Saturday, November 24, 2018

Book Review - Ashtamahishi: The Eight Wives of Krishna by Radha Viswanath

The writing style of Radha Vishwanath is different. Her first novel "Ravanaleela" reminded me the Asura and Ajaya by Anand Neelakantan. Though Anand has shown Ravana from a positive point of view, Radha has shown Ravana from a neutral point of view. I was really impressed by her writing style and storytelling. So when I saw next book by her which was "Ashtamahishi: The Eight Wives of Krishna" I cannot say no, even though we were knee deep in book-load of review copies. Though Diwali & festivities has affected our review deadline, the book needed its due focus. So here we are with the review of the Ashtamahishi.

Book Blurb
Krishna, the eternal lover, is believed to have charmed the heart of every woman he came across and his marriage with 16,100 women is the stuff of numerous ballads that have enthralled us over ages. But who amongst them all did Krishna love? Who ruled his heart and influenced his life?
Not one, but there were eight women whom Krishna married solely on the basis of mutual love and respect. Each of these wives—the Ashtabharyas—contributed to making Krishna what he was. While their names figure in the text of the great epic Mahabharata, not much has been discussed about them. Who are these women and what was that special ‘something’ in each of them that won Krishna over? What were each of those relationships like?
Radha Viswanath delves deep into the great Hindu epics, puranas and other ancient texts, weaving nuggets of information with rich imagination to give us a fascinating picture of Krishna’s life with these eight extraordinary women.
As the name suggest, the book revolves around lesser-known facts about Krishna and his home-affairs (I am using this word specifically) with his 8 principle wives. The stories about each wife are intermingled, which tells us how Krishna met with each of his wives, how they got married. The story covers various phases of Krishna's life, starting from migration to Dwarika to Mahabharata (which cover him as a son, brother, husband, father). Just like Ravanaleela, the character of Krishna is shown as neutral one (not good or bad) and as a normal human being (not directly as a god).

My take from the book
  1. Unparallel poetic narration style.
  2. Wonderful storytelling
  3. Slight slow pace could have been fast
  4. Characterization is also awesome, Krishna & his wives 9 principal characters got required canvas to leave the impact
  5. The relationship between Krishna with his wives were shown nicely
  6. Good choice of words and vocabulary (though it affected my overall experience it needed said attention)
Once can give it a try for sure. A good addition to Mythological Shelf for sure.

I will give 4 out of 5 for this wonderful book.

Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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