What do you do when someone challenges the conventional stories that we have believed in, since forever? What do you do when you feel that you are made to believe that part of history which is written by the winning team always?
Remember when your grandma or any elderly used to narrate to you, tales of gods and our ancestors? The other day, being in a situation where it was difficult to decide who the right team is, a thought occured to me- the stories our elders told us, have been passed down to generations since centuries.
Hindu mythology consists of stories told differently in different regions, only the character name being same. I remember watching the promo of a TV soap around five years back. It portrayed the story of Ravana from the epic Ramayana. A show that contradicted what we’ve learnt and conceived about the mythical character Ravana.
Let me ask you something. What do you do when someone challenges the conventional stories that we have believed in, since forever? What do you do when you feel that you are made to believe that part of history which is written by the winning team always? What if all the history and morale-boosting-tales we’ve learnt are all make-believe?
Every year on the eve of Dusshera we celebrate the death of the Rakshasa king Ravana and on the eve of Holi the death of Holika– sister of an evil king Hiranyakashyap. While there are different versions of story on Rama’s victory over Ravana, one of the version states that, Sita (Rama’s wife) was actually the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari, who because of some reason landed up being the daughter of Janaka. Ravana abducted Sita, to save her from the wicked caste system and other poorly faring systems in Bharat.
Similarly, a version of Holika’s story states that when she realised that injustice had been done to her nephew, she took off a blessed shawl and gave it to him, while they both sat on the pyre. Another contradictory tale, ain’t it?
The book Asura- Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan could take you off your feet and make you question, what you’ve been told and believed since ages. The book is a narrative from the point of view of they, who always lost. Wonderfully written from an alternative perspective, the characters of the book add a charm to the novel. The author gives voice to the story of Ravanayana, that has never ever been narrated in history.
A must-read for those who love mythology!