Brahmakamal: Love Story of a Devdasi– Book Review by Asha Seth

Author: Lalsa Verma | Genre: Mythology, Fiction | Pages: 324

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A devadasi is an ever-auspicious one, presiding over the temple rituals, entertaining the king and brought up to respect and follow traditions mindlessly. Nitya does all that unquestioningly until she meets Prabhas. Prabhas, the young rebel who grew up in a devadasi household, finally mellows to become an excellent musician. But just as he readies for a duty-bound life ahead, he encounters Nitya. As Kaveri, Nitya’s mother, and the town’s dashing chief Yugendra personify the social hierarchy, rigid customs and hypocrisy of the day to tear them apart, do Nitya and Prabhas stand a chance?

What survives? Love that knows no bounds or traditions that were the very essence of their existence?

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Not all love stories are the same. And the most memorable ones are those where the stories feel personal, relatable, or somehow ones that left a mark upon your heart. Not because they hit home, but because you either felt the pain or pleasure, as though it was your own.

Brahmakamal: Love Story of a Devdasi, is one such story. It isn’t your own but it isn’t outlandish too.

Here are few things, I wish to highlight about this novel.

What happens when you fall for the forbidden? What do you do when your heart’s deepest desire is clouded by the agony of superstition? The love of Prabhas and Nitya is one such tale. They are unforgettable, even though predictable. The best part about their story is the will to win, to have their love see the light of the day and they do turn some stones for it.

The characters of this novel stand apart and both the protagonists are quite compelling. They sew the ends of the story quite brilliantly, putting people and stances together like the pieces of a puzzle. They make their efforts seem believable and that is an outstanding feat for any writer of romance.

Mythology being a genre where romance is not much explored, this attempt appears a commendable one. The writing, the language, the vocabulary, the plot itself, seemed well-researched and thoroughly-thought of. For such a genre, it is a difficult task to establish a romantic story with this clarity and precision, with the societal beliefs and norms that prevailed in the yester ages. Having said that, some parts of the novel felt overdone with more-than-required meat in terms of narration or descriptions of events, rituals, etc.

Life for devdasis was never an easy one and that has been well-captured in this novel; a second by the author. She knew what she was doing and for that I do regard her in a captivating light and recommend readers to give this novel a chance. It is a neat and beat read that will serve as a great night-time companion should sleep betray you some time.

Have you read ‘Brahmakamal’? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

P.S: I received a review copy from the author but the review remains unbiased.

Happy reading till we meet next. Until then, carpe diem! 

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