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Book Review – Ajaya: Roll of The Dice

Ajaya Book ReviewThe book Ajaya: Roll of The Dice begins with the Kauravas and Pandavas as children, each gradually displaying the temperament and skills. The princes grow up and the plot unfolds and we are introduced to the various shades of the personality each character has.

The author beautifully portrays the mindset, lifestyle and caste domination of the Mahabharata time, dexterously interweaving a series of pre-battle events and confrontations that eventually coalesce in unfolding the dramatic tragedy. Conventional narrations of the Mahabharata overlook facts he has skilfully incorporated into the narrative.

The book shows Suyodhana questioning the norms which uplifted a few and banished the rest to poverty, to survive on the whims and fancies of the superior castes. In a rare and clear-eyed portrayal, the book shows him as a man of unwavering convictions. Suyodhana is depicted as a man who unflinchingly believes that merit and not caste ought to be the basis of education, reward and recognition.

Like Asura, the author again shows that every human being has more to their personality than what meets the eye. Conventional telling of the epic have always assumed the Kauravas and Pandavas were men made in black and white. The author reminds the reader that Ram and Ravan reside in everyone.

About the book

The Mahabharata endures as the great epic of india. But while Jaya is the story of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra; Ajaya is the narrative of the unconquerable Kauravas, who were decimated to the last man. At the heart of India s most powerful empire, a revolution is brewing. Prince Suyodhana, heir of Hastinapura, stands tall, determined to claim his birthright and act according to his conscience. He is the maker of his own destiny or so he believes. While in the corridors of the Hastinapura palace, a foreign Prince plots to destroy India. And the dice falls…

About the author

Anand Neelakantan is an Indian author. He is known for debut novel Asura tale of the Vanquished. Anand Neelakantan has written columns for Deccan chronicle, Asian Age, The New Indian Express, The Wall Street Journal, Speaking Tree etc. His interviews have been published in The Hindu, The Indian Express, Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, The Telegraph, The New Indian Express, Afternoon DC etc.

My Rating: 3/5

Book Review: Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince

Arjuna reviewMahabharata is a fascinating, mammoth work of fiction with millions of sub-plots. There is a saying in Bangla – ja nei Bharate, ta nei Bharate (what is not written in Mahabharat, does not exist in Bharat). There have been numerous renditions of the great epic ion the past. The best among those was indeed “The Palace of Illusions” where the narrative is from the perspective of Draupadi. So, it was even more interesting to experience Mahabharat from the eyes of Arjuna.

The language of the book is simple. The novel is more like a collection of anecdotes, not necessarily in the chronological order. But that doesn’t prevent the reader from experiencing the excitement Mahabharat normally evokes in a person. In terms of narrating history and choices of sub-plots with Arjuna as focus, the book has been successful. Arjuna is portrayed as a human being and not a demi-god that sometimes writers of mythology tend to portray.

This book is a long journey starting with forefathers of Arjuna and taking you through the complete life cycle of Arjuna. A great amount of information regarding the epic Mahabharata that you will not be aware of is presented here in this book. The size of the book appears lengthy at times, and one wishes the writer focused only on Arjuna and not digressed into too many sub-plots.

An ardent admirer of Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata, Anuja holds the Great Epic to be one of a kind, the Homers and Virgils of the world notwithstanding. Drawing her creative inspiration from the epic s timeless track record of sustenance through centuries of retelling, Anuja chose to debut as a storyteller with the immortal and eternally captivating saga of Arjuna, the non pareil hero.

About the book: Arjuna is the immortal tale of one of India’s greatest heroes. These pages retell in riveting detail the story of the Pandava Warrior-Prince who has captured the imagination of millions across centuries. This is the intense and human story of his loves, friendship, ambitions, weaknesses and follies, as well as his untimely death and revival, his stint as a eunuch, and the innermost reaches of his thoughts. Told in a refreshingly modern and humourous style and set against the staggering backdrop of the Mahabharata. Arjuna’s story appeals equally to the average, discerning reader and the scholar. It spans the epic journey from before his birth, when omens foretold his greatness, across the fabled, wondrous landscape that was his life.

About the Author: Anuja Chandramouli is a full-time mother of two lovely girls, as well as a part-time writer. Her academic credentials include a Bachelor s degree in Psychology and a Master s in English. Having started out as a freelance writer with articles published in Women s Era, Lonely Planet and The Hindu, she currently works as an e-reporter and columnist. Anuja is a self-confessed, big-dreamer, who is driven by an inner passion to contribute her mite to the great pool of human endeavour, thought, and wisdom.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

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