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What kind of a man was Ram?

January 25, 2019 13:51 IST

Watch novelist Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni explain Sita's story.
Videos: Afsar Dayatar/Rediff.com

A temple in Ayodhya. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

IMAGE: A temple in Ayodhya. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

When Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni wrote The Palace Of Illusions: A Novel, in 2008, she knew it was just the beginning.

After writing the Mahabharata from Draupadi's point of view, she could feel another queen's story that needed to be told.

But Sita's story took her longer to find, and in Sita's story were the voices of the other women in the Ramayana -- Urmila, Sita's sister who married Lakshman; Kaikeyi, the mother who chooses her son, Bharat, over her step-son, Ram; and Mandodari, Ravan's virtuous but silently suffering consort.

In a conversation with novelist Ashwin Sanghi, that introduced Divakaruni's The Forest Of Enchantments, she explains why.

 

Before she did that, Divakaruni read an excerpt from her book.

 

How Goddess Shakti inspires Divakaruni's writing...

 

What Divakaruni discovered about Draupadi and Sita in her books...

 

The most difficult part about writing...

 

How Tagore, and mythology, influenced Divakaruni...

 

Kaikeyi, Urmila, Mandodari... all come alive in Sita's story...

 

Divakaruni explains the differences between Draupadi and Sita...

 

Has the retelling of myths become politically coloured?

 

What kind of a man was Ram?

 

Are epics actual history?

 

Divakaruni explains the titles of her books...

 

How she crafted her Sita...

 

And wrote her love story...

 

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni explains her writing process...

 

The books she always goes back to...

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