18 September, 2015

#BookReview :: Arjun: Without a Doubt by Sweety Shinde

I knew there was nothing poetic about death.
I knew not that the most horrific battles are fought off the battlefield.
Arjun: The idealist in a non-ideal world; the warrior whose deadliest opponent was his conscience. 
History forgot his voice, but misquoted his silence.
My self-esteem originates from me and ends in me.
Why does your honor depend on me? Find your own.

Draupadi: The untamed tigress, the fragrant flame, the unbridled spirit. 
Power does not justify sin. Power is not virtue.
Virtue is that which lasts in spite of power.
Krishn : The enigma whose unique ideology churned the battlefield into a quest for Truth.
The Missile …The Trajectory … The Vision. 
The trio that makes for the core of The Mahabharata.
This is their saga. Insightful, visceral and candid 
Find ‘other’ famous Arjuns; compare Arjun vis-a-vis Achilles and Alexander; Explore Myths of Mahabharata.

Arjun: Without A Doubt is one of the latest to join the bandwagon of Mythological story being retold. This time around we get a glimpse into the Epic Mahabharata from Arjun and Draupadi’s perspective. 

Having said that, I really have no need to summarize the story as almost everyone knows it already. Instead, let me tell you about what I thought of it as a book and my take on the way the Epic has been narrated. The first thing that attracts attention is the fact that the author has chosen to tell the story from Arjun’s point of view. Arjun is probably the most popular and most beloved of all the Pandavas and as such it can be difficult to narrate the story. However, the author has done a good job of it and anybody who adores Arjun will love reading this book. On the other hand, we also get a glimpse of Draupadi’s perspective on everything as the story unfolds – I was enchanted by the scene of her Swayamvar. This book also gives us a glimpse into Draupadi’s mind about her polygamous status and the Vastraharan episode. The author’s language and narrative style is very interesting and inviting. She has her own style with the language she uses as well as her narrative. The language is not ‘flowery’ yet it has a nice feel to it while the narrative is very descriptive. I was engrossed in the pages as they simply flew by.

Now it is time for the things that I did not like as much… Without giving out many spoilers, I have to say that I did not always agree with some of the author’s interpretations and justification for some of Arjun’s actions. I understand that the author wanted to show Arjun, her protagonist, in a good light… but to imply that Arjun was almost never at fault or always had the right reasons for his actions is just not done. Also, to put Arjun on the right side, the author has given some of the other characters a darker shade than necessary. And while I am not saying that none of the others were at fault, I just wish we had seen the grey areas of Arjun’s life to make him more real.

Overall, this made for an interesting read that I did enjoy to the fullest while reading it. It might make you rethink on some of the events of Mahabharata and also see some of the characters in a new light.

Review Copy received from the Author

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