Sunday, February 28, 2016

Book Review#17: Menaka's Choice: Kavita Kane

Pic Source: goodreads

This one is long due. I was so impressed by the story that it took me so time to understand and write a review. This was in drafts, I almost forgot to post assuming I had already done. J
Book: Menaka’s choice:

Synopsis:We make love and leave. That is our motto. Live by it, Menaka or you shall suffer untold, unnecessary grief.
Born during the churning of the ocean, Menaka is the most beautiful of all the apsaras in the world, with quick intelligence and innate talent. However, she craves for the one thing she can never have - family. Elsewhere, after severe austerities, a man, now blessed with the name Vishwamitra, challenges the gods and dares to create another heaven. Fearing his growing powers, Indra, the king of gods, decides to put a stop to his ambitions by making Menaka seduce him.
What will happen when Menaka and Vishwamitra meet each other? Will Menaka finally find what she really wished for? Or will she again be forced to surrender to her destiny? Find out in this fascinating portrait of one of the most enduring mythological figures.

My Review:This gives a different angle to the story, which speaks of how apsaras are and what they feel. We all know Menaka only as a seductress who seduced the famous Vishwamitra into breaking his meditation. But life of her as such, what she felt when she was separated from her child, how her husband was cursed and her famous intelligence and sharp mind is beautifully depicted in this story.
Her love for Vasu, her pain when separated for her child, the banter between her and Urvashi, on who’s the best is very nicely depicted. Although, she knew she was Indra’s pawn in breaking Vishwamitra’s challenge in creating another heaven, it’s about how she fell in love with him in spite of knowing the consequences and the famous temper of the famous sage. How she cleverly stayed back and how she loved him with all the honesty and let go of him for a greater cause forms the crux of the story. To let go of a person you love the most for his own betterment is a challenge and Menaka rose to the challenge well and how. Sacrificing her child and not being able to mother is one of the biggest pain any woman would not wish to go through. But she does it twice, that speaks volumes of her strength. So much was I impressed that I wished to see her once in flesh. The one, who had the brains, beauty and courage to face the wrath of the gods and the sage.

Bringing any mythological character alive, and sensing their feelings is no easy task, hats off to the author to bring it out with such sensitivity. Her tiffs with Indra are noteworthy and the way she handles situations are commendable.

About the author:
I was already very impressed with her “The Outcaste Queen” here and “Sita’s Sister”. (The reviews on them can be read here . She has done a great job here too in portraying Menaka in the best possible way. Loved her version of the story and I am looking forward for more from her. The courage of the author of bring out the most difficult and unknown story, although fictional, is worth a mention. Thank you for such stories.

I would rate the book 5 stars simply for the brilliant portrayal. Must read and re-read.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Review!! A view from the other side of the fence is simply put a must read. Will try out this author, her books looks good and your reviewing are intriguing.


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