Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Mahabharath is an epic. It is one such mega story which shows the victory of good over bad. Several versions of this epic have been written by various writers across the length and breadth of the country since ages. I was excited when Leadstart offered me a chance to review one of their bestsellers Ajaya—Roll of the dice. The idea of Duryodhana being portrayed as a hero was a unique and fascinating one.
I have watched several serials and read books by accomplished authors in different languages on the Mahabharath, so I consider myself better equipped to review this. Leadstart wanted an honest review and I tried to be as honest as possible.
The language used in the book is rich and holds the interest initially.
The writing style of the Author is average.
The way things unfold is confusing and weak and insignificant characters have been given a lot of space and leverage which puts off the interest.
As far as the content is concerned, the book is a shabby depiction of the mythological epic. Poor research has been done and the characterization is surreal. Use of unwanted expletives and abusive language was also a major drawback of the book.
Some examples to support the above observations:
1. Bhishma is depicted as the Shishya of Parashurama’s father. Bhishma and Parashurama are shown as classmates. Whereas the scriptures say Parashurama was Bhishma’s guru.  Bhishma was a role model and a learned man. He was revered by even Krishna, but in this book he is abusing Parashurama!
2. The eminent personality of Vidura is reduced to someone who gets bullied and insulted in the palace for being born in a low caste. Vidura would have never entered the palace if he was insulted the way its shown here.
3.   In every chapter you will find a mention of the caste system. The first thing playing on every character’s mind (except Duryodhana because he is the hero of the book) is the caste of the other person. Caste system is shown to be a major issue during those times and the Author wastes all his energy in highlighting this and reduces the mega epic to a amateurish book.
4.   Dronacharya is always busy taunting Duryodhana for being a blind man’s son and openly pitches for Yudhistira to be Hastinapura’s King during their coaching sessions. Dronacharya had no better things to teach in his classes? And if he was so narrow minded, then I really wonder if the Kauravas and Pandavas would have ever learnt anything substantial from him ever.
5.   Kripacharya is referring to Bharath, in those times, as India. Atleast some care should have been taken here.
6.   Karna, a hero for many even in present era, is jumping into water to commit suicide and is depicted weak and distraught. I have always read about him as a strong and daring man and a Hero. One must read the wonderful award winning book Mrityunjaya to learn about Karna.
7.   Kunti, is scheming with the Brahmins to place her son on the throne. Gandhari knows this and a cold war is going on between them. I find this very laughable and silly. Kunti, Gandhari are strong characters and stood for principles. Kunti was a great Krishna devotee and Gandhari was a Shivabhaktini. The author has simply failed to understand the situations and projected the two woman in extremely poor light.
8.        Shakuni uses all sorts of dirty words for Kunti. Going As far as calling her a whore. The book depicts Yudhistira and others as born from different men to Kunti. The author is ignorant to the power of mantras, which rule our culture even today. The author’s imagination seems to have touched a new low here.
9.    Balarama is requested by Bhishma to make Duryodhana a master in mace fighting while he is still a kid. Whereas, the scriptures say that on the insistence of Shakuni, Duryodhana goes to Balarama to learn it when war is lurking over his head.

I can simply go on and on… I wonder what we are offering to our present and future generations by publishing such distorted crappy versions in the name of historical fiction.

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