(4.67 out of 5)
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The retelling of mythologies in a modern context is very much in vogue these days. Two of the three tales are a retelling of mythological stories from India and the third is a fantastical story about the various magical creatures found in the Indian stories and scriptures.In the first story readers will immediately connect to the story of Shakuntala and Dushyant of Mahabharat who forgets his marriage to Shakuntala and remembers the same after his ring is found in the belly of a fish. The little nod to Sherlock Holmes in this thriller was gratifying to note.Be careful what you wish for is reiterated and perfectly proven in the 2nd story. At the end you are left with the question whether the end justify the means.The third story is enlightening and entertaining. It was time well spent.
Strangely Familiar Tales has just 3 stories, each from a different genre. But all are interconnected by 2 things: 1. All derive inspiration from Indian mythology. 2. All are thrillers but of varied subgenres. My personal favourite was the 2nd story, entitled Bitter Fruit. From its first word to its last, it left me mesmerised. Such a captivating narrative! The 3rd story was an eye-opener to me in a different sense. As someone who is comparatively ignorant of mythical beings in Indian legends, I was surprised to see the variety of supernatural beings we have in our mythology and how a compelling narrative uniting all of them can be woven.
The inherent themes and elements from mythology are beautifully woven with present day stories of regular people, even as the stories have a strong fantastical element to them.Often I have come across people ridiculing the need to question and dissect mythology, the logic being these were incidents or stories from the past and should be viewed from that lens. I’d always considered that these stories are relevant to our present too, and it is only when we learn from our past that we can make our present and future better.It is this questioning of the problematic areas that makes for the basis of these three stories – mysterious, fantastical, engaging as they are – presenting a collection of tales that is as much steeped in the past as it is in the present.Full review:https://www.womensweb.in/2020/06/strangely-familiar-tales-feminist-incisive-inclusive-take-on-the-mythologies-vijayalakshmi-harish-jun20wk1sr/
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