up at the fisherman’s household. But Rishi Parashar, who happened to be in the village, needed to be dropped by boat, across the river. So, she agrees only to be desired and wanted by the Rishi and she is also had by him, though he promises her that she can have anything, she desires. 

So, the 15 year old, Satyavati ends up having the child, and gives him up, quickly to the Rishi. The child would grow up to be Rishi Vyas, and would be wanted by his mother again, in the future. And Satyavati, does not remain Matsyagandha, the foul smelling one but turns into Yojaagandha, the musky fragrant one, and also turns into a virgin, once again.

One day, when she takes out the boat again, she is desired by the King Shantanu of Hastinapur. Despite initial reluctance, she is wanted by him. Devavrat, who is forced to take an oath to lead a life of celibacy and renounce the throne of Hastinapur, so that his father could have his impractical wish to marry Satyavati, a fisher-girl.

Shantanu takes on Satyavati, as his second wife. His first wife was Ganga, and she was the one who had given birth to Devavrat, who happened to be the eighth child of the royal couple, the first seven being thrown into the river to redeem them of the curse placed on them. Devavrat, who was born to the couple, finds himself back in Hastinapur, despite spending his growing up years at Mount Meru. Now at, an age when he could have taken over from his father, Devavrat chose to give it all up, for his father’s sake.

Satyavati became the second queen of Shantanu, and gave him two children, Chitrangad and Vichitravirya. Chitrangad was taken away early, but Vichitravirya went on to live, a weakened and drunken life. He was told to marry, the three princesses of Kasi. They were kidnapped from their kingdom during their Swayamvar by Bhishma. Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. Amba, who wanted to marry King Shalya found herself being rejected by him, now.

Ambika and Ambalika were married off to Vichitravirya. He died much weaker, leaving his princesses behind. At this point, Satyavati calls up on her, first born son, as he knew would happen.

Satyavati remains hostage of the terrible politics of the state, turning her into a seemingly cruel queen, who would become the grandmother to Pandu and Dhritarashtra. She lived on a rather awkward life.

She was never wanted firstly by her own father, then by the people around her, all through her life. She was wanted by a Rishi, and then by the King of Hastinapur. She was never treated rightly, by the king, who wanted her and then did not, due to the rules, she placed on him. Her situations drove her to demand, what she did. 

She was a brave woman; she made up her mind, depending on her positions and the kind of power, which she could wield. A slow but steady growth of Satyavati from the baby to a girl and then a woman, a journey that makes us throw up grief and unhappiness. Interspersed, with the few bits of happiness and true joy.

Let us not forget Bhishma, who was born the handsome son of Ganga. He 
remains the hero, yet the person who had the power to stop it all. From the time, he was almost a ‘father’ to his brothers, to the time he could have almost married Amba to Draupadi’s, whose honour he could have saved. These princesses and princes he could have saved, Bhishma now lies on his death bed, to save the honour of Sayavati.

You can Buy the Book, right here.

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