Ganga: The Constant Goddess by Anuja Chandramouli – Book Review

  • Author: Anuja Chandramouli
  • Genre: Myths, Legends, Fiction
  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Rupa Publications India (20 November 2018)
  • Language: English

BLURB

Believed to be the liquid manifestation of Shakti and the nurturer of the three worlds with her life-sustaining waters, Goddess Ganga is the epitome of beauty and purity, famous for her indomitable spirit and boundless charm. Renowned as a devoted daughter, a caring mother, a passionate lover and a merciful savior, she is here to absorb and absolve us of our sins. A constant goddess, she is part of the Indian ethos, revered and loved across the ages. The exquisite epic that is Ganga’s story, from her miraculous origins, her sojourn in the heavens, her poignant relationships with the divine trinity, the birth of her sons Bhishma and Kartikeya and her descent into a wicked world that is not worthy of her, is dazzlingly told by Anuja Chandramouli. Without this Goddess, life, as we know it will be over, for her righteous retribution, will be terrifying.
This book is a vibrant retelling of the story of Ganga, who has the power to save us all and bestow the precious gift of moksha, embracing saints and sinners alike with her all-encompassing compassion.

My Review

I have read quite a many mythological fictions which reimagine our Gods and weave a story around them. But nothing, in my humblest opinion and recall, comes close to what Ganga: The Constant Goddess is by Anuja Chandramouli.

The author has attempted to carve Ganga’s story right from her birth in primeval times to a time Kaliyug appears. She is stated to be the free and mysterious daughter of Hemavan and Mena. The popular folklore surrounding her have been retold in luxurious storytelling and rich vocabulary. Ganga represents a woman who is strong, brave, and audacious. She is a woman who is filled with compassion and yet, does not let her love be her weakness. She is determined, beautiful, and an enchanting goddess who has so much to her persona than just being a display of sheer beauty. She believes in the equality of men and women, she takes a stand for the dignity and integrity of a woman, she stomps the stooped men off her feet, she is discreetly enraged when her love is conspired to face death. She is mischievous but with the course of time, she learns to go beyond her whims and carry out her responsibilities with devotion. The savior of the three worlds is thus worshipped for her unparalleled equanimity and strength.

The cover did justice to the book and so perfect was the title. Ganga is undoubtedly the constant goddess staying firm on her duties till eternity.  With a brilliant narration, the author has done justice with the character of Ganga. I am literally in awe of her literary prowess and look forward to reading more of her works. The impeccable flow of the story and smooth transition from one chapter of Ganga’s life to another was amazing. Though a few instances were known to me, there were others which were totally foreign to my knowledge. The book did a good job of educating me. Also, I would want to commend the author for coming up with a book on Ganga, a subject I have not seen discussed before. The retelling of Ganga has been a stupendous presentation and except for a bit high-level language which might discomfit some, a reader should find oneself at ease with reading it.

MY RATING: 4.25/ 5


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