Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Home Variety Books Book Review - 'Avishi : Vishpala of Rig Veda Reimagined' By Saiswaroopa Iyer

Book Review – ‘Avishi : Vishpala of Rig Veda Reimagined’ By Saiswaroopa Iyer

Avishi, Vishpala, these are names you may not have heard before. This book talks about Vishpala, a queen mentioned in the Rig Veda, who lost her leg during a fight and then had it replaced with a metal one. Saiswaroopa Iyer, the author, has reconstructed Vishpala’s life through Avishi and also imagined some of it, to present before us this wonderful book.

Saiswaroopa Iyer has written another book called ‘Abhaya’. Both her books have one thing in common – both talk about tales of women with unimaginable courage. When you start reading Avishi, you will be enthralled by the immense hardships she had to face and her bravery in facing those hardships without flinching. This gives a message to everyone, that women aren’t weak and never were. It dispels that misconception and inspires children who read it.

Here is a gist of the story.

Sukratu, Avishi’s father, was a soldier who worked at the king’s palace. One night, he was killed in an act of treachery in a conspiracy by General Ugra and his nephew, Khela, and was branded a traitor. Afte killing Sukratu, when Sukratu’s assassins came to kill Avishi, she was whisked away by Loha, a beggar Sukratu had taken in. Loha took Avishi to the forest of Naimisha, where all the respected rishis lived. The rishis nursed her and taught her the rules of dharma and how to fight. She grew up to be a warrior.

- Advertisement -

Once grown up, Avishi left the ashrama on Rishi Vahni’s advice and went to a settlement named Ashtagani. She still did not know her past as the shock had wiped that part of her memory. She settled in Ashtagani, got a post as a senior military recruit, and was treated with respect. Meanwhile, in Vrishabhavati, General Ugra had ascended the throne, and Khela was his right hand. Khela plotted with his friend Anudatta and killed his uncle so as to be the king. Khela was not as naïve as the other rulers and planned to change the set of rules that everyone followed. He wants to start by taking over Ashtagani. He started to cut its supplies short. A one-to-one duel where he cheated was called off. To compensate, Khela sent gifts to Ashtagani and offered to marry Avishi, who was now the head of the village. Avishi decided to go to Vrishabhavati, as she had a plan in mind that would help save everyone. She went to Khela’s palace, and later kills Anudatta when he tries to kill her. In the process, her leg is injured, and slowly gets infected. How will she fight to save Ashtagani with her leg?

I loved this book more than Abhaya, and it has inspired me. The way Avishi fought even with serious injuries, and her leadership should be a lesson to all of us. Saiswaroopa Iyer is able to alternate from scene to scene with a lot of ease, and none of it seemed abrupt. She was able to build the plot up well, as towards the end when Avishi and Khela fought, I was holding my breath, waiting for how it would end.

I loved Avishi and Shivani’s characters the best as both had plenty of courage and would never step down when challenged. They would instead face the challenge and emerge victorious. Each person in the book has his or her own importance, and none of them seem out of place. I think Saiswaroopa Iyer has outdone herself with this book. I loved her idea for the book. There are barely a handful of people who have even heard of Vishpala, and this talks about her whole life! Finding a good topic for the book is also a talent, and writing about that topic, especially if very less is mentioned about that topic is truly amazing. I have loved this book. Why don’t you try it?

To know more, Read ‘Avishi: Vishpala of Rig Veda Reimagined’ by Saiswaroopa Iyer. Avishi is available as a Kindle e-book from Kindle IN and Kindle US.

(13 year old Anvita Agarwal, runs a Twitter handle @SistersWhoRead along with her 10 year old sister. You can read more from these remarkable girls on their blog.)

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

ANI Editor rubbishes viral claim of the same person acting as a customer during demonetisation and farmer supporting agriculture Bills

Congress social media co-ordinator Vinay Kumar Dokania in a tweet alleged that a farmer interviewed by ANI over farm bills was the same man who praised demonetisation and Digital India in 2016

‘Secular’ anti-CAA protesters knew their Islamist comrades were trying to incite violence but did not inform police, WhatsApp texts reveal

The WhatsApp conversations revealed that the Delhi riots were organised and facilitated through provocation and active mobilisation of the masses.

‘Remember Kamlesh Tiwari? The same will happen to you’: Asst Stores Officer Shakeel Ahmad threatens UP Minister Rajeshwar Singh

As per police, a case has been filed against Shakeel Ahmed under Sections 504, 506, and 507 of IPC. Once the police finish investigation, they will arrest Ahmed as per law.

For AltNews, Muslims cease to be Muslims if they do not hate Narendra Modi or the RSS

AltNews questions the religiosity of Muslims who extend their support or are associated with the BJP and the RSS

NCB summons KWAN Agency CEO. Did you know Anurag Kashyap aide and film producer Madhu Mantena co-founded KWAN as well as Phantom films

Interestingly, until now, all the big Bollywood names which have emerged in the NCB's probe have links with KWAN Agency

Pakistan’s vicious narco-terrorism plan in India and its connection to Khalistan movement

Understanding Narco-Terrorism and how Pakistan is helping Khalistani movement by pushing drugs in India

Recently Popular

‘Whoever doesn’t want to watch the show, can go and read a novel, or turn off the TV’: Justice Chandrachud on Sudarshan News ‘UPSC...

"Read a novel, or turn off the TV", justice Chandrachud stated that if anyone doesn't like the content of the Sudarshan News show, they can choose not to watch it.

Fact Check: Is India going under lockdown once again from September 25?

PIB has debunked rumours on social media about the reimposition of lockdown from September 25 in the wake of Coronavirus surge.

An eyewitness tells media that Disha Salian was gang-raped by 4 men in the party held on the eve of her death: Here are...

An eyewitness has told News Nation that Disha Salian was gang-raped by 4 men in the party which she attended on the eve of her death on June 8.

OpIndia, Indic Collective Trust and UpWord file intervention application in SC in Sudarshan News case, ‘Saffron terror’, fake news demonising Hindus find mention

OpIndia, Indic Collective Trust and UpWord Foundation have filed an application seeking an audience with the Supreme Court in a matter of Sudarshan News and UPSC Jihad show

‘Maal you have?’ Deepika Padukone’s name emerges in the Bollywood drug abuse probe as NCB investigation intensifies

In a sensational revelation, Bollywood's top actress Deepika Padukone's name has emerged in the latest drug abuse probe carried out by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

Why Arnab vs Ravish is like India vs China

I guess Ravish Kumar does allow people to disagree with him on air. To have that honor, you just have to be the Prime Minister of India.

Sushant Singh death probe: Rhea Chakraborty’s judicial custody extended till October 6 by NDPS court

Rhea Chakraborty was arrested by NCB and sent to 14-days of judicial custody on September 8, 2020.

ANI Editor rubbishes viral claim of the same person acting as a customer during demonetisation and farmer supporting agriculture Bills

Congress social media co-ordinator Vinay Kumar Dokania in a tweet alleged that a farmer interviewed by ANI over farm bills was the same man who praised demonetisation and Digital India in 2016

Election affidavit complaints: Income Tax dept sends notices to Uddhav Thackeray and son, Sharad Pawar and daughter

Shiv Sena and NCP have shrugged off the IT notice as 'routine activities'.

West Bengal: Unavailibity of cold storage, inefficient policies blamed for loss to potato farmers in the state

While the State produces 11.5 million tonnes of potatoes annually, there is a storage capacity of only 7 million tonnes.

‘Secular’ anti-CAA protesters knew their Islamist comrades were trying to incite violence but did not inform police, WhatsApp texts reveal

The WhatsApp conversations revealed that the Delhi riots were organised and facilitated through provocation and active mobilisation of the masses.

CM Yogi seeks suggestion from film personalities for the proposed Film City in Uttar Pradesh

The proposed Film City is expected to be set up in Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.

‘Remember Kamlesh Tiwari? The same will happen to you’: Asst Stores Officer Shakeel Ahmad threatens UP Minister Rajeshwar Singh

As per police, a case has been filed against Shakeel Ahmed under Sections 504, 506, and 507 of IPC. Once the police finish investigation, they will arrest Ahmed as per law.

Reading, UK: ‘Are you Taliban?’, Sikh taxi driver attacked by four white men in apparent hate crime

Vaneet Singh, a Sikh Taxi Driver from Reading, has informed the Police that he was attacked by four white men on Sunday.

For AltNews, Muslims cease to be Muslims if they do not hate Narendra Modi or the RSS

AltNews questions the religiosity of Muslims who extend their support or are associated with the BJP and the RSS

NCB summons KWAN Agency CEO. Did you know Anurag Kashyap aide and film producer Madhu Mantena co-founded KWAN as well as Phantom films

Interestingly, until now, all the big Bollywood names which have emerged in the NCB's probe have links with KWAN Agency

Connect with us

244,181FansLike
454,570FollowersFollow
16,400SubscribersSubscribe