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Sita's Sister tells the tale of Ramayana from a woman's perspective. Here the woman is Urmila, Sita's younger sister and Lakshman's wife.
Sita’s Sister tells the tale of the Ramayana from a woman’s perspective. Here the woman is Urmila, Sita’s younger sister and Lakshman’s wife.
Kavita Kane has a flair for viewing epics from a hitherto unexplored character’s point-of-view, a fact that she proved with the immensely popular Karna’s Wife – a narration of Mahabharata from the perspective of Urvi, Karna’s second wife. With Sita’s Sister, she repeats the magic; this time with the Ramayana.
Sita’s Sister is a part fiction, part reality rendition of Ramayana from the perspective of Urmila, Sita’s younger sister, second daughter of King Janaka and Lakshmana’s wife. Urmila is a character that finds little mention in Valmiki’s Ramayana, and the various local versions. However, she is a significant contributor to the events in the story and definitely, one of the strongest characters.
While reading the various traditional renderings of Ramayana, one often wonders why is there so little said about the brave and self-sacrificing wife of Lakshman, who upheld dharma as much as Rama did. If Rama went on an exile to fulfil the promise given by his father to Kaikeyi, citing it to be his dharma to fulfil his father’s wishes, Urmila exiled herself in the palace, so that Lakshman could fulfil his promise of always protecting his brother.
If Ram went on an exile to fulfil the promise given by his father to Kaikeyi, citing it to be his dharma to fulfil his father’s wishes, Urmila exiled herself in the palace, so that Lakshman could fulfil his promise of always protecting his brother.
The narrative starts with the childhood of the four sisters – Sita, Urmila, Mandavi and Shrutakirti at the palace of Janaka and Sunaina, king and queen of Mithila. While Sita is the docile one, Mandavi the headstrong one and Shrutakirti the baby, it is Urmila who is portrayed as the anchor of the group, the strong one to whom the others turn for advice, help and solace; literally “the glue that holds them together”.
The story traces their journey from the mentally stimulating and gender impartial environment at the court of Mithila, a place where they interact with learned sages (men and women) and learn to question and argue intelligently; to the patriarchal household at the palace of Ayodhya. Ayodhya is the place where the son obeys the father unquestioningly, the women don’t question their husbands, not even speak up against any injustice; where women are expected to “stay put in their place”. The book explores the sisters’ emotions as they transition from the frank and open assertiveness of Sunaina to the scheming and simmering rivalry between Kausalya and Kaikeyi.
Sita’s Sister is essentially a book that talks about all the women in the Ramayana, unlike Valmiki’s Ramayana that is about Rama, Sita and their exile. And among all these women, it is Urmila who comes out as the most influential character – outspoken yet respectful, headstrong yet calm, strong in the face of adversity, a learned scholar, with an ability to forgive, forget and look at the bigger picture, the tapasvi who has achieved understanding. One cannot help but notice the continued comparison between the unbiased and learning-centric Mithila to the patriarchy ridden Ayodhya.
Sita’s Sister is essentially a book that talks about all the women in Ramayana, unlike Valmiki’s Ramayana that is about Ram, Sita and their exile.
The book could have done with better editing, containing a number of spelling and punctuation errors and the cover reminds you at first glance of the famed cover of the book Memoirs of a Geisha. Notwithstanding these, the narration is compact, fast-paced and holds your interest to the last word, making Sita’s Sister a must-read for everyone.
Publisher: Rupa Publications
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From all news reports, clearly, Aftab Poonawalla seems to be a psychopath, and It was a well-strategized story of domestic violence, abuse, subjugation, and a well-planned murder.
Trigger Warning: This deals with domestic violence, gaslighting, murder, and abetting violence, and may be triggering to survivors.
One case has gripped the nation and I do not need to mention which. My problem is with how the news reflects a victim’s character. The disrespect we show to someone who was long abused and lives no more is appalling. The disservice we do to her through spoken and written words lies in the sensationalizing of the entire case.
How do you spot a crazy human? They do not have two horns and red eyes. They may have no empathy but will show it to lure the victim, just like a child abuser lures a child with candy. Their grooming styles may vary but it is mostly about creating an untrue sense of safety and security around the victim. They present themselves as this effortless savior, an ultimate generous destination for a mentally and emotionally vulnerable person.
Fathers play a crucial role in nurturing and raising children, so why isn't paternity leave considered essential?
Some time ago, Bollywood couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt were in the news, yet again. An entertainment website, Bollywood Hungama, reported that the expectant father, Ranbir, wished to take paternity leave to spend time with his baby when it arrived.
The website claimed that the actor would not be signing new films for the time being. He would take care of the child, while his wife Alia would return to work at the earliest.
One would think the internet would laud this sweet and thoughtful gesture. Instead, Ranbir got trolled for his decision to be a stay-at-home dad. Netizens made fun of him; they claimed that it was because he had no offers in the pipeline, and Alia was far more successful than him. Others claimed that it was the right decision – his recent films (other than Brahmastra) had bombed, and it was time he reflected on his roles.
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