Book Review: Ganga: The Constant Goddess by Anuja Chandramouli

Ganga: The Constant Goddess
Author: Anuja Chandramouli
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 4/5

For aeons, Ganga has been regarded as the purest and the holiest. It has been a source of inspiration for sages, saints, scientists, poets and authors alike. Personified as Ganga goddess, Ganga is often looked upon as fierce and pleasant at the same time. She is known for her kindness and her anger, her sympathy and her free will. Setting an example of a strong woman, Ganga is one of the deities who is worshipped throughout our country.

“Gita and Ganga constitute the essence of Hinduism; one its theory and the other its practice.” – Swami Vivekananda

Anuja Chandramouli’s new book ‘Ganga: The Constant Goddess’ explores the descent, the origin, the transformation and the persona of one of the mightiest rivers in the world. Just like water (pun used), Ganga is also free-willed and vivacious. She cannot be bound by the chains of patriarchy or misogyny or sexual objectification. She is audacious and calls a spade a spade. At the same time, she is an epitome of beauty and kindness. The story has several sub-plots (most of which we would have heard during our childhood) like how Ganga stood against the mighty Lord Bharma and how she was tamed in the matted locks of Lord Shiva. But then there are certain aspects to this story that have never been heard of- like the tiff between Ganga and her sister, Parvati (Shiva’s companion) and many more. The best part of the book is that the author weaves together different stories to exemplify the personality of the protagonist.

Using subtle satire and pun, the author traces the path of retrospection and tries her best to make each character relatable. Just like the narrative used in Kartikeya, this time, too, the provocative and lucid narrative act like a cherry on the cake. The language caters to the interest of diverse readers and mythology is made interesting.

There are chapters that describe the excessive emotions, which we believe that only the people of our kind (mortals) can experience. But it is interesting to see how the immortal Gods led their lives.

Summing up, the book aims to carve out scaffolding for the character of Ganga who played a major role in the process of evolution. With powerful vocabulary, the book doesn’t fail to impress. A tantalizing cover adds on to the enticing opus.

Best wishes to the author!

Buying link: Amazon

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