Recovering Women’s Stories in Indian Mythology
Payal Nagpal
TAPESTRY OF WOMEN IN INDIAN MYTHOLOGY: POEMS by Meenakshi Mohan Hawakal Publishers, New Delhi and Calcutta, 2022, 315 pp., 650.00
May 2023, volume 47, No 5

Tapestry of Women in Indian Mythology is an anthology of poems with contributions from 70 poets, both women and men. The book has an epic-like range and draws attention not only to women from mythology who are part of the popular imagination but more importantly, to those whose narratives have been ignored, suppressed or completely glossed over. Curator and editor, Meenakshi Mohan explains, ‘A civilized state has mythology at its foundation. There are myths and legends for every culture known to humanity, but sadly many stories are lost in the sands of time.’

Stories of women in Indian mythology are numerous and bespeak diversity. But the process of narration, writing and discussion is selective and in this, there has been an erasure of women’s experiences. Devdutt Pattanaik in his Foreword draws attention to the lacunae in the reading of the classics: ‘We are often told stories of Indian women to suit a particular construct…There is a whole body of stories of Indian women that escapes the public eye because it is rarely presented outside academic circles’.

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