Ahalya’s Awakening by Kavita Kane

Ahalya. Created by Brahma; married to one of the greatest rishis of all time; desired by the king of gods, Indra. A woman maligned and cursed.

But who was Ahalya? What did she want? Did she have ambitions and desires?

In this sparkling retelling of the well-known legend, bestselling author Kavita Kané draws out the voice of a character that lacked one—even before she was turned to stone. Tracing her journey from a precocious child, to a studious and sheltered princess, to the loving wife of Rishi Gautam, Ahalya’s Awakening delves into the mind of a woman who yearns to control her own destiny. In her tale lies the story of every woman, even today.

My review: My first mythological fiction book. And I must say that the author Kavita Kane introduced us to the unheard voices of female characters in mythology. The female characters are usually mentioned as someone in the background. Ahalya was an exeptionally intelligent woman who had thirst for knowledge. The role our society defines for a woman is very different, she is expected to get married, look after her household and family. Ahalya who was created by Brahma was a woman of extraordinary beauty. Indra was besotted with her. But she chooses the less attractive Rishi Gautam as her husband. Somewhere in her household duties she looses her own identity. The correct depiction of the patriarchal society that a man’s follies are ignored and a woman is usually blamed for her mistakes. If a man complains about giving up his aspirations it is called a sacrifice and if a woman does the same, she is considered as being selfish and irrational as this is what is expected of her. Beautiful portrayal of Ahalya’s character and her inner feelings. Irony is that even today the patriarchal set up hasn’t changed in our society. This book keeps the interest of the reader. I highly recommend this book.

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