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Book Review: Padmavat by Purushottam Agrawal

For me, mythology fiction has always been a mouth-watering genre. I randomly pick up books from this genre as and when I get a chance and never regret the choices that I make since there is always something new to learn. Last week, I got to read something new, a translated and illustrated version of Padmavat by Purushottam Agrawal. 

As we are all aware, Padmavat was a fictional poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. More than five hundred years since this poem has been written, the story of Padmavat still continues to capture the imagination of readers with its unique characters. In this detailed translated book, Purushottam Agrawal introduces you to Padmavati, the Princess of Simhal, and her lover and husband, Ratansen, the king of Chittor. You also get to meet Padmavati’s dearest friend and advisor, Hiraman, a parrot and Nagmati, Ratansen’s first wife. The version also features the famous duo of Gora-Badal, stories of whom we used to listen from our grandparents when we were kids.

The story of Padmavat is not much different from what is shown on the silver screen, however, the book will always be better than the movie. And thanks to the master illustrator, Devdutt Pattanaik, the poem comes alive in these pages. Even the story of Padmavat is confused by many radicals, considered to be against their “pure” customs. I for one feel that it is a remarkable and timeless ode to love and truth. And nothing can beat the creativity that Jayasi showed five hundred years ago when he wrote this beautiful ode.

Now, coming back to the technicalities of Padmavat, it’s a pretty short read that you can finish in even in an hour (with god reading speed) or a day. The story is detailed and the illustrations are damn impressive. Devdutt Pattanaik has always managed to keep me in awe with his beautiful work and I will never get enough of it.

Another thing I would like to clarify, the book is a detailed explanation of what Jayasi’s poem stood for. It is not a fictional account of the story, converted from a poem. Also, you will love how Purushottam has managed to capture all intricate details of the poem, including the explanation behind Jayasi’s thinking, and how he dedicated everything to the God first, including Padmavat.

All in all, Padmavat is a book that you simply cannot miss. It is definitely a must-read.

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