Romance is one of my favourite genres and so is mythology. Therefore, a mythological romance made me really excited about reading this book. And it has been a really good read.
The book contains not one, but three love stories. The first is about Ganesha and his three wives. It was a bit difficult to accept Ganesha trying to woo three girls at the same time. But, when you look at the deeper meaning of the words Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, it all makes sense. After all, isn’t Ganesha the lord of these three achievements – intelligence, learning, wisdom. I enjoyed reading this story which was light and had a playful take on loving and wooing the ladies.
It is also accompanied with backstories of the previous lives of Ganesha, thus making this an enriching experience.
The second love story is about Ravana and Mandodari. It is highly unusual for those brought up on the Ramayana to imagine Ravana as a lover. Again, the stories of Mandodari and Ravana are told right from the moment they lay their eyes on each other in previous births. It shows a more mature, deeper love between the protagonists. Ravana is famed for having many wives and his harems full of beautiful women, but it is his wife Mandodari that he loves the most. It is told equally beautifully.
The third love story is of Nala and Damyanti. It is a famous one in the south, though I knew it in bits and pieces. But the book brings out the essence of true love. Nala gives up Damyanti as he loses his kingdom and his riches and has to live in a forest. He leaves Damyanti as he felt she need not suffer due to his misjudgements. Being alone, Damyanti finds her way to her father’s kingdom and is living in luxury again. But instead of feeling contemptuous towards Nala, she tries to find him. Using her intelligence, she is able to find Nala even when his physical appearance is changed to an ugly dwarf.
Intriguing enough? Go ahead and read this book which is full of many mythological stories.
Stories of love and extraordinary devotion
No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nala and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till almost nothing remained.
Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana.
About the Author
Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling novels span multiple genres: ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller; ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin) and ’Doctor Stalker Spy’ (Juggernaut), lighthearted romances; ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ and her latest ‘Prem Purana’ (all from Penguin) that have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest.’ Two new books are in the offing. When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers and romances to the puranas.
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