Let me put some lipstick on,” Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni says before facing a camera. “I think strong women and attractive women are good things to be,” says the author of The Palace of Illusions, her 2008 novel with the Mahabharata’sDraupadi as the protagonist.
Divakurni’s Draupadi has a queen’s pride, a sharp intellect and a strong will. Talking about re-interpreting the character, she said, “The Mahabharata is an action-based epic. It only shows Draupadi’s actions, not her thoughts. I started imagining how she would be from inside and her internal thoughts processes.”
After The Palace of Illusions, Chitra wrote One Amazing Thing. This 2010 novel deals with a primal aspect of human behaviour: what do we do when our lives are threatened? This is the story of nine people going to the Indian consulate in America on the same day an earthquake strikes.