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In Search Of Sita

In Search Of Sita

Revisiting Mythology

Namita Gokhale
,
Malashri Lal
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Sita is one of the defining figures of Indian womanhood, yet there is no single version of her story. Different accounts coexist in myth, literature and folktale. Canonical texts deify Sita while regional variations humanize her. Folk songs and ballads connect her timeless predicament to the daily lives of rural women. Modern-day women continue to see themselves reflected in films, serials and soap operas based on Sita’s narrative. Sacrifice, self-denial and unquestioning loyalty are some of the ideals associated with popular perceptions of Sita. But the Janaki who symbolized strength, who could lift Shiva’s mighty bow, who courageously chose to accompany Rama into exile and who refused to follow him back after a second trial, is often forgotten. However she is remembered, revered or written about, Sita continues to exert a powerful influence on the collective Indian psyche. In Search of Sita presents essays, conversations and commentaries that explore different aspects of her life. It revisits mythology, reopening the debate on her birth, her days in exile, her abduction, the test by fire, the birth of her sons and, finally, her return to the earth-offering fresh interpretations of this enigmatic figure and her indelible impact on our everyday lives.

Imprint: India Viking

Published: Nov/2018

ISBN: 9780143068181

Length : 288 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

In Search Of Sita

Revisiting Mythology

Namita Gokhale
,
Malashri Lal

Sita is one of the defining figures of Indian womanhood, yet there is no single version of her story. Different accounts coexist in myth, literature and folktale. Canonical texts deify Sita while regional variations humanize her. Folk songs and ballads connect her timeless predicament to the daily lives of rural women. Modern-day women continue to see themselves reflected in films, serials and soap operas based on Sita’s narrative. Sacrifice, self-denial and unquestioning loyalty are some of the ideals associated with popular perceptions of Sita. But the Janaki who symbolized strength, who could lift Shiva’s mighty bow, who courageously chose to accompany Rama into exile and who refused to follow him back after a second trial, is often forgotten. However she is remembered, revered or written about, Sita continues to exert a powerful influence on the collective Indian psyche. In Search of Sita presents essays, conversations and commentaries that explore different aspects of her life. It revisits mythology, reopening the debate on her birth, her days in exile, her abduction, the test by fire, the birth of her sons and, finally, her return to the earth-offering fresh interpretations of this enigmatic figure and her indelible impact on our everyday lives.

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Namita Gokhale

Namita Gokhale is an award-winning writer, publisher and festival director. She has authored twenty books, including eleven works of fiction. Her other works for young readers include Lost in Time: Ghatotkacha and the Game of Illusions also published by Puffin. Gokhale is a founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and deeply engaged with literary initiatives around the world.

Suddhasattwa Basu is a painter, illustrator and animation film-maker, who studied at the College of Art, Calcutta. He is one of India's foremost illustrators of children's books. Among the books he has illustrated and designed are Khushwant Singh's Nature Watch, Ruskin Bond's To Live in Magic and V. Sulaiman's The Homecoming. He has also authored and illustrated a children's book The Song of a Scarecrow (Katha), for which he received the Chitrakatha Award 2003 for best children's book illustrations. He lives in Delhi and works under the banner of his company Raikhik Films.

Malashri Lal

Malashri Lal, professor in the English department of the University of Delhi, recently retired from her academic and administrative positions. Currently she is member of the English Advisory Board at the Sahitya Akademi. Her specialization lies in literature, women and gender studies, and she has to her credit around fifteen books including The Law of the Threshold: Women Writers in Indian English, Speaking for Myself: An Anthology of Asian Women's Writing, In Search of Sita: Revisiting Mythology and Tagore and the Feminine: A Journey in Translations. Lal has been a senior consultant to the Ministry of Culture, a University Grants Commission (UGC) nominee on committees and a member of international book award juries.

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