Saturday, June 30, 2018

Padmavat by Purushottam Agrawal (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

Almost all of us have seen the movie “Padmavat” starring Deepika Padukone playing the character of Queen Padmavati. The debate has always been about the existence of any such queen in the past and regarding her association with Alauddin Khilji. Many people believe even the existence of queen as a myth as multiple authors/poets have written about this story in their own version and each one of them have their perspective defining the characters of the story. I never knew that I would end up reading a book on the same after watching such a grandeur movie on the subject and knowing everything in detailing. I am just done reading the book named “Padmavat” which calls the story as “An Epic Love Story” on its cover page. It is written by an already renowned author, Purushottam Agrawal. The book is introduced and illustrated by none other than the legendary, Devdutt Pattanaik.

The author talks about the poet, Jayasi’s version of Padmavat written in the 16th century. I have for the first time in my life read such a book where an author is describing a story from another author’s point of view. Rather than just narrating the story, author also keeps discussing about the author’s point of view of the story. This is very incredibly handled by the author, Purushottam, where he never bores you with the history or myth or quotations but keeps you engrossed so wonderfully throughout the book that you want to understand Jayasi’s point of view on every scene of the love story. The introduction of the characters is nicely crafted which gives a good momentum to the story later on where the author gets a mileage to complete the whole love story in few pages itself. 

The good thing is that author has not tried to portray any character as good or bad but only talks about the nature of each one of them which defines what kind of choices and decisions they take later on which changes the whole course of their life. Author has also shared the original stanzas from Jayasi’s poem which also gives soul to the book as reading those original lines gives us more perspective in the language itself. The best about the author’s style of writing is that he does not stretches any part of the story and keeps everything short and crisp. Hence a book on historical, mythological and spiritual context- all embedded in one, gets over within 200 pages itself. I give this read 4* out of 5. This book is definitely recommended and has re-reading value. Kudos to the author for handling this form of writing so nuancedly. 




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