Books

Exploring The Lesser Known Wonder Women Of Ancient India With Saiswaroopa Iyer

(Saiswaroopa Iyer)

Sai Swaroopa, the multi-faceted author of 'Abhaya', is moving towards another important milestone. The Kindle edition of 'Avishi', her second book, based on the Rig Vedic legend of Vishpala, the legendary warrior queen who was granted an iron leg by the twin gods Ashvinas, will be launched in August. The cover reveal of 'Avishi' is scheduled on July 12.

Indic Book Club is proud to be part of this journey and will share many interesting aspects of Sai's work, her books, and the process of reading, questioning, thinking and narrating, that makes and shapes the women she writes about.

What makes Avishi? What makes 'Avishi' different? How is Avishi different from Abhaya, the woman and work? Sai will answer these and many other questions in her Indic Chat, 'Exploring the lesser-known wonder women of Ancient India', on July 8.

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Readers will get the first glimpse of Avishi and her tryst with prosthesis in the cover reveal. Why prosthesis? Sai leads us to this important element in her work. She says, "The hymns of Rigveda that mention Vishpala are also the world’s first reference to prosthesis. It is a matter of pride that international medical journals on the area of prosthesis mention Rigveda. It is also a matter of shame that this tale combining female warrior and scientific advancement is forgotten by Indians at large."

Last month, Sai interviewed renowned author Amish Tripathi on his book, 'Sita - Warrior of Mithila', a unique experience of the world of Ramayana, where he reimagines the character of Sita and takes a relook at several stereotypes associated with the Devi. Sai's approach to gender makes an impact on her work and readers. She believes that exploring the lesser-known legends is a great way to realise and regain the gender equality that India lost in the last millennium.

In the 60-minute chat, she will share about her journey of writing 'Abhaya' and how writing it built her interest in the lesser-known stories. The author will share her insight on puranic incidents, the sthala purana of Kamakhya Kalika Purana; Prabandha poetry and Vaggeyakara literature -- crucial part of Carnatic music that has influenced her writings.

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A trained Classical singer, Sai was awarded a gold medal by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. She believes that philosophy intertwined with music goes a long way in shedding light on the ageless thought processes of India. Saiswaroopa Iyer’s ‘Abhaya’, an engrossing work of fiction set in the ancient times, is about a woman's journey in dharma, faith, duty compassion and love. Abhaya's transformation, from a princess to a strategist and a warrior, takes place against the backdrop of immense political churning.

When Sai writes on women, as we saw in 'Abhaya', she goes beyond shaping and nurturing characters. Her imagination of strong-willed, self-respecting and thinking women of 'Abhaya', in Subhadra, Shyeni, Kadambari, Dhatri and Atulyaprabha, engages the reader intelligent and engrossing portrayals. Women in 'Abhaya' firmly hold the mirror to each other.

Saiswaroopa is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and a former investment professional turned author. She, like the wonder women in her books, can deliver a good punch or a spear. Meet her at the Indic Chat.

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Details of the Facebook chat with the author Saiswaroopa Iyer. Details of the Facebook chat with the author Saiswaroopa Iyer.
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