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Showing posts from December, 2015

The Palace of Illusions - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Most of you who know me well, will know that I am a strong advocate of feminism – not the bra burning kind but of the kind that will seethe in rage at the blind acceptance of patriarchy. Patriarchal systems are so ingrained in the cultural norms of India that it will take more than a few hundred generations to eradicate. I won’t go into elaborate examples here because that is not the point of this post. However, The Palace of Illusions serves to challenge the manner in which the Mahabharata, one of India’s greatest mythological epics is narrated; this time, from a woman’s perspective. Yes, the Mahabharata here is presented to us from the eyes of Panchaali or Draupadi as she is more popularly referred to.
Divakaruni takes us through Draupadi’s journey from when she was born into the lap of luxury as a Princess to her doting father King Drupad to her many struggles as ‘wife’ to her 5 husbands – The Pandavas. The book is half myth, half fiction but is entirely enchanting. Whilst Draupadi…

The Marriage Bureau For Rich People - Farahad Zama

‘The Marriage Bureau for Rich People’ is the first of a four part series by Farahad Zama. I happened to chance upon this book as I was browsing through book sites in my hunt for something engaging to read. To start with, the title itself grabbed my attention. The theme of the book, as the name suggests quite blatantly is about the operations of a marriage bureau. I gravitated further towards the book because it implied that the marriage bureau was tailored to a specific social class. I then read the synopsis and that was it! I had to read this book.
After having lived abroad for many years now, I’ve realised how intriguing the concept of Arranged Marriage is for people who don’t share cultural similarities with India. I get asked so many times about my opinion on this arrangement and every time I explain to them that the nature of arranged marriage is slowly evolving with the ‘arranger’ playing the role of facilitator rather than that of oppressor (which unfortunately, is the usual mi…