By Gayathri Naga
As a child one of my fondest memories was listening to my Grandma narrate endless stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Mythology has always been a subject of interest for many, but gone are the times when I can ask Grandma to narrate the same mainstream version of it, so I turned to these books to satisfy my urge to know more. And oh boy, these authors will make you think, question and relive the past in a different perspective altogether.
*Drum Rolls* we present to you a list of books inspired by Indian mythology that’ll leave you questioning the glorified past.
1. The Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik
This book revolves around the story of Yuvanashva, a childless king. Even though the book is set in the backdrop of Mahabharata, the author makes references to incidents in Kurukshetra and Ramayana. If you think that the title of the book is intriguing enough for you to pick up and read it, the plot just gets better.
2. The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi
The trilogy by Amish Tripathi talks is set in a time period when Lord Ram built his perfect empire. The plot revolves around this proud empire facing problems and the protagonist coming to its rescue. Although the trilogy might not serve much for the reader to the literary end, it surely does a decent job in presenting the mythological characters in fiction making it an interesting read. This trilogy is easily one of my favorites in this genre, however, the third book might seem like quite a drag but the key is not to give up on the characters and read on!
3. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee
This novel is not far behind from giving a fresh interpretation of an ancient tale. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the Pandava brothers, the plot takes the reader back to a time that was completely magically and partially smitten by myths and history. Even though it is an interesting read, in the end, it was quite unsatisfying, as though the characters should have been better dealt with. The rest is for you to read and find out!
4. Ajaya- Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan
If ‘Jaya’ is the story of the victors of the great Mahabharata war, then ‘Ajaya ‘is the story of Kauravas who were destroyed to the last man standing. It is often said that history always glorifies the winner, so reading Ajaya will tell you what’s on the other side of the coin and give you an alternative perspective as well.
5. Sita by Devdutt Pattanaik
It is ironical how the only character in Indian mythology to be given the title ‘ekam-patni–vrata’, so conveniently abandons his wife to protect his so-called family reputation. Devdutt Pattanaik highlights the many retellings to Ramayana and makes the reader question notions of fidelity, property and self-image. This book serves as an extremely interesting and thought-provoking read.
6. Karna’s Wife by Kavita Kane
This book narrates the story of the unsung hero of Mahabharata, Karna and his wife. It brings unique and fresh perspective to the reader because it is narrated through the eyes of the Outcast’s queen, Uruvi. This one is quite the page turner with the reader’s attention being fully captivated between Karna’s fate and twists and turns in Mahabharata.
You must also read:
After reading the above-mentioned books, if this genre still doesn’t fail to interest you, you should pick up these novels as well- Adi Parva by Amruta Patil; Parva by SL Bhyrappa; Jaya and Shikhandi by Devdutt Pattanaik; The Aryavarta Chronicles by Krishna Udayshankar.
Have you read any of these books before? What is your favorite book on Indian Mythology? Tell us in the comments below.
Image Credits: Google