Chitra Banerjee's The Palace Of Illusions

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‘The Palace of Illusions’ is based on the great epic ‘Mahabharata’. In this novel chitra Banerjee visualize the world through ‘Draupadi’, envisioned by feministic view and nature. Draupadi who is protagonist of the novel, and supreme born, who is known as ‘yagnaseini’ which means ‘born from the fire’ and ‘being a fire’. As a boon she has offered by the gods to the request of king Dhurupad along with his lovely elder brother Dhristathyumna. To the Unquenching thirst of Durupad’s vengeance towards Dhrona who was the past student-hood friend of him, and Arjuna who is the endowed student of Dhrona and one of the son of Kunti known as ‘Pandavas’. To quench the firey thirsty of vengeance in the heart of Dhrupad , the boon has splashed…show more content…
Panchaali is informed that she has been gambled away like property, “no less so than a cow or a slave” (PI, 190). When she is dragged into the hall, the whole court stares at her, but worst of all is that her husbands send “tortured glances but sat paralyzed” (PI, 191). She is stripped of all ornaments, yet the ultimate shame is the command to take off her sari, the only item of clothing protecting her from “a hundred male eyes burning through me” (PI, 191). she forced to expose her vulnerable body to male eyes, reduced to the status of an object lost by her husband. In the novel, Panchaali describes the situation thus: “The worst shame a woman could imagine was about to befall me – I who had thought myself above all harm, the proud and cherished wife of the greatest kings of our time” (PI, 193). What furthers her rage is the silence of all men present; nobody answers her question if Yudhistir actually still had the right to lose her after he had already lost himself. Consumed by her anger and the desire to restore her dignity, Panchaali commits the prophesied third mistake and utters the dreadful curse of the battle, which will destroy everybody and vows not to comb her hair again till “the day I bathe it in Kaurava blood” (PI, 194). Significantly, she chooses to confer up part of her traditional femininity for revenge, as particularly in India shiny fragrant hair symbolizes female beauty. Krishna appears as an answer to Draupadi’s prayer, saving her from shame by miraculously extending her sari, the endless folds preventing the final satisfaction of the voyeuristic stares. The question of divine intervention usually takes priority in readings of the scene, which is rarely interpreted from a feminist perspective. In the novel, Panchaali deals with the shame of exposure by remembering Krishna’s advice; she finds

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