(Re)Visiting the Traumatised Indian Matriarch Through Contemporary Retellings: A Psycho-Cultural Exploration

Abhirami S, National Institute of Technology Puducherry, India
Smrutisikta Mishra, National Institute of Technology, Puducherry, India
Email: en20d1001@nitpy.ac.in
Published: August 16, 2023

Citation: S, A., & Mishra, S. (2023). (Re)Visiting the Traumatised Indian Matriarch Through Contemporary Retellings: A Psycho-Cultural Exploration. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.10.1.12


The Mahabharata (composed in Sanskrit sometime between 400 BC and 400 AD), is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. It has been used as a source of inspiration for various literary, artistic, and cultural expressions, and its themes and characters have been reinterpreted to reflect contemporary political and social concerns. This has led to the creation of new interpretations and revisions of the epic, which have challenged traditional narratives and added new perspectives to the epic’s cultural significance. Focusing on Kavita Kané ‘s The Fisher Queen’s Dynasty, the paper suggests that the trauma experienced by Satyavati in her infancy shaped her character and her actions as the Queen of Hastinapur. The author analyses the influence of trauma in her life and how it led to her determination to re-establish a powerful clan. The author’s perspective offers a unique interpretation of Satyavati’s character and highlights the importance of considering the impact of traumatic experiences on an individual’s life and behaviour. The protagonist’s abandonment by her father was a traumatic event that influenced her emotional fabric and perception of the world. She was constantly haunted by a past that fuelled her insecurities and anxieties. The paper analyses this modern narrative representation of female desire for power and autonomy (which is repressed by the patriarchy) and how this desire can originate in past traumatic experiences.


abandonment, Mahabharata, memory, Satyavati, trauma