Wk 10 (Pt C) Reading Diary: Nala and Damayanti

I have really found some creative things to work with in the story of Nala and Damayanti and it has really opened up the possibilities creatively for me. Upon reading the third half of the book I was really excited about the ideas that came to my mind. For instance, in the
story Damayanti is presumably still wandering in the forest in the search of Nala. Nala is scared that Damayanti’s life is in peril and he mentions wild beasts are most likely on her. Well, I thought what if this was the case at one point, but Damayanti fends off the beast in a warrior-esque way, maybe possibly making her into a hunter of sorts. Another idea is what called a metaphorical story. The whole story is written in a metaphor. Throughout the story Damayanti is said to have lotus eyes and to be a great beauty. In the third half

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Wise Fruit Tree, Source: Paul-Elie Ranson

of the story it is mentioned she is the wife of the moon. What if metaphorically she was the wife of the moon because Nala crushed her heart and ultimately left her in the woods, to fend for herself (the metaphor of the moon would be a different man). I know it may seem hard to understand, but it could work. It would just take a lot of explaining and “fleshing out”. The last idea I came up with is my favorite, so far. In the story Nala encounters a wise fruit tree that helps release Kali from Nala’s body. What if this tree was as wise as it was powerful and Nala goes to the tree for advice (think Pocahontas and her grandmother tree)? What falls from the tree is apples answering his questions and oranges fall hitting him in the head when he asks silly questions, and ultimately the tree speaks in weird rhymes and riddles, only able to give Nala clear answers on fruit. I thought this idea was really fun and unique and gives me the opportunity to play with rhymes/poetry.

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13 thoughts on “Wk 10 (Pt C) Reading Diary: Nala and Damayanti

    1. Fabulous! Do you like audiobooks? I don’t have any free coupons right now, but I get a free Audible.com coupon every month on the 14th day (so in a couple of weeks, April 14) to give away for an unabridged book, and I’d be glad to give you that coupon if you want to listen and/or read the print book. Just let me know! (I love audiobooks)

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      1. I haven’t listened to audiobooks since high school and that is almost 10yrs ago! I remember liking them okay, just depends on the narrator. I almost bought the audiobook of the story, but I found the book relatively cheap on Amazon.

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  1. Yes, I’m reading that version. I was going by the reading guide and it has Part A, B, C,D.. Oh shoot, it doesn’t. Omg. I read it wrong. Do I need to start a new story? I can’t believe it! I already had a stor lined up. Also, was going to finish reading it today. Arghhhhh

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    1. Oh, it’s fine, no worries: I just wanted to figure out if I had mislabeled something (there are so many reading options that I sometimes get confused too ha ha). I love the story of Nala and Damayanti, and it is totally worth thinking about for two weeks: it really could be an epic on its own, and Damayanti has so much in common with Draupadi. I am really glad you like it, and I think you will love Palace of Illusions too. You will be a Draupadi expert by the end of the semester!

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      1. Do you want me to continue what I’m doing with the story of Nala and Damayanti? Finish the reading this week with a story and etc? I hope so I’m a huge fan of Draupadi. She showed strength and bravery in her stories. She’s also not put in the shadows like most female characters.

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      2. All is good! Finsh up Damayanti this week, and you’ll still have time for Palace of Illusions since that is a big novel, four weeks, and you’ll just have time to finish it: Weeks 11-12-13-14 (Week 14 is last week with reading), so that works out perfectly!

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  2. I am so glad you like that story, Whitney! I’m not quite sure how it spread into a second week (it has two halves, not three halves…?), but it is super-famous, and you can read other versions of it if you are curious; there is a nice version in Sunity Devee’s book, and you might like the other stories in here too, all famous Indian heroines: Devee. Savitri, Damayanti, Sati, and Uttara

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