22 November 2012

The Pregnant King

A Mythological Tale

The book is a fictional sketch of our mythological characters.. some of them so unbelievable but more interesting than they feature in other scriptures.. They are humans bound by dilemmas of social vs. personalneeds, evil vs. good,man vs. woman, mother vs. father, stages of life, desire vs. death, stability vs. momentum, death & afterlife, heaven vs. hell, Brahmin vs. Kshatriya. Devdutt has a knack of creating a vibrant stories with all curves & twists of an engaging plot. The characters raise questions, and then they give answers, then there are questions on those answers and further answers.. it’s a vicious circle where everyone is confused and only gets temporary answers to their problems which become bigger every time the answers are found.

The most interesting part of the story is the maze of multiple stories like Amar Chitrakatha intertwined in the same plot. The story moves on the lines of multiplestories narrated by various characters at various times.It’s like a Vikram Vaital or Sihansin Bateesi with every story throwing upon a question to the listener where the answers would determine his knowledge of dharma and righteousness. The author has very nicely demonstrated the fact that every story can end in different manners depending on choices of people. There are never right answers or decisions there are only appropriate decisions as per the situations. Another quality of Debdutta's writing is how the men in his stories are unlike some of the other books I have read. Just by becoming a mother or a woman is not a change in the body it is the change in the mental makeup of a man. But if a women turns into a man, she still stays a women somewhere. So you can have a woman's heart in a man's body or a man's heart in a woman's body but there would still be more of woman than a man in him.. In both cases s/he would turn more sensitive towards things/ people/ issues...

The idea of a book though based in ancient century is as fresh as today, the question of sexual identity, the burdens of bearing children especially male heirs for men & women, the questions of virility, and social barriers.. it hasn't changed. Finally I want to leave this review with a thought which boggled me.. how would you feel.. being a woman if you were called a father or being a man you were called a mother. What is more pleasurable hearing 'Ma' or 'Pa' because no one in this world can be both.. and this is something which cannot be compared.. interesting but crazy!! Read it for the originality...


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