Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel book review

“In India and Southeast Asia, no one reads Ramayan And Mahabharat For the first time, “Indian poet and scholar AK Ramanujan wrote. The breadth and influence of”Ramayan Rival of the Bible: The oldest Sanskrit version, 24,000 verses written by the Hindu poet Valmiki, is more than 2,300 years old. Hundreds of adaptations have been made.

The epic depicts the life of Rama, a young prince of the ancient kingdom of Kosala and an incarnation of the god Vishnu. In traditional narratives, Rama’s adventures begin when he is exiled by his stepmother, Kikai, who is one of the wives of Raja Dashrath of Kosal. Kikai’s biological son, Bharat, seemed ready to inherit the throne, but the king decided to install Rama instead. The stepmother, who loves all of her husband’s children, gladly accepts the news at first. But then, through his maid Manthra, Kikai suddenly changed his mind and asked for two rewards due from the king. In the 1995 short translation of Arshia Sattar, the scene is as follows from a fairy tale:

“Inspired by Manthara’s words, the golden-skinned Kikai threw himself on the ground.” Manthara, go and tell the king that I am dying here. Bharat is not wiped, I will kill myself! ‘ “

With this whiplash turn from the devoted wife and parents to the planning queen, Kikai joins the pantheon of wicked stepmothers – a rude roster from which she escapes. “کیکیئیVishnu Patel’s first novel, retelling a powerful, feminine epic tale from the queen’s point of view. Patel, who lives in Chicago and is a student at Yale Law School, offers an absurd point of view for Kikai’s story: gods and magic play a sub-role in gender politics and a vast royal family with multiple wives and Reflect the freshness of the relationship between the children.

“I was born under a blessed constellation on the full moon, the holiest of positions – it did me a lot of good,” Kikai said at the beginning of the novel. But when his twin brother enters the world a few minutes later, “I had only a dowry of fifty fine horses waiting to happen.” Over the years, six other brothers joined the family. Under the tutelage of her twin children, Kiki becomes an expert in equestrianism and the use of weapons. When she is 12, her mother, Kikaya, is ousted from the kingdom, apparently for no apparent reason. Kikaya never hugged me. بجائے Instead, he taught me to read. And yet he did not praise me. But he gave me a scroll and kept listening to the stories.

Keiki gets a magic scroll that allows her to enter the binding plane, a place where she can see the invisible bonds that connect her to others – the shining threads that wax and fade on. Depending on how powerful the relationship is with any individual. But Keikai doesn’t just look at the bonds: she learns to pull the invisible strings to find her way, without anyone else’s knowledge. After her arranged marriage with Raja Dashrath, her skills work well. As his youngest and third wife, Kikai was initially unsure of her place in the court but soon proved herself when she went to war with him. Acting as his chariot, she saves his life, and Dashrath gives him two blessings. “I don’t impose any restrictions on them,” he tells her.

Kiki does not criticize these favours – yet. Instead, she uses her supernatural powers and royal influence to overturn the laws that make women lead a life of slavery and poverty.

“Opening the court for women. Allowing women to study in open market schools. Allowing women to maintain their stalls in the market – and maybe even own property. Being unmarried is now life imprisonment.” Will not stay

Kikai’s loving relationship with her husband is defined by mutual respect and friendship, not by romance. There is practically no erotic freshen in Patel’s retelling of an epic that is full of emotion. There is no jealousy or enmity between Kikiai and Dashrath’s other two wives, who become his sincere friends and companions. When the three women take part in the ritual designed to produce male heirs, the god of fire, Agni, appears. Everyone gathered fell to their knees – all except Kiki. Its denial does not arise from deviation. When Agni asks to bow down, she honestly answers: “I don’t know.”

But Hell knows Agni, as any reader is familiar with Ramayana.: In the great game of gods and humans, Kikai is intended to play the role of a villain. Nothing will change, especially once Dashrath’s sons are born and it becomes clear that Rama is an incarnation of a god – and not always a good god. Like her stepmother, Rama can get into the binding plane, which she uses to disenfranchise the women Kiki has worked so hard to help. Impressed by her rudeness, she asks her husband for two blessings, which have tragic consequences.

Patel’s broad storey unfolds at a measurable pace, with a careful depiction of a woman’s struggle for justice in an unjust world, illuminated by thrilling battle scenes and encounters with the gods that humans or their Destiny have nothing to do with it. The novel’s climax comes long before the main events of “The Ramayana”, after which Kikai joins the long list of powerful women whose motives are questioned but rarely mentioned.

Is also discovered alone. In “Kikiai”, Patel rearranges the balance of power, creating an unforgettable heroine who realizes that it is not necessarily the king of the gods who change history but a humble woman who can see a group of girls. And can see that “a child, freer than that. She had a mother.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.