- This event is over. However, time travel possible through our Audio & Video!
Authors Devi Yesodharan and Samhita Arni talk about how sex is depicted in literature and epics and how they can inform healthier conversations in the 21st century. They explore how Indian epics like Kalidasa’s Kumara Sambhavam, to Andal’s poetry, to the Arabian Nights and Dante’s Divine Comedy, approach various aspects on sex, courtship, and relationships. They also talk about how distorted modern sex education and understanding can be, and what role literature can play in dispelling taboos.
Devi Yesodharan is the author of Empire, a historical fiction novel on the Tamil king Rajendra Chola. Her book was nominated for the Tata Lit Live First Book Prize and the JCB Literature Prize. She is a Chevening Gurukul fellow and the co-founder of trendlyne.com. She lives in Bangalore.
If you want to read any of the books and epics discussed in the episode, you can check them out here:
- Kumarasambhavam by Kalidasa (translated by Hank Heifetz)
- Kama Sutra by Vatsayayana (translated by A.N.D Haksar)
- Radhika Santawanam: Appeasement Of Radhika, by Muddupalani (translated by Sandhya Mulchandani) Note: Radha is not married to Krishna in the epics. But in Radhika Santawanam, Radhika (Radha) is married to Krishna.
- Daphnis and Chloe, by Longus
- Andal: The Autobiography of a Goddess, by Priya Sarukkai Chabria
- My Father’s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
- The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights: Volume I, translated by Robert Irwin
- The Epic of Gilgamesh
When she was eight, Samhita Arni started writing and illustrating her first book. The Mahabharata – A Child’s View went on to be published in seven language editions and sell 50,000 copies worldwide. Samhita’s second book, Sita’s Ramayana, a graphic novel developed in collaboration with Patua artist Moyna Chitrakar, was on the New York Times Bestseller list for Graphic Novels. Her third book, is The Missing Queen. Samhita was also head scriptwriter for the first season of ‘The Defenders’, a TV series produced by Tolo TV in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Prince is her fourth book.