In Search of Sita   -   Revisiting Mythology

In Search of Sita - Revisiting Mythology

Product ID: 27213

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Author: Malashri Lal
Namita Gokhale/Eminent Contributors
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Malashri Lal/ Namita Gokhale
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 270
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143068181


Sita is one of the defining figures of Indian womanhood, yet there is no single version of her story. Different accounts coexist in myth, literature and folktale. Canonical texts deify Sita while regional variations humanize her. Folk songs and ballads connect her timeless predicament to the daily lives of rural women. Modern-day women continue to see themselves reflected in films, serials and soap operas based on Sita’s narrative.

Sacrifice, self denial and unquestioning loyalty are some of the ideals associated with popular perceptions of Sita. But the Janaki who symbolized strength, who could lift Shiva’s mighty bow, who courageously chose to accompany Rama into exile and who refused to follow him back after a second trial, is often forgotten.

However she is remembered, revered or written about, Sita continues to exert a powerful influence on the collective Indian psyche. In Search of Sita presents essays, conversations and commentaries that explore different aspects of her life. It revisits mythology, reopening the debate on her birth, her days in exile, her abduction, the test by fire, the birth of her sons and, finally, her return to the earth—offering fresh interpretations of this enigmatic figure and her indelible impact on our everyday lives.


Sita: A Personal Journey


1. Sita and some other Women From the Epics
2. Valmiki’s Ramayana
3. Sita as Gauri, or Kali
4. Janaki: The Fire and the Earth
5. R.K. Narayan’s Ramayana
6. Chitrangada Not Sita: Jawaharlal Nehru’s Model For Gender Equation
7. Sita: Naming Purity and Protest
8. The Justification of Rama
9. Matrilineal and Patrilineal
10. Draupadi’s Moment in Sita’s Syntax

In Dialogue

11. Sita’s Voice
12. Sita’s Luminous Strength
13. Ramayana: The Human Story
14. Trial by Fire
15. The Diary of Sita
16. Laying Janaki to Rest
17. Sita Sings the Blues


18. The Essential Orphan: The Girl Child
19. The Portrayal of Sita in two Bengali Ramayanas
20. Sita in Pshari Lok Ramain
21. Versions of Ramayana Stories in Telugu Folk Literature
22. Sita’s Trial by Fire and Bhojpuri Women’s Songs
23. Sita in the Oriya Ramayana

Creative Interpretations

24. Reading Pictures: Sita in Victorian Indian Prints
25. The Day of the Golden Deer
26. Janaki
27. Sitayana
28. Sita’s Letter to her Unborn Daughter
29. Sita: An Excerpt from a Novel
30. Sita in my Dreams
31. Letters from the Palace
32. Poems
33. An Infatuation (From the Ramayana)

34. Notes

35. Reference:

36. Notes on Contributors

37. Copyright Acknowledgements

38. Index