Book Review: The Flaming Tresses of Draupadi by M. Veerappa Moily (Translated by D A Shankar)

  • ISBN: 978-81291453451
  • Genre: Fiction /Poetry / Mythology
  • Publishers: Rupa
  • Price: Rs.595/-  ( I got the book for review from the publisher)

‘Sri Krishna, I am being put through an ordeal, the foolish
Acts of your cousins are burning me up, save from these wicked ones
Who are stripping me of the cloth I am clad in!

You alone can save me, the saviour of the helpless; If I lose my honour, can I stay alive?

She vowed to never tie her hair till the day the Pandavas avenged the humiliation she had been subjected to by the Kauravas. That her hair would be left untamed and wild till the day Bhima would kill Dushyasana and smear her hair with his blood.

This is an epic poem narrating the saga of one of the most important, intriguing and complex female characters of Hindu mythology—Draupadi of Mahabharata.The Flaming Tresses of Draupadi traces the life and journey of Draupadi from her birth from the sacrificial fire—whereupon she was named ‘Yagnaseni’—to her marriage with the five brothers, to losing her fortune and honour to the Kauravas in a gamble, the deep friendship she forged with Lord Krishna and finally the culmination of the great war of Kurukshetra.In this epic poem of hatred, love, victory and defeat, Draupadi emerges as a strong female character that ultimately brought to retribution all those who had done injustice to her.

Behind the Book
About the Author
M. Veerappa Moily is an eminent administrator, a statesman of high calibre, an economist of repute and a renowned literary figure. An advocate by profession, he has been in politics for almost four decades now. He has been the Chief Minister of Karnataka; served as the Minister of Finance and Planning and of Small Scale Industries, Government of Karnataka; served as the Chairman of the Tax Reforms Commission and of Revenue Reforms Commission, Government of Karnataka. He has also been the Minister of Law and Justice, of Petroleum and Natural Gas and of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. A gifted writer, he has written extensively in both Kannada and English. His most ambitious work till date is the epic Shree Ramayana Mahaveshanam, which received the prestigious Moortidevi Award of the Bhartiya Jnanpith.

Me thinks

Draupadi as a character has always intrigued me. For all that she went through in her life, the only question I could think of was "What was going on in her mind?" This book is the perfect answer to my questions.

Translated by D A Shankar from the original work of M Veerappa Moily this is a collection of poems which narrate her ordeal in a profound manner. From the time of her birth to her being called the Yagnaseni this book deals with every aspect of her life in depth. The poems bring out never before read aspects of her character making it all the more intriguing. Through these poems a reader will realise that Draupadi is at the core of it all a woman with strong will and determination. It is her grit that makes her go through everything that comes her way with a smile and emerge triumphantly irrespective of the circumstances.

Some of the passages are extremely powerful in terms of description making you feel her pain and trauma. By the end of the book you cannot help but wonder if times have really changed or does every woman have a Draupadi inside her who keeps passing hurdles throughout her life is some form or the other. Be it in the name of marriage or for her self respect time and again she has had to prove her self and stand up for her own self. These poems will inspire today's women to take a leaf out of her life and try to inculcate some of the values like self reliance and most importantly self belief, these two things can take one a long way.

Over all an entertaining read, one that I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to all mythology and poetry lovers!

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Handwa - crispy on the outside, soft on the inside ; nevertheless tasteful in every bite!

Source: Jain Rasoi

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