Book Review – Rukmini

Sarvam Krishna Mayam Jagat ! My favourite Krishna… don’t know if there is a historical Krishna or whether he is an avatar but for me he represents the very life force. I have never thought of him as a married man. I know he married Rukmini and I remember how he picked her up from her Svayamvara. But these things were on the fringes of my consciousness because when I think of Krishna its always with his flute or as Arjuna’s Sarathi or with Radha.

Smt Saiswaroopa and Mr. Bibek Debroy were the celebrity authors who launched Arun’s book – Book Review – Battle of Vathapi, Nandi’s Charge. Rukmini, Krishna’s wife was the first book that came up when I searched for Smt Saiswaroopa’s books on Kindle. I bought it right away but started reading it four days back.

Rukmini comes Alive

What an amazing retelling of Rukmini’s life ! Its almost as though Smt Saiswaroopa witnessed all that happened 7000 years back. Jarasandha, Vrishnis, Kamsa, Pandavas, Satyaki … the other 7 wives of Krishna and finally Dwarka getting submerged under the floods. The author is blessed because these names and events have been retold many times, but she brings them alive yet again.

The author has also managed to show Krishna, Rukmini and every character as regular human beings, with their own jealousies and insecurities. Fascinating.

The following passage from the book sums up Krishna – “.. ‘Your love strengthens you and those fortunate to be loved by you. Wait, your love has something infinite about it. Like you feel one with anything and everything around. You aren’t capable of hatred, Krishna.’ Rukmini paused, remembering Mitravinda and Bhadra. ‘I realised this is impossible with any other man in this universe. Any other Woman in your life does not make you belong any less to me.’…”

Ofcourse I plan to buy all the other books written by Smt Saiswaroopa. If this book is anything to go by, the others will be just as riveting.

Rukmini is the symbol of a free woman in a society that accepted women as equals. Very often, in the retelling of Mahabharata and Ramayana we tend to forget how the society treated women because both Rama and Krishna totally occupy your consciousness.

Am glad that this book was written because we need role models like Rukmini to remind us that women can and should have a say in their own life :).

Some interesting facts –

Rukmini is from present day Arunachal Pradesh. Her father Bhishmaka is from the Idu Mishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. So all efforts by China to claim Arunachal Pradesh as its own is a busload of nonsense. The ancient Malinithan Temple-cum–archaeological site, located on the foothills of Siang hills, has been renovated.

Legend says Parvati and Shiva met Krishna and Rukmini at this spot as they were leaving for Dwarka.

Do read this fantastic review – ‘Rukmini’ book review: Holds the reader’s attention while staying faithful to the original source. Recommendation – a must read. Go get your copy folks !!

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