Book Review |Misplaced Heads by Jayanthi Sankar |The Literature TodayDecember 21, 2020 0 By The Literature Today
“As they say that somethings never change, that indeed is very much true when it comes to art, the love for an art form has been remained the same for the human beings, be it in the old times or in the modern era!”
The book, “Misplaced Heads” by Author Jayanthi Sankar can most certainly be regarded as a Historical Fiction with an appropriate dose of human emotions along with feministic metaphors. The Author has portrayed plenty of life in the characters of her plot, in such an engaging manner that readers will simply want to go deeper in the story. Moreover, it’s an extremely well-researched plot where each and every minute details of the dancer’s life are very vividly painted by the words of the author!
Author’s Introduction: The Author, Jayanthi Sankar, is known for her books, “Dangling Gandhi” & “Misplaced Heads.” She was born and brought up in India, has been creatively active since 1995. She’s been published in several magazines and ezines like the indianruminations, museindia, The Wagon, inOpinion. ‘Read Singapore’, her short story published in the quarterly magazine Ceriph – ISSUE TWO, has been translated and included in the Russian anthology: To Go to S’pore, contemporary writing from Singapore, edited by Kirill Cherbitski.
Her short stories have found places in various anthologies. She has been invited to participate in the panels of literary festivals such as (Asia Pacific Writers & Translators) APWT 2018 at Gold coast, Singapore Writers Festival, Seemanchal International Literary Festival, Asean – India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Writers Festival.
Jayanthi Sankar is also a watercolour artist. ‘Expressions of Heritage, Architecture, and Nature’, her first and solo Art exhibition, one full day event organized by NLB on 22nd September 2018 turned out an unexpected hit in the appreciative sense. Her semi-abstract illustration for a speculative fiction drew much healthy attention among art lovers and serious readers.
Introduction: This book, “Misplaced Heads” is a well-researched Historical Fiction with a terrific research on every detail of the repertoire, the training of the devadasis, and their style. It was astonishing, to think about how she could even decipher various adavus and various mudras used by the dancers. The readers will find the unveiling of the characters and the experiences of the temple dancer communities are brought seamlessly well in this book.
The book shows a great variation of the reality by taking us back to the period of 1st Century B.C, Early Medieval Era and bring us again to the present day. There was a detailed mention about the classical dance namely Bharatanatyam and also Odissi to some extent.
The book also gives us great insights about the plight of “Devadasis” during the Sangam/Medieval Era. The kind of emotions they would have gone through since they devoted their lives only to The Almighty apart from concentrating purely in spreading the Art (read it as Dance) couldn’t have been explained any better.
Readers’ Connect: The plot has been written with great efforts as the readers can find that the author has talked about the time changes and its consequences with respect to the character. The Author has deeply described the details of the devadasis in a very elaborate and magnificent manner, keeping each and every single thing in mind. The book beautifully describes the human emotions towards arts and throws light on how the feelings for an art remains the same for ages. The author even described the irony of the story very elegantly. The character unfolding was also done effortlessly.
The book takes the readers to a rollercoaster ride ripped with information, research, an absolute treat. The best part about this book is that various predominant issues have been mentioned and so subtly that is leaves the reader in a mind blogging state. The author has out done herself with this present creation, as the author, Jayanthi Sankar takes her readers on a journey through the untouched, mysterious land of the past, which is bound to amaze the readers.
Book Title & Cover: The book title, is undoubtedly a catchy one and also creating an appropriate amount of curiosity in the mind of the readers. Well, after going through the plot, one can understand the reason for this title, “Misplaced Heads” as it’s very much justified with respect to the plot. In addition, the book cover, too deserves a special mention for being so intriguing and with the glimpse of the ancient temple, the subject matter of the plot is very well reflected too through the book cover!
Verdict: The depth of the plot clearly tells that a lot of research is done by the Author on various levels, which is making the novel appear more Reading Worthy for the book lovers. Readers can find an incredible state of flawless writing throughout the plot, which surely makes this book easy to read as well, in spite of it being so lengthy. Overall, the research made to construct the plot, the cover, the title and everything about this book makes it a Must-Read as this book is meant to crave the readers to go deeper and read it till the very last page!