Female voices in ancient Indian literature: The Caravan

Editorial illustration

Editorial illustrations for Samhita Arni’s piece of female voices in ancient Indian (Hindu) literature in this month’s issue of The Caravan Magazine. Through both the pieces, I wanted to capture the idea of a common woman being in control of, and leading her own narrative.

  1. Atukuri Molla, a 14th century Telugu poet from Kadapa district who is credited to have first-authored Telugu-Ramayana also known as ‘Molla-Ramayanam’. Not only did she translate the story, but she also wrote some of it from the point of view of a man. The background for this illustration visualises her poem comparing Sita’s beauty with nature.
  2. Illustration of Kannagi, the central character in the Tamizh epic ‘Silappathikaram’—represented at the moment that she confronts and holds the Pandya king accountable for unjustly executing her husband. She cuts off her breast in a rage leaving Madurai burning in the background. In her hand, is her silver anklet that her husband is wrongly accused of stealing from the queen.

Art directed by Tanvi Mishra.

Read the article here: https://caravanmagazine.in/literature/female-voices-ancient-indian-literature

Atukuri Molla