Millennia have passed since the dharma yudhha of the cousins shook the land of Bharata. But this history of our ancestors continues to fascinate us. Even today, we have passionate discussions about the people and their actions in the epic, fervidly defending our favourites and denouncing others. The number of works on the Mahabharata-adaptations, retellings and fiction-that still get written is a testimony to its enduring relevance. While the general storyline is largely known, a lot of questions and myths prevail, such as-What was the geographical extent of the war? Did Drona actually refuse to take on Karna as his disciple? What were Draupadi’s responsibilities as the queen of Indraprastha? Did she ever mock Duryodhana? Were the women in the time of the Mahabharata meek and submissive? What were the names of the war formations during the time? What role did the sons of the Pandavas play? Does the south of India feature at all in the Mahabharata? What happened after the war? These and many other intriguing questions continue to mystify the contemporary reader.
“No epic has moved the consciousness of millions like the Ramayana. The appeal of the story of Rama is such that it has inspired the imagination of countless storytellers over the centuries, across the length and breadth of the subcontinent. From Jain poets to Bhavabhuti, from Kamban to Goswami Tulsidas, many have retold the Ramayana in their own language, infusing their own unique flavour.
Though the story of Rama is much loved and well-known, questions prevail. Ramayana Unravelled attempts to address some key concerns: How did his childhood and youth shape Rama? Why did Rama agree to go on vanvas – was it only to obey his father or was there more to it? How was the relationship of Rama and Seeta? Is the Ramayana inherently misogynist, considering the characterisation of Seeta, Shurpanakha, Kaikeyi and Tara? What led to the downfall of Ravan?”