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    Trisha Dasa�� new book adds to the many modern interpretations of Panchalia��s story

    Whether as the wronged tribal woman in Mahasweta Devia��s story or as the vulnerable woman in a patriarchal society portrayed in Chitra Banerjee Divakarunia��s novel, Palace of Illusions, Draupadia��s story continues to inspire artistes through generations. Speaking about the resurgence of Draupadi in the arts with a recent viral of a short film and a book, theatre veteran Gowri Ramnarayan says, a�?She has been done to death and yet people find something new because she has that quality. When it comes to Sita there is only so much you can say but when it comes to Draupadi, she is so contemporary.a�?

    Culture icon
    Delhi Belly writer Akshat Vermaa��s short film, Mamaa��s Boys, a modern take on the Mahabharata,A�became an online sensationA�with actress Aditi Rao Hydari portraying Panchali. While Hydaria��s sexually driven portrayal hasna��t gone down too well with the traditionalists, another recently-published book, in the same humorous vein, also attempts to put Draupadi in a modern context. Trisha Dasa�� Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas is about the four women from the epica��Amba, Kunti, Gandhari and the titular character Draupadi.A�In the book, they are givenA�30 days to visit Earth and have a second chance at life, before returning to heaven.

    The better half
    Speaking about her book and reinterpreting Draupadi in a contemporary context, the Indian National Award -winning documentary filmmaker says, a�?I have read manyA�portrayals of her and I feel like she was a bit of a misfit in her times. She was a veryA� strong, independent, fiery, educated, intelligent woman and I feel like she was born in the wrong time.a�? Taking her inspiration from Marie Phillipsa�� Gods Behaving Badly, where Greek gods are placed in modern scenarios (goddess Aphrodite is a sex phone operator), Das, who is comedian Vir Dasa��s sister, says that Draupadi isA�now a symbol of empowermentA�as she stands outA�as thisA�strong woman who has been disrespected many timesa��being made to marryA�five men, to being stripped in court. a�?I feel like right now, especially with the kind of country we are living in,A� where there are so many issues with women, there is a need to have new references in popularA�cultureA�and I think she fills that space,a�? the Singapore-based author concludes.

    Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas published by Harper Collins. Rs 245. Details:amazon.in

    a��Simar Bhasin


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