Kannaki s Anklet is a near-adaptation of the Shilappadikaram, a masterpiece of the Sangam literature that showcased Tamil life and culture in its full splendour. The epic highlights the trials and tribulations of Kannaki, an ordinary woman, who endures personal adversities but chastises the king for his single act of misdemeanour and injustice. Her anger burns down a city, forcing the goddess of the city to come down to appease her such was the wrath of a woman wronged! An ordinary woman, with mortal desires, goes on to be revered as Goddess Kannaki in Tamil Nadu, as Kodungallur Bhagvathy and Attukal Bhagvathi in Kerala, and as Goddess Pattini amongst the Sri Lankan Buddhists, while the Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus worship her as Kannaki Amman. Mr. Patel has done his ground-work with dedication and has made it a meaningful read to muse upon as well. Dr. Prema Nandakumar, Foreword
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Satyavati was the mother of sage Vyasa, the great sage who is said to have composed the epic Mahabahrata, and the grand-mother of Pandu and Dhritarashtra besides being one of the most important women characters in the epic. Her personality has shaped the epic and altered the course of the narrative.
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The story of Shakuntala is well known—her upbringing in the ashram, her meeting with Dushyant, their marriage and subsequent separation due to a curse and their final joyous reunion. What is not so well known, however, is that the gentle, lovelorn Shakuntala immortalized by Kalidasa is very different from the original Shakuntala of the Mahabharata—a strong, fiery woman who stood up for her rights when she was spurned by her beloved.
In this thoughtful retelling of the story of Shakuntala, Utkarsh Patel brings to the fore the original heroine, the bold and beautiful daughter of Menaka and Vishwamitra who fights to get herself and her son the recognition they deserve. She does not surrender to anyone, not even the king of Hastinapur. Retold to suit the modern-day context, Shakuntala: The Woman Wronged is a must-read to understand one of the most powerful yet underrated female characters of the Mahabharata.