Kavita Kane is the author of this masterpiece “Menaka’s Choice”. I loved the other two books from the same author, Karna’s Wife and Sita’s Sister. After I read those two books, I wondered about their titles! Both these books have a strong feminine central character, yet the titles of the book do not carry their name. It’s “Karna’s Wife” and not “Uruvi”; similarly it’s “Sita’s Sister” and not “Urmila”. I am glad that the current book does not have title like “Vishwamitra’s Apsara” or “Shakuntala’s Mother”. I find the name “Menaka’s Choice” is more apt for it.
Good Points about Menaka’s Choice
Menaka is known to all as a charming apsara from the heaven; seduced the sage Vishwamitra and succeed in that too. But there was never an attempt made to analyze the feelings, the pains and the trauma that is faced by Menaka. Kavita Kane tried to bring the pathos of this beautiful mythological character and no doubt that she did it in a brilliant way. When you are reading the story of Menaka-Vishwamitra or Menaka-Vishwavasu; there are undoubtedly a lot of erotic contents you will come across. But there is a thin line between sensual and sexual writing; the author should have been credited for keeping that line intact! The story is highly sensual yet it does not have that sexual overtone!
Better & Best things of the Book
The stories of Shakuntala, Vishwavasu’s cursed life and King Harishandra’s tragedy are not elaborated fully but again it’s not their story! This is Menaka’s story and it was complete in all sense. It started from her birth from Ocean churning and ended only after she met with the love of her life. A very few people know the story of Menaka and Vishwavasu; and again I can’t stop praising the author for her depiction of that heavenly love story. I personally think it’s easier to write about Uruvi and Urmila; people instantly connect with their pains as they can see through these characters. But Menaka does not belong to earth. She is an Apsara; their rules and their concept of morality are different from humans. So, it requires a great effort in creating empathy for such a character. When I finished reading all the 290 pages of this book, I feel completely empathetic about Menaka, the seductress! That is the beauty of Kavita’s writing.
Most of the writers when write the mythological stories from the point of view of a central character; they tend to make one mistake! They always portrayed their central character as the righteous one and the rest are villains. But in case of Menaka’s Choice; there are no villain. Indra, Vishwamitra, Rambha, Vasistha, Vishwavasu and Menaka herself; all of these characters has their share of positive and negative traits. Kavita Kane very honestly implemented that it’s not always black and white; we all have grey shades to our character. There is no complete hero and there is no complete villain in any story.
My Review (Read more reviews)
Sometime we know the ending of a story but still we can’t deviate even for a moment while reading through the pages of the book. This is one such gripping novel. This book is charming and spellbound just like Menaka’s beauty.
Reply by Author:
— Kavita Kané (@kavitakane) February 2, 2016