The novel Rishika by Dipavali Sen describes a journey that Ila, a working woman in the NCR, takes in her lonely flat by reading ancient Indian texts through the night. She reads about the lives of Rishikas or women sages mentioned in the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Puranas. She re-lives as well as re-creates those stories with her own contemporary approach. Based on original material in Sanskrit, this book provides – through Ila – a fresh look at an essentially male-dominated world where women are still doing their tapasya and coping with challenges. Interspersed with the lives of Gargi, Apala and the like, there are snippets of Ila’s own life. This is what makes the book a blend of the present and the past.

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