Honestly, I found it difficult to write a review for this book, because it was at the same time both interesting and irritating.
I found it interesting because of all the titbits of fascinating information about the gods and their lives and their scheming that are little known. The author has obviously done a lot of research and there were times where I, a diehard fan of Indian mythology, went, “Oh! Is it? That is something I didn’t know!”
It was irritating because it brings home the fact that nothing has changed through the ages. The gods are as fallible as men. They go about granting boons to anyone who strokes their ego with devotion, without any thought of what chaos and destruction the boon is going to bring about.
Then and now, it seems, physical beauty is more important in the choice of a mate. You have Ganesha with all his qualities, wisdom and powers wooing Riddhi, yet she prefers him as Sumukha . She cannot or does not want to accept him in his half human, half elephant form.
Siddhi, in a past life immolates herself because the one she falls in love with does not return her love and she feels slighted. Does a woman only have a reason to live if someone loves her back?
I feel so terribly sorry for Mandodari. She has been created exclusively to cater to Ravan’s lust and to deflect his thoughts from Parvati. Her entire life is given up to pleasing him and enduring all his philandering in the hope that one day he will belong only to her. We all know how that ended.
The author however does have a great narrative style and her language is impeccable. As you read, the scenes unfold before you and I swear I could almost hear Ganesha sulk when things did not go his way.
So though I prefer her “Pradyumna: Son of Krishna” and “The Secret of God’s son” to Prem Purana, I am rather glad I decided to read this one.
Stories of love and extraordinary devotion
No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nala and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till almost nothing remained.
Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana.
Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling novels span multiple genres: ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller; ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin) and ’Doctor Stalker Spy’ (Juggernaut), lighthearted romances; ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ and her latest ‘Prem Purana’ (all from Penguin) that have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest.’ Two new books are in the offing. When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers and romances to the puranas.
Click here to check out all the titles by the author…
Praise for Usha’s books:
‘Like the best of our mythological tales, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna too is a multilayered one…There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception.’
‘The Secret of God’s Son is a compelling read on mythological tales.’ – The Sentinel
‘Prem Purana is so good! I am impressed at how Usha can write about Ganesha with so much personality while at the same time showing him as a cosmic divine being. ’ Dr Laura Gibbs, Professor, Indian Epics, University of Oklahoma
You can stalk her @
We Promote So That You Can Write