Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Palace of Illusions...

I started reading this book (suggested by Pratima Bhabhi). It is narration by Paanchali of her life time. I have soo many questions on this. Let me clear that this is FICTION and it is author Chitra Banerjee's version of Draupadi's state of mind. This is not authenticated.

One interesting fact is Draupadi found Gandhari to be rather stupid to blindfold herself since her husband Dhritirashtra was blind by birth. She said that since her husband was deprived of sight she too would sacrifice vision. Whereas Draupadi says it was all the more essential that Gandhari kept her eyes open and rather keep her husband updated with happening around. Good thot :)

But on flip side, apparently Karan had also participated in the swayamwar but since he belonged to poor cast (brought up by boat rider) he was disqualified. Further to the insult it was Draupadi who intervenes in between and asks him who is his father. Karna hence is terribly insulted in front of all. And then rest of her life she kept yearning for Karna...sighhhh

Supposedly when the verdict of her being shared by 5 husbands was accepted by all,  she had to spend one continuous year with one brother and when she would move to another brother, her virginity was reinstated. Wonder where Science was then...:) :) :)

I am through with half the book, balance comments I will share when I am done reading :)


  1. Madhavi, I have recently learned that the vaginal screen (don't know the medical term for it) can be reinstated.
    Of course that does not bring back the virginity according to me, as virginity is also a state of mind.
    In Mahabharata you find a number of references which were then unexplainable but are medically possible and also very much in practise.
    Long long ago I had read a book called Signs of God where inferences were drawn from Mahabharata and were linked with medical inventions.

    1. Hmmmm...interesting!! Do you think that was reality OR was it reverse counting? In the sense, relating science discoveries back to cases in old history. After all it is always easy on pick up on Purans where no one can claim authenticity....

  2. Would love to read this book.. as I am watching MAHABHARATA on TV.
    Did you purchase this book Madhavi or from a Library??

  3. Hi
    As I was going through Amazon I saw two more books with similar topics which seem to be good.. If anyone has read this please let me know..

    Yajnaseni: The Story of Draupadi
    by Pratibha Ray

    KARNA'S QUEEN: The outcasts wife
    by Kavita kane..

    I think we should read these too.

  4. I have this book Palace of Illusions, can send it over to u Mahek, give me ur address. It's an interesting book

  5. Madhavi, totally agree that it could be reverse counting - connecting science with Puranas mentioned in Mahabharata - but what is to be considered that they had the power to fantasise something like that at that time. Which definitely is commendable. Today we have test-tube babies - but a concept like that was thought of for the birth of Kauravas. This is not the only one - there are many more like these. Mahabharata is a good read - and can be related to life in any period.
    There was a movie based on Mahabharata with a modern day concept - Kaliyug - though I have not seen the full movie - the references drawn are very interesting.

  6. I am going slightly of the mark - but if you read / or have read - Harry Potter series - note the level of imagination J.K.Rowling has reached. Hats of to her - today it is her fantasy - but we never know (and will never live to know) science may prove her right - at least some parts of it. (Frankly I am a Harry Potter BIG FAN).

  7. Hi Mahek...yes I bought this book.

    Hi Bhabhi...I am very curious abt the birth of kauravas....kaise yaar?? 100...really?? :) :) I have watched the movie Kalyug....didnt really think as much then but I was and I am fidaaaa on Rekha!! Wat a beauty she is!! This must be in 80's. I will want to pick up the book that you mentioned about Signs of God.
    Harry Potter...honestly kabhi zhepa nai...hats off you read the series. Sanam would relate much better....another Harry Potter fan!

  8. Done reading this book. My feeling can be described as the something similar to Cigar leaving a bad taste at the end :) (It is just the saying I could relate to, I dont smoke ;) )
    One, it is not authenticated and it author's perspective on Draupadi's life. Two, it is difficult to accept that if I wear my reality hat of today. Three, someone else will have different version of this...there can be multiple versions. There are some analyses I really liked, some I didnt agree with at all.
    Hi Reshma bhabhi, I can get it for you next time I come to Mumbai.


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