Book Reviews

Did she really have a choice?

The vastness and richness of the Indian mythology and ancient scriptures never misses spellbound me.

After reading quite a bit about the epics and the incarnations of the god, one conclusion I can safely draw is that everything is connected and part of a larger scheme of things. Every plot and every character, however big or small, has an important role to play. There is always some cross reference and linking to various characters.

And thanks to the authors who bring to the surface other dimensions of the same story. This time I saw Menaka, the enchantress and the celestial nymph, from a very different perspective. I had heard about the story of Menaka and the great sage, Vishwamitra, however not in so much detail and definitely not from this angle.

I have finished reading the book, Menaka Choice, by Kavita Kane, some weeks ago and still haven’t been able to write my review or rather my view. Every time when I sit down to write, my mind gets working but the processing is never complete and then I just shut off.

It is not about the story or the writing style but the pain /disgust I feel when I read about “objectification” of women. It is a golden trap. And that’s when you realise it’s far better to have a simple life where you are a free bird than being surrounded by overflowing youth and beauty and live on terms laid down by others.

Unlike other mythology stories, Menaka’s one I was least aware of. So if that’s how her life has been, I would empathise with her. I wish you had a “real” choice !!

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