Sexing the Devi

Morphology of the mythic-fantastic in Azalea(s) and Chitrangada(s)

  • Indira Mondal University of Delhi
Keywords: fantasy, metamorphosis, Ahalya, Chitrangada, Indian mythology


Myths and fantasy are two of the most indispensable and widely consumed literary genres for every civilisation. These two literary/cultural forms partake in a rather curious correlation with each other. While myths are a product of cultural authorship, that authorises certain cultural norms arising through its narrative; fantasy is a literature of desire that revels in the free play of imagination and expression that are often outrageously subversive. Yet, the universes constructed by myth and fantasy are conspicuously structured on similar strategies and modality. It is this structural similitude between myth and fantasy that this paper dissects, in order to illustrate that myths are not simply a product of cultural authorship but more importantly of cultural fantasy that is propagated as symbolic truths.  This paper particularly examines Indian mythological system through the myths of Ahalya and Chitrangada and their cinematic renditions, to excavate the underlying fantasy embedded within its narrative and the import of its reception.


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Author Biography

Indira Mondal, University of Delhi

Indira Mondal is a post-graduate student having completed her M.A. in English Literature from University of Delhi. Her research interests include anything and everything to do with popular culture and fiction, science fiction, detective fiction, postcolonial literatures and theory, Victorian literature.

She is an avid reader, writer and editor who is always thinking (and overthinking) new ways to study culture. Besides researching, she spends her time travelling the city through the metro, practising yoga and keeping up with latest food trends.


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How to Cite
Mondal, I. “Sexing the Devi”. Contemporary Literary Review India, Vol. 10, no. 2, May 2023, pp. 23-42,
Research Papers