This novel is based on the life of Surpanakha, Ravan’s famous sister. Ugly, brutal and brazen—this is often how she is commonly perceived. One whose nose was sliced off by an angry Lakshman and the one who started a war. But was she really just a perpetrator of war? Or was she a victim? Was she ‘Lanka’s princess’? Or was she the reason behind its destruction?
She is often the most misunderstood character in the Ramayana. Growing up in the shadows of her brothers, who were destined to win wars, fame and prestige, she, instead, charted out a path filled with misery and revenge.
Accused of manipulating events between Ram and Ravan, which culminated into a bloody war and annihilation of her family, Kavita Kané’s Lanka’s Princess makes us see the familiar events unfold from the eyes of a woman more hated than hateful…
Woman’s Era interviewed senior journalist and a bestselling author, Kavita Kané, who has done a great job by highlighting the characters of mythology!
WE:- Tell us something about your Journey?
Kavita Kane:- Very short and sweet. I quit my two decade career as a journalist to become a full time author after the super success of my debut book Karna’s Wife which was followed by one book every year. After Sita’s Sister and Menaka’s Choice, the latest is Lanka’s Princess.
WE:- Tell us something about your book Lanka’s Princess?
KK:-As the title reveals, it is about Surpanakha, Ravan’s sister whom we don’t know much about besides her nose getting chopped off by Lakshman. But there was more to her than this episode, one of the most brutal incident in the epic. Was she a villain or a victim? And like Draupadi in the Mahabharat, Surpanakha started a war between Ram and Ravan in the Ramayan. She is certainly more than just being Ravan’s injured sister…
WE:- Did you find any difficulties while writing the novel Lanka’s Princess?
KK:-Yes the fact that I was dealing with a negative character – one of the most hated woman in the epic. Like Manthara and Kaikeyi in the first half, it is Surpanakha who is the female antagonist of the second part in the epic who propels the plot forward. I did not want to paint her white or black or show her as a saint or a sinner, just a person with her shades of grey. My protagonist is also the antagonist in this book. She is often demonised, this is an attempt to humanise her.
WE:- You always choose an interesting character; from where did you get the ideas for your books?
KK:-Just! I have to find the story idea exciting enough to sustain my interest and effort to write a 300 page story around it!
WE:- Did you always have an interest in mythology?
KK:-Yes thanks to Amar Chitra Katha – I must have exhausted the entire series! All my cousins were voracious readers and we used to have a competition who would finish which book first! Later at high school I first read C Rajagopalchari’s Ramayana and the Mahabharata. As a student of English literature, I got interested in other mythologies of the world- Greek, Celtic, Norse etc and saw a strange connect between all. They told us stories of universal truth and reality.
WE:- How did the idea to write Lanka’s Princess come up?
KK:-As a negative character, Surpanakha was fascinating. I had already dealt with Manthara and Kaikeyi in Sita’s Sister but this lady was truly interesting right from her name! With an ugly name like that which, by the way, means, ‘one with long nails’, I wanted to know was she as ugly as depicted.
WE:-Who inspires you the most in your life?
KK:-People around me, my family, all what’s happening .. it is a continuous process.
WE:-Who will be the protagonist of your next book? Can you give us some hint?
KK:-Hmm. Another badass woman!
WE:-Would you like to give any message to our readers?
KK:-Read books not just whatsapp messages 🙂