Draupadi – The Tale of an Empress by Saiswaroopa Iyer.


Book – Draupadi – The Tale of an Empress
Author – Saiswaroopa Iyer
Publisher – @rupa_publications
Pages – 285

“Our minds care for our limbs. But our limbs don’t care for the mind. Do they, Rukmini ?”

“Draupadi – The Tale of an Empress” by Saiswaroopa Iyer is the retelling of Mahabharata inspired from various texts and scriptures where the Author puts her best effort to counter the myth that Draupadi was thirsty for vengeance and was the driving factor behind the Great War, the Dharmayudh.

The story begins with the great warrior Abhimanyu’s wife, Uttara explaining or rather recounting the generation long events, to her grandson, the Pandavas’ great-grandson, Janamejaya, that led to the Great War. Further, the story proceeds with the events from generations that ultimately led to the eighteen day long War.

What I liked about this book is the countering of the cliched opinion of Draupadi being the driving force behind the War and pointing out the circumstances and each character’s role in the same. But in this process of rebutting the myth, the Author missed out the details of other major events, which didn’t make this retelling as powerful as it should have been. The absence of a lot of such events diluted the essence that the tale of Mahabharata carries, which ultimately led to the weakening of the charisma that each epic character possesses. Mahabharata is a great tale, retelling it, in itself is a challenge much bigger than it seems. Albeit all the above-mentioned points, I’m glad that the bond between Draupadi and Sri Krishna was beautifully portrayed.

I applaud the Author for retelling this great tale from such a unique point of view and her dedication in rebutting the myth about Draupadi. It was good, but it lacked the essence that it should carry.

Rating – 🌟🌟🌟/5

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