Karna’s wife – The Outcaste’s Queen By Kavita Kane
Dr. Payal Trivedi
There are events in life we feel we have the RIGHT to change and there are those that make us powerless, Kavita Kane’s novel Karna’s wife – The Outcast’s Queen brings both these facets of life into prominence. As a primary subject matter, the audacity of princess Uruvi to choose Karna, the son of the sutaputra, the charioteer over the royal prince Arjuna as a valiant reformation and comes to the readers as a pleasant surprise. Nonetheless, her powerlessness as a wife to change her husband’s course of improper action is more than evident as Uruvi sees Karna meet the dire consequences of being susceptible to his dutiful adherence towards Duryodhana and his inherent disagreement with the Pandavas.
Despite all her wishful thinking that her husband would come to terms with the truth of being misguided by vengeance towards the Pandavas Uruvi is unable to deviate Karna from the path of his own destruction. This brings us to the acknowledgement of a woman’s opinion being of secondary or negligible importance in a man’s life in spite of it being true. At the same time, Uruvi’s strong denial to be subservient to her man’s choice of being indulgent in his decision of supporting the wrong is a defiance of the conformist notions that subject a woman to blindly consent to her man’s beliefs. When she leaves Karna and opts for a reclusive life away from all the obligations of being a dutiful wife, we see this as the author’s appreciable effort towards dethroning the regular assumptions of modernity towards traditional figures as essentially submissive.
The ending of novel does evoke a sense of resignation towards fate and undoubtedly seems to be a conventional approach towards understanding life. Krishna becomes a clairvoyant messenger in informing Uruvi that she cannot change the predestined fate of her son and cannot escape the massacre of war by just evading the truth of her being a warrior’s wife and her son being the posterity of a royal clan – Angaraj. Nonetheless, this very conventional approach exposes the unspoken or often avoided truth of life as a preordained karmic cycle which is inescapable. While we know for the fact that individual reaps the fruit of one’s own karma, the same fact leads us to acknowledge the fated destiny in case of Karna that brought him to his helpless death end. It is Karna’s own choice that brings his downfall but that same choice was made not out of his own choice to be with the wrong doers. His unfortunate destiny of being Kunti’s illegitimate child was instrumental in shaping up the course of events in his life; an undeniable truth. Kane adopts a more subtle but an effective mode of unravelling the fact of life being a perplexing arena of the constant feud between fate and deeds. This universally pertinent message makes this novel interesting, appealing and even mysteriously absorbing in its own regard.
A good read.
I will not be able to go through the novel & so I cannot Comment but I have my own perceptions !
No doubt Suryaputar Karan was the greatest warrior of that time & he could not be killed easily & despite having the best Guru’s he is wisdom was limited , though he had All the knowledge !
Had he not been the friend of Duryodhan, perhaps Mahabharat would not have taken place !
Why only his wife, even Lord Krishna offered him Kingdom of Hastinapur & Pandav’s to be at his service , he was not willing to change his path of Righteousness , what Lord Krishna was trying to establish !
Mahabharat has many lessons ! Lord Krishna has explained, how exceptions to rules & regulations can be made & should be made for *Righteousness*
Still more powerful than Killing of Karan or other warriors was that Lord Krishna asked for the head of grandson of Bhim ( Babrik , son of Ghatokavach ) even before the war began as he was going to fight of one who was going to be in the looser’s side & this way he would have killed All both Pandav’s & Kaurav’s with the three Arrows he had !
As I see it , both Kaurav’s & Pandav’s faulted in their lives & Lord Krishna through Bhagvat Gita explained How one should perform one’s Duty !
That’s really a wonderful and thought provoking comment sir. Thank you for taking time out to read my write-up and illumine me regarding the significance of this character.
Never heard of this character,Uruvi so far.the novel’s content is very appealing. The Mahabharata has this enormous scope for reinterpretation . And Karna , the character, has given poetic interpretation from the time of Bhasa the Great Sanskrit playwright and poet. Equally important it appears is now ,Uruvi ,the wife of Karna.love to read this novel. Liked the review Very much.