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The Palace of Illusions. Identifierthe-palace-of-illusions-com-v Identifier-ark ark://t5r84qh OcrABBYY FineReader (Extended. This book has been optimized for viewing at a monitor setting of x pixels. T h e Pa l a c e of Illusions. The Palace of Illusions: A Novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format.


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The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half-history, half-myth, and wholly magical; narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the five Pandava brothers, we . Taking us back to a time that is half history, half myth and wholly magical, bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni gives voice to Panchaali, the fire- born. Title: The Palace of Illusions Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. This PDF document has been generated by Adobe Acrobat / Acrobat.

While growing up, Draupadi confided in only three people who were closest to her heart, her caretaker, Dhai Ma, her brother, Dhri, and her only friend, Krishna, who guided her through all her troubles with his wise and thoughtful advice. But when the time arrived for Swayamvar, Draupadi's heart has already found the man of her life, but due to her father and Krishna's strategy and scheme to protect the king and the kingdom from his enemies, thereby yet once again Draupadi followed what others wanted her to follow before her heart's desire.

Once landing into the palace of her husband, Arjun, Draupadi, once again, had to fight for and obey the rules and the opinions of her mother-in-law, Kunti, who asked her to marry off five of her sons, instead of only one. From then on, Draupadi had to lead a sad and enduring life filled with only grief, pain and loss and embarrassment.

But not for once Draupadi spoke out aloud of her grief either to her husbands or to her own family, instead she quietly obeyed and payed heavily for everything that her husbands did. This is one of the most enthralling and magical re-telling of the epic mythological tale that changed the history, spiritualism, thoughts and beliefs of Indian society.

The whole tale felt like an astounding, mystical and breath taking read that blew my mind with the intensity of Draupadi's heart breaking life story as well as with the opportunity to lose myself in the thrill of the greatest mythology, Mahabharata told from the perspective of a brave woman. The author has not only imagined and projected her version of this epic tale, but has also included the wise words of Vyasa, the original author of Mahabharata.

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In his lined, cracked face, his eyes shone mischievously. But enough of that. Eager to learn your future, are you?

Did you ever think how monotonous your life would be if you could see all that was coming to you?

The Palace of Illusions

Believe me, I know! Inside the circle, the earth felt hot against my blistered soles. It keeps the mosquitoes away. You may ask them your questions. Coldness passed over my skin like ghost breath. Why, then, did a strange reluctance silence me now? Later I would wonder, was it because of this lack of faith that the spirits answered me so obliquely, in riddles that were more hindrance than help?

I want to leave a mark on history, as was promised to me at my birth.

But there are other things—perhaps unknown to you—that you crave more. No matter. The spirits will see into your heart and answer accordingly. Yellow whispers came to me through the smoke. You will be queen of queens, envied even by goddesses.

You will be a servant maid. You will be mistress of the most magical of palaces and then lose it. You will be remembered for causing the greatest war of your time.

A million women will become widows because of you. Yes, indeed, you will leave a mark on history. You will be loved, though you will not always recognize who loves you. After the voices fell silent, I sat stunned.

Or become queen of queens? And all those deaths! But in your case, your own nature is going to speed its process. Your temper. Your vengefulness. Women will chant your name to bring them blessing and luck.

Besides, your destiny is born of lifetimes of karma, too powerful for me to change. Three dangerous moments will come to you. The second will be when your husbands are at the height of their power: at that time, hold back your laughter. Maybe it will mitigate the catastrophes to come. He ran a hand through his thick mane, exasperated. And of the great and terrible war of Kurukshetra that will end the Third Age of Man.

Go now! I climbed onto the cart, too preoccupied to feel its jolts. I peered through the shadows of the banyan one last time. One of them was the sage. The cart lurched away before I could point him out to my nurse.

You look so solemn. I knew this heat would be too much for you! Remind me to get you some green-coconut water when we go through the bazaar. Though no one seems to have a problem when men sleep with a different wife each day of the week! Can you see your royal father, proper as he is, ever allowing something scandalous like that? Dhai Ma heaved a sigh. What a waste of time this was! Oh, my aching back! Wait till we get back to the palace.

Each night I thought of my name. Princess Panchaali. A name strong like the land, a name that knew how to endure. No matter what else came to pass, I would always thank the sage for giving it to me. I thought also of the palace the spirits had promised me.

I wondered how I would ever gain such a palace. I understood, suddenly, the unspoken questions the spirits had answered: Who would I marry? Would I ever be mistress of my own home? Were these the kinds of desires hidden in my heart? How puerile they were, things my maids might have wanted! It was a mortifying thought. Other nights I considered the mystery of the book the sage showed me, the story of my life. Did this mean that I had no control over what was to happen?

Otherwise, why did he take the trouble to warn me? On those nights, my rough bark-bed seemed softer. But no matter how much I called for them—for by now I had other, wiser questions—the spirits did not return to me again.

My maids gathered in corners and corridors, whispering fervently, but they scattered like sparrows when I approached them. Dhri was shut up in council with our father, so I had no way of asking him. And why is everyone so afraid of her? What else, I would wonder later, had they been keeping from me? This afternoon, in fact. Dhai Ma had a lengthy compendium of rules as to how women should behave. Already I felt sympathy for the unknown Sikhandi.

She paused only to inform me that Dhri, who usually ate with me, would not be here because Sikhandi had expressed a desire to speak with me alone. I waited with some excitement to view my sudden-found sister. I wondered what she looked like.

Was her body hard and muscular, her arms scarred from weapons? Or was it her heart that had changed so that it no longer shook at the thought of killing? How had she survived in the forest—for she must have been just a girl when she left? What terrible crime could she have committed for our father to banish her at that tender age? And why did she want to speak with me, alone?

Sikhandi walked with a panther grace, light and assured on the balls of his feet. Yes, his. He carried a bow, which he leaned against the wall before approaching me. His cheekbones were like knives. His almond-shaped eyes gave him a foreignness that was not unattractive. Around his neck hung a garland of white lotuses.

Silently he put out his hands to touch my cheeks.

I hesitated— he was a stranger, after all—but then I allowed it. A shiver went through me as they grazed my face.

I noticed that we were the same height, and somehow this consoled me for the loss of the sister he was supposed to be. He smiled past the shadows in his almond eyes. He stood on tiptoe to kiss my forehead.

Sikhandi stayed with me for a day and a night, and in that time he told me his story. Or of the wolf that hid under sheepskin so he could mingle undetected with his prey? I feel like both sometimes. A fake—or a hidden menace. This time I invoked a yaksha. He appeared in the sky with his burning demon sword. When he heard what I wanted, he laughed and plunged it into me. The pain was unbearable. I fainted. When I awoke, I was a man.

And yet not completely so, for though my form was changed, inside me I remembered how women thought and what they longed for. Yes, someone greater even than Drona.

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His name is Bheeshma the terrible. Tangled indeed is the web of this world! This garland? I was six when I found it hanging on the palace gate and placed it around my neck. Our father cried, What have you done, you foolish, unlucky girl! Oh, he and I are father and child indeed! We both live for vengeance. And through it all: my impatience to be gone. Because without death there is no rebirth, and without rebirth I could not kill Bheeshma. The god Shiva himself had promised me that in my next life I would kill him whom no man had defeated before.

My name? In that body I was Amba, the princess of Kasi, the rejected one. Very well, the story from the beginning, then. We three sisters, princesses of Kasi, were to marry. My father arranged a swayamvar, inviting all the kings of the land, so that we could choose our husbands.

I already knew the man I wanted: King Salva, who had wooed me for a year. The brother said, A woman who has embraced another in her heart is not chaste. I do not wish to marry her.

The Palace of Illusions

Bheeshma said, Very well, I will send you back to Salva. But when I went to him, Salva said, Bheeshma has taken you by the hand. You belong to him now. I said, If someone grasps my hand against my will, how does that make me his? For Salva forced me to return to Bheeshma, and still I lived. I told Bheeshma, My happiness has crumbled into dust because of you.

Marry me so that at least my honor can be saved. Bheeshma said, Forgive me. In youth I promised my father I would never marry. I cannot go back on my word. Abandoned and shamed, I went from court to court, seeking a champion who would battle Bheeshma, but all were afraid of him.

I went to the Himalayas in my despair and performed austerities so that the gods would help me. Years passed; my youth fell away. The gods were reluctant to interfere because Bheeshma was the son of 49 Ganga, goddess of the sacred river.

Finally, the child-god Kartikeya took pity and appeared before me with this garland. My hopes rekindled, I went back to the kings with the everlasting garland. But the cowards! Even King Drupad, known in that time as a champion of the weak, dared not accept it.

The humor of the gods is cruel; or perhaps they see more than we do. The moment I set eyes on the garland-that-never-fades, my past returned to me, and with it my rage. I took the garland for myself, determined to do on my own what no man dared do for me.

I lifted Earth out of the primordial waters with my tusks. I read about them in the Puranas. I never could tell when he was joking. In meditation, you invoked Shiva. He came and stood in front of you, silent and blue as moonlight. You asked for a wish to be granted. You asked for it again—and again. Five times you made your wish before he had the chance to say yes.

His eyes, bright with amusement, were like black bees. King Drupad had invited Sikhandi to stay with him, but Sikhandi politely excused himself.

Drupad tried, unsuccessfully, to disguise his relief at this. But I was delighted. Something about Sikhandi drew me to him. Was it his easy acceptance of me? His own unusual life? We whiled away his short visit in eating and storytelling and playing at dice for Dhri had taught me this most unladylike pastime. We laughed a great deal, often at the littlest things. I composed poems and riddles to entertain my brothers and watched as they practiced with swords. Was it because one day if the prophecy about my husbands was true I, too, would cross the bounds of what was allowed to women?

Dhri offered to teach him the newest wrestling holds. Sikhandi shook his head, his eyes regretful. I gave him sweet laddus to eat on the way, and a yak-hair shawl against the approaching winter.

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In its folds I had secreted gold coins. But he would take nothing. It weakens the foundations of society. Share some of your wisdom with us.

Know the particular properties of your power. In the world that I knew, men just happened to have more of it. I hoped to change this. But I had something else to ask before he left. I grasped his hands one last time, feeling those calluses. It was a large and laborious book that set out the laws of the land, which my brother was currently studying. Around me summer unfurled its drowsy petals in a conspiracy to distract me. Insects sang. Luscious purple jamuns dropped lazily onto thick grass. The paired cry of bright birds pulled at my chest, releasing a strange restlessness.

Was this a feminine interest? My companions, daughters of courtiers, clustered themselves under canopies hoisted to protect our complexions.

They murmured gossip, chewed betel leaf to redden their lips, exchanged recipes for love potions, pouted, giggled without reason, and emitted suitably feminine shrieks if a bee orbited too close. From time to time they sent me beseeching glances. This pitiless sun—even with a canopy, it was so bad for the skin!

The book, which described in diligent, morose detail complicated laws concerning household property—including servants and wives—caused my eyelids to droop. But I was determined to learn what a king was supposed to know. How else could I be powerful in myself?

For even as I turned the page Dhai Ma came from the palace, waddling as fast as her bulk would allow. Out of breath and wheezing, her face an alarming red, she shooed my companions away. But Dhai Ma informed me I was to have a swayamvar. Eligible rulers from every kingdom in Bharat would be invited to Panchaal.

From among them, my father had announced, I would choose the man I was to marry.Scarica Sul filo della memoria. Additionally, she is of an impulsive nature, a failing in many females. And why was a battle necessary at all? In the afternoons, he sat in court and observed my father dispensing justice. He left the room before I could contradict him.

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