Book Launch Event on
21st January 2019
21st January 2019
India International Center
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s ‘The Forest of Enchantments’
On 21st January 2019, renowned author Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni came to India to launch her new book, ‘The Forest of Enchantments’ in an event organized at India International Center by the publisher, Harper Collins.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of creative writing at Houston University. Some of her works include “The Palace of Illusions”, “The Mistress of Spices”, “Sister of My Heart” and many more. Her work has been published widely, in magazines and anthologies. Her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages and have been made into films and plays.
‘The Forest of Enchantments’ is based on the Indian epic, Ramayana, which the author re-tells from the point of view of the main female character, Sita. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity and honour, it is also about women’s struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills.
The book launch started with a brief introduction by Chancellor, K R Mangalam University, Prof. Dinesh Singh. He discussed the context and significance of Ramayana in our lives and how it has nourished the soul of our nation since ages. ‘Ram in his various avatars embodies all the qualities that India has stood for in centuries,” said Padma Shri Prof. Dinesh Singh. This was followed by a conversation with the author, Chitra Divakaruni by Mumbai based author, Chandrahas Choudhary. In this conversation, the author explained the title, the content and the interpretation of Ramayana. She also discussed her two most powerful characters, Paanchali from Palace of Illusions and Sita from The Forest of Enchantments as extremely strong but with diverse qualities, all of which can be seen in the contemporary woman.
This was followed by a Q&A session open to audience. The students of K R Mangalam University asked the author many questions, all of which were appreciated by the author and
audience. She answered in the most pragmatic and unassuming manner. Her interaction with the students not only inspired them but also all other students who had attended the event in large numbers.
The event witnessed the presence of more than 300 people from all walks of life including university and school students, literature professors, writers, lawyers, corporate persons and more. One hundred copies of the newly released book, autographed by the author were distributed by K R Mangalam University to the students of K R Mangalam World School, Summerfields School, K R Mangalam University and students of other schools and colleges who had registered online for the event.