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Monday, December 22, 2014

Book Review : 'Kurukshetra' by Krishna Udayasankar



Well, here we are. At a funnily strange place, where I do not want it to end, but at the same time, I was waiting for it. I have to say it again. The lyrical language is almost effervescent, in this book. It has an almost dynamic touch to it, probably because of the twists in the story.

Firstly, I have to commend Udayasankar because of the way in which, she has managed to stay on the ground, while writing the book. I have noticed the touches in a lot of books, which try to but fail miserably toward the end, but this author does not. And I mean the absence of god and his magic, because she manages to create her own. This book, I personally felt is her best ever. The earlier ones of 'The Aryavarta Chronicles', 'Govinda' and 'Kaurava', were good, but this one takes the cake.

Kurukshetra’ belonged to both Panchali and Govinda Shauri, as it should have. But, of course we do have the almost touching Uttara and Abhimanhyu’s story, in which Uttara takes up arms, to join the heroic Abhimanhyu during the war. The love story between them was also given due importance.

I almost missed Panchali during the battle, but her way of making an entry is one, we cannot miss. Panchali’s subtle way of helping the story forward, and the politics blended with the philosophy are all a part of the plot.

Dharma was cold and distant, which he was in Kaurava, even more so in this book. The characters of, Sanjaya, Suka and Ashwattama were given the much needed intrinsic touch, which could almost surprise the reader.

The Secret Keeper and Krishna Dwaipanya’s roles take on whole new meaning. Sanjaya and Suka who was given no importance at all, in the other versions of Mahabharata also have new roles to fill.

Asvattama’s role, evil and wicked in most other versions takes on a whole new shade. I almost felt like Syoddhan would not have had the war, and one can feel his anger and grief with him, when he decides to.

I felt that most of the characters, which should have been given due importance are given it. All these characters are bent out of shape, since they take on different forms. Though it is not different from the earlier versions of the Aryavarta Chronicles, they all have their say in this book.

Restraint and understanding are topics, which Dharma and his followers seem
Krishna Udayasankar
to have forgotten on Kuru’s fields. I felt that, Govinda’s character came into its own, with the recital of the Gita (Udayasankar style).

Krishna Udayasankar seems to have finally shed all inhibitions, when she wrote this book. Because, I think this rendering is palpable and almost tangible. Whether humanity rises and the realm finds its answer in this book is for readers to decide…

PS : I found only one mistake in  Page 308, when it read, 'You'll get the pick of Indra's nymphs in heaven, wont you now that you're a Kuru prince' :) Loved the cover too.


Author: Krishna Udayasankar
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Hachette India
ISBN: 978-93-5009-718-2
Price: Rs 350/-
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