Meet Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the author who gave a voice to the women who go unheard on a daily basis and to the women who went unheard in two of India's greatest epics; the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Chitra was born in Kolkata (July 29, 1956), where she also received her B.A from Calcutta University (1976). After moving to the United States, she attended Wright University and the University of California Berkeley (1985). An author who has dedicated her work to telling stories of women, Chitra has written books that went onto win awards and became National best-sellers. The books she is most well known for are the 'Palace of Illusions' and the 'Forest of Enchantments'; two stories that retell the tale of India's two epics from the perspectives of Draupadi and Sita, respectively.
On her birthday today, we are celebrating the voices and the stories of women who are often sidelined or silenced. And, moreover, we look back at the stories of India's oldest feminist heroines, see them as reflections of our own womanhood, and understand them for who they really are; pillars of strength, complexity, courage, and more importantly, for their humanity.
Produced and Interviewed by: Urmi Chatterjee