Monday, January 12, 2015

Urmila’s Resolve: a review of Sita’s Sister





This book was reviewed by Trisha Ray.

The Ramayana is one of the oldest and oft reinterpreted stories in the world. Author Kavita Kane shifts the focus to Sita’s sister, King Janak’s firstborn Urmila. Urmila is feisty, fights for what she wants and fiercely protective of her elder sister. She is a complete contrast to the demure Sita. Sita’s Sister is a glimpse into her struggles to keep her family together circumstances split them apart and their loyalties are tested.

Urmila (or Mila as the sexy serious Lakshman calls her) has long been deemed the forgotten heroine of the Ramayana. She stayed behind as the man she loved left to protect his brother in exile. In some versions, the Goddess Nidra grants her wish and put her into a deep slumber in Lakshman’s stead. I, however, prefer Kane’s interpretation. Rather than simply falling asleep for 14 years (which honestly sound like the best thing in the world), Urmila helps Shatrugana with affairs of the state and prevents Ayodhya from falling into anarchy.

One of the biggest issues I have had with Ramayana is the uni-dimensional portrayal of the women- they are either pure and virtuous or evil and scheming. Sita’s Sister doesn’t abide by these character tropes. Instead the reader gets a nuanced and complex reading, especially of the often ignored women. We see Kaikeyi, Sumitra, Urmila and Mandavi in a new light. These are all women trying to be good, dutiful wives but they are betrayed repeatedly by those they love. Kane also doesn’t fail to emphasise that they were all accomplished individuals in their own right, learned and brave.

“Does the man have no duty toward his wife and mother? You may be the best of princes, the perfect sons, the ideal brothers, probably the ideal king too, but never the good husband!”

The structuring of the story is a bit uneven, where the two month courtship covers half the book but the 14 year exile is covered in a few chapters, but I can’t really blame the author for that since complete accounts of Urmila’s life would’ve been hard to come by. I am also not overly fond of the lengthy descriptions of Urmila’s curvaceous body and Lakshman’s dark brooding looks (and the slightly clichéd descriptions of love-making) but again, Sita’s Sister isn’t meant to be a romance.


What I truly did enjoy were those moments when Urmila would get pissed off with the status quo. She is portrayed not only as stunningly beautiful, but fiercely intelligent. She salvages Sita’s Swayamvar after Parashurama threatens Ram for breaking the bow, she manages to get the scheming Manthara exposed and justly punished and slowly brings the broken family together.

Sita’s Sister is a good read, with many great moments for feminism. It is a scathing critique of the subservient role women were expected to play, even in royal families. It is also, above all, a reminder that these people, elevated to the role of Gods and Goddesses, were ultimately human. They were far from perfect, they also doubted themselves, and they too struggled with their inner demons. Ram, for all his perfection, sent his wife unwittingly to her death. The great King Dashrath was torn by paranoia, the regal Kausalya was resentful, Queen Kaikeyi insecure. 



Sita's Sister is a Rupa publication, 2014
[This review was commissioned by Rupa Publications. Views are Trisha Ray's own.]


95 comments:

  1. I've read an earlier book by Kane 'karna's Wife' and enjoyed it. This seems in the same league. Thanks for the review. Will go get it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thats a really good review :-) Will try to get this book.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have read Karna's wife and for some reason enjoyed it even more than Sita's Sister. I do like the fact that Kavita Kane does not treat her characters as Gods and Goddesses but like mere mortals with emotions. Liek Trisha said I like the way teh writer portrays Urmilla with not only a lot of intelligence but also as someone who has the gumption to stand up and speak her mind !
    Thanks Trisha for the lovely review !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read her previous book, but if her treatment of characters is just as good as it was in this one, I may go get it :)

      Delete
  4. With all the events around, honestly, I have no appetite for books that have anything to do with religion.
    Regardless, you have a sharp eye and a nuanced pen Trisha. Always a pleasure reading you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No no, this book isn't about the religion but about her reading of the characters. You may still like it :)

      Delete
    2. Okay, will try it after I finish Gone Girl. And I feel the same way about unidimensional portrayal. Our tele serials still do it unlike other international sitcoms.

      Delete
  5. did not enjoy Karnas wife. This seems to be similar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't comment on her previous work, but I quite enjoyed this one.

      Delete
  6. you know i had no clue even of SIta having a sister, so this is very interesting. Also I find a lot of stories are written for the sake of it .

    Most of the stories are of men.. but one needs to also know what happened ot the women, who were left behind, I think they did some amazing work and yet no one knows ..

    seems to be a good read

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! It gives readers a new perspective on the well know characters, plus it sheds light on the often-ignored ones.

      Delete
  7. It sounds interesting, though not very surprising. After all, the flaws in Rama was a discussion for many decades and the rest of the characters definitely have shades of grey! Nevertheless, picking up a lesser known character and making her the central character certainly makes it worth a read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. I do appreciate her focus on the female characters though, especially emphasising on the fact that they were all learned people with their own long list of achievements.

      Delete
  8. Good review.. motivates one to read the book.Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds interesting ! Thanks for the review. Wasn't aware of Sita's sister.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome! And do read it- though not a mind-shattering one, it was a pleasant read.

      Delete
  10. "Sita's Sister" sounds like an interesting read. Knowing Urmila would be great. Will try to get a copy :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is that a lot of people aren't aware of Urmila or her importance. The title was probably chosen to catch the casual browser's attention.

      Delete
  11. You are welcome to view my tribute to you at
    http://matheikal.blogspot.in/2015/01/thanks-rekha.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is through solving problems correctly that we grow spiritually. We are never given a burden unless we have the capacity to overcome it. If a great problem is set before you, this merely indicates that you have the great inner strength to solve a great problem. There is never really anything to be discouraged about, because difficulties are opportunities for inner growth, and the greater the difficulty the greater the opportunity for growth…

    ReplyDelete
  13. In this article at the end some said ram sent his wife to exile this decision is not ram's it's king ram's decision and by doing this he swiftly shifts the blame on sita to towards him as a cruel man and break free sitas blame please understand

    ReplyDelete
  14. In this article at the end some said ram sent his wife to exile this decision is not ram's it's king ram's decision and by doing this he swiftly shifts the blame on sita to towards him as a cruel man and break free sitas blame please understand

    ReplyDelete
  15. Got to pick up one of kane's book and it was so awesome. Love his work!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Microsoft office setup is the software setup file with this setup file you can install on your computer and some of the supported device to use Microsoft office.
    www.office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  17. Norton is one of the most reliable antivirus providers in the market. Norton is delivering top rated protection from mobile devices and computers. Norton has 3 antivirus packages
    norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  18. McAfee have the complete set of features which can protect your digital online and offline life of the computing devices, and it not only help you to protect it but also it can maintain the stability of your computer, increase the speed with inbuilt PC Optimisation tool.
    mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  19. If your PC is having a slow performance and you are facing problems due to this, then we can provide a solution to that. at TechSalvation, we have a highly experienced team for resolving the issues related to the slow performance of computers and laptops.
    avira tech support | avira support number | avira refund

    ReplyDelete
  20. www.Norton.com/Setup
    Norton Internet Security | Ransomware protection
    Get protection from Cyberattacks, Malware, trojan and all other online threats ,Get Norton setup with the help of product with get in touch with Norton Support Expert Norton.com/Setup

    ReplyDelete
  21. McAfee Software has Advanced Technology Which detect ransomware Malware threat which compromise the System leads to hacking email accounts, social media accounts, banking details etc McAfee is important software to installed on your computer with help of McAfee Support experts , McAfee Customer Support is reliable service which give Total satisfaction

    ReplyDelete
  22. IF your MS Office - Office.com/setup Product key has expired and you want to buy new product key then you visit our website for the new product key. Just visit and fill some previous details then after you get new key, If you have no previous details then don`t worry we will help you just call us on our toll-free number - 1-877-220-8885 otherwise visit our website: http://www.office-comsetup.net/setup-install.html

    ReplyDelete
  23. McAfee provides security for all sorts of users. They supply services and products for home and office at home, enterprise businesses with over 250 workers, and small organizations with under 250 employees, and also venture opportunities.

    mcafee.com activate
    mcafee com activate
    mcafee activate

    ReplyDelete

  24. We are providing help and support for Microsoft office Setup and activation. Call us or email us the error or problem, our one of the expert contact you with the suitable perfect solution. Get the MS Office application suite and as per your need and see how it is easy to work with Microsoft Office.


    Office.com setup
    www office com setup
    Install Office

    ReplyDelete
  25. MS Office setup is very easy to install, download and redeem. Use of MS Office is also simple and the user can learn the use of it easily. Online help option is also available in all application of the MS Office which provides an instant guideline.
    office.com setup
    www.office.com
    www office com setup

    ReplyDelete
  26. Before you plan to install the Office 2016 or Office 365 on your device be it a Computer, Laptop, Mobile Phone or a Tablet, you are required to take few important steps on of them is to remove any existing Office installations from your PC. Just like the previous Office products, Office 2016 & 365 will conflict with the previously installed versions. So, it becomes necessary to remove the previous office files properly.


    setup.office.com
    www.office.com/setup
    office.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. To Setup retail card please visit official website Www.Office.Com/Setup. Office Retail Cards allow you to download your security product from the internet instead of installing from a CD, ensuring recent versions.


    www.office.com/myaccount
    www.office.com/setup
    Microsoft Office product

    ReplyDelete
  28. Enter Key for office.com/setup, after purchasing Office from visit office.com/setup, sign in to your www.office.com/setup account then enter product key for Office Setup.

    ReplyDelete
  29. norton.com/setup Online Help – Step by Step guide for Norton Setup, Download & complete installation online. We are providing independent support service if in case you face problem to activate or Setup Norton product.norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  30. mcafee.com/activate Online Help :– Step by Step guide for McAfee Activate, Download & complete installation online. We are providing independent support service if in case you face problem to activate or Activate McAfee product. Just fill the form below and will get in touch with you as quick as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  31. office.com/setup Online Help – Step by Step guide for office Setup, Download & complete installation online. We are providing independent support service if in case you face problem to activate or Setup office product.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Looking for Aol Support? Call now on toll free number to get instant 24/7 email support AOL, AOL Mail Technical Support, Click here for more information.aol mail support

    Support For Adobe at Contactassistance.com is an online technical support company. We provide trustworthy tech support and services for the third party products.adobe support


    We provide Outlook customer service phone number or on Chat ,Outlook tech support phone number for recover outlook password recovery and other issues.microsoft outlook support


    ReplyDelete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Microsoft Access is a Database Management System (DBMS) from Microsoft that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software development tools.www.office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  35. McAfee.com/activate - Find the easy process for downloading, installing and activating McAfee antivirus at www.mcafee.com/activate to get McAfee Activate.
    mcafeeactivate.support

    ReplyDelete
  36. If your consumer inkjet printer is found defective within the applicable manufacturer warranty period, we’ll replace it with the same, or an equivalent model. Excludes damage caused by external factors. For full warranty terms see inside your box or visit.
    canon.com/ijsetup

    ReplyDelete
  37. Norton.com/setup - Now Install Norton Setup at www.norton.com/setup. Just Enter Norton Setup Product Key Here at Norton.com/setup and Get Started Now!
    norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  38. TomTom Update - Now Update TomTom GPS using TomTom MyDrive Connect. Download Tom Tom App and TomTom Update Online to use TomTom GPS Update Here.
    TomTom Update

    ReplyDelete
  39. Norton.com/setup – Get started with Norton setup with easy steps to download and install on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. For activation visit www.norton.com-setup.xyz.
    norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  40. 123.hp.com/setup | Install Setup Connect - 123 HP Com Setup - Support,Troubleshoot and Download Drivers for 123.hp.com/setup. Call us +1844-673-7300. Also, we offer the support during the download of HP Printer software from i123.hp.com/setup.You will get the help to connect your HP Printer
    123.hp.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  41. McAfee.com/activate - McAfee Activate at www.mcafee.com/activate, enter your product key for mcafee.com/activate online. Get Started with McAfee Activation.
    McAfee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  42. Office.com/setup – Check out the easy steps for installing, downloading, activation and re-installing the Microsoft office at www.officecomsetup.support Get Started to install Office Setup from www officecomsetup support, sign in to your MS Office account then enter product key for Office Install.

    office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  43. mcAfee.com/activate – McAfee provides complete virus protection and internet security to all your devices. Know more about McAfee, McAfee Activation and McAfee Product Key here.

    mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  44. To brother printer go to solutions.brother.com/windows or on call 1-877-976-3987 for Brother Printer setup support solution for Brother wireless printer setup

    ReplyDelete
  45. Enter Model Number after purchasing Canon Printer from visit canon.com/ijsetup, Canon setup for wireless setup installation process. Our Certified technical experts will assist you in Canon Printer Setup.visit: http://geeksready.com/http-canon-com-ijsetup/

    ReplyDelete
  46. Go to office.com/setup to purchase, download, install, and activate Office 2019, 365, 2016 and many more. Enter You Office Product key on www.office.com/setup to activate your Office setup.

    ReplyDelete
  47. office.com/setup - Learn how to download, install, activate, and uninstall Microsoft Office Setup on Mac and Windows. Activate your 25 character alphanumeric product key for Office 365, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, or Office 2007 at www.office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing tips. I must say you are an incredible writer, I love the way that you describe the things. Please keep sharing.

    For more information visit on office.com/setup | office.com/setup | office.com/setup | Norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  49. AOI Tech Solutions is a best internet and network security providing company in US, UK, Canada and Australia. Higher customer satisfaction and affordable services. Trained experts with lot of experience. For more details call us - 888-875-4666.

    ReplyDelete

  50. Tekwire is a best internet and network security providing company in US, UK, Canada and Australia. Higher customer satisfaction and affordable services. Trained experts with lot of experience. For more details call us - 844-479-6777.

    ReplyDelete

  51. Wire-IT Solutions is a best internet and network security providing company in US, UK, Canada and Australia. Higher customer satisfaction and affordable services. Trained experts with lot of experience.

    ReplyDelete

  52. Fegon Group LLC is a best internet and network security providing company in US, UK, Canada and Australia. Higher customer satisfaction and affordable services. Trained experts with lot of experience.

    ReplyDelete

  53. Zone Firewall offers comprehensive internet and network security solutions in USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. The qualified experts help with product selection and installation. Product shipping is quick, and pricing is affordable

    ReplyDelete

  54. Hii its very nice,
    when i was read your article that give a such a inspirational for me.
    it has good information which i found everywhere but when i saw your article i really like it,
    could you please give us these type of informative blogs.and i requested you should vis
    it my article hope this article also give you some information for your next article
    brother printer support


    thankyou,

    ReplyDelete

  55. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    norton.com/setup | office.com/setup | office.com/setup | McAfee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  56. Norton are built with the high-quality security benefits which always result in better protection. norton.com/setup | www.norton.com/setup


    ReplyDelete
  57. McAfee Activation as the Activation part is based online from now onwards. mcafee.com/activate | www.mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  58. The requirement of installing or owning McAfee antivirus software to your device is fabulous. mcafee.com/activate | mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  59. office.com/setup – Get started with Microsoft Office 2019, 365, 2016, or 2013. Download the setup from www.office.com/setup , run and install it on the device, and enter the product key for activation.

    ReplyDelete
  60. This is really an amazing article. Your article is really good and your article has always good content with a good powerpoint with informative information.

    norton.com/setup

    mcafee.com/activate

    office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  61. I really happy found this website eventually. Really informative and inoperative, Thanks for the post and effort! Please keep sharing more such blog. norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  62. bt mai sign in | bt mail login | my bt mail
    Bt mail
    bt mail

    See how to set up your BT Mail account and fix issues with email access. Also easily reset your password or get a username reminder online

    ReplyDelete
  63. office.com/setup-Here we give you finish step direct which helps you in downloading, installing, and activating the MS office software. The means are exceptionally easy to take after. Furthermore, the means are less tedious. For any specialized help from the group of Microsoft, dial the without toll number of Microsoft Customer support.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Very Informative!! Curious to get more post like this.Keep it up and best of luck for your future blogs and posts.


    norton.com/setup
    mcafee.com/activate
    office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  65. With an increasing number of online threats on the internet, users are always in search of total security protection for their PC or MAC, we here at Webroot provide best antivirus products all over the world for different requirements of people.
    webroot.com/safe
    www.webroot.com/safe

    ReplyDelete
  66. Get one stop arrangement with Norton antivirus security programming and secure your gadgets from different sorts of malware and digital assaults. It is effectively accessible in the market or over the web. A client can without much of a stretch buy it from the retail location or direct from the official site norton.com/setup. Get help for downloading, introducing, re-introducing and actuation Norton antivirus. For enacting the product, you have to enter 25 digit alpha-numeric item initiation key code and effectively actuate the product into your gadget.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Figure out how to exchange your Norton security to another PC, Formatted or Reimaged PC. It additionally has ventures to download or re-download, introduce or reinstall and enact your Norton security items on your PC and cell phone. To find out about more visit norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  68. Really great article, Glad to read the article. It is very informative for us. Thanks for posting.

    norton.com/setup
    mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  69. Mcafee antivirus setup is a widely used antivirus software which develops a protective shield for your devices and data.
    mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete

  70. Microsoft Office 365 including the complete system of downloading, presenting and start MS Office 365 on the web.
    office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  71. This is really an amazing article. Your article is really good and your article has always good content with a good powerpoint with informative information.
    McAfee.com/Activate
    www.mcafee.com/activate
    office.com/setup
    norton.com/setup 
    www.mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  72. This is really helpful post, very informative there is no doubt about it Keep it up. Visit - AOI Tech Solutions | Tekwire | Wire-IT Solutions | Fegon Group | Zone Firewall

    ReplyDelete
  73. It?s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you?re talking about! Thanks ball games

    ReplyDelete
  74. The paypal login account is a dimensions used platform for processing the payment medium for the new dimensions of the digital era. The PayPal login in offers the secured transferring platform to individuals and small organizations along with low-cost services.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Buy Xanax Online- I have been in every case touchy and powerless. I was unable to unwind and I was constantly stressed. When the anxieties assaults got wild and a sleeping disorder annoyed me around evening time, I comprehended that I needed to see a specialist. Each mental episode was proceeded inside a few days, and I imagined that nothing more regrettable could occur in my life" – these are genuine sentiments individuals with uneasiness face each day.
    Buy Xanax Online without prescription
    Read more…

    ReplyDelete
  76. If you want to activate prime video on your gadget then you need to follow a couple of steps. Just you need to visit Primevideo.com/mytv and enter the superb video actuation code of your gadget to get access. To see the substance of the Amazon prime video the main thing you need to do is to buy in to the amazon prime video. You can pick any membership plan according to your decision to transfer prime video in Canada. In case you are now enlisted or have a record on prime video Canada then you can basically follow the technique referenced here.
    More info :- www.amazon.com/mytv
    primevideo.com mytv

    ReplyDelete
  77. Enjoyed reading your post keep sharing such amazing post will come back to read more.

    Regards

    fubo.tv/connect
    www.fubo.tv/connect
    www.primevideo.com/mytv
    primevideo.com/mytv

    ReplyDelete

  78. You have a spam problem with this blog; and I have a spam problem with this site.
    I'm a blogger and was intrigued by your scenario; several
    We have devised some delightful approaches, and that is who we are.
    Interested in sharing methods with others, sons
    Kindly contact me via email if you are interested.
    spyhunter crack
    spyhunter crack license key
    djay pro crack

    ReplyDelete

Psst... let me know what you are thinking.