Kunti: The Sati Series II

Kunti: The Sati Series II

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‘Koral Dasgupta writes with verve, emotion and passion ... [Kunti] is a must for those wishing to know about our past and the dialectics of gender within it’ PAVAN K. VARMAKunti, a rare matriarch in the Mahabharata and one of the revered Pancha Satis, holds an unforgettable position in the Indian literary imagination. Yet, little is known about the fateful events that shaped her early life.Taking on the intricate task, Koral Dasgupta unravels the lesser-known…

The book ‘Kunti’ is part of the Sati series and is written in the first person, giving an intimate look into Kunti’s character. In the book, Kunti emerges as a highly respected scholar with a deep hunger for knowledge. She is also portrayed as an ambitious lover who is drawn to Indra deva, as well as a skilled diplomat. Kunti’s kind and bold nature is emphasized, and her position is elevated from merely being a matriarch to a powerful and influential figure.

Kunti is a well-known figure as the mother of the Pandavas and the wife of Pandu. She has often been criticized her for abandoning her first son, Karna, even when Pandu was willing to raise him. Despite this, a fresh perspective on Kunti’s character has been offered. Through a modern lens with a idealist consciousness, the author succeeds in exploring Kunti’s character and delves deeper into her psyche and offering a more comprehensive understanding of her motivations and actions. By presenting Kunti in a new light, I felt  encouraged to reassess their perceptions of this complex character.

Kunti is presented in a new light from a feminist perspective, portraying her as a wise and dutiful woman. Instead of the typical portrayal of a sorrowful mother of a warrior god son, the author depicts her as a brilliant disciple of the hard-to-please Durvasa. Kunti earns a lifetime boon and becomes an endearing sister to Vasudev, comrade to her co-sister Gandhari, and confidant to her husband Pandu. She also acts as a companion and well-wisher to her husband’s second wife, Maadiri, fueling their passionate marital life. She is a loyal friend and conversationalist to Vidur, and has knowledge of esoteric topics. Additionally, she is protected by the sun god and even loves Indra’s charm. This revisionist depiction of Kunti sheds light on her childhood and youth, rather than limiting her presence to aiding in the historical war and leaving her indelible imprints on both sides of the armies.

What I most liked about this story was how the causes and implications of the war were totally left out and the focus remained on the woman who was an important element in. the scheme of things as they unfolded.

I heard this book on Audible in the voice of Mahjabeen Ali, who managed to capture the temperament of the genre through her expressions. Overall, in this book, Kunti is multidimensional, that provided a more nuanced and complex understanding of her character.


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