‘The Mahabharata’ by Shiv K. Kumar

The Mahabharata is one of those texts within the Indian gamut of works which has perhaps survived the ravages of time emerging bigger and stronger with each passing year. It‘s relevance to any age is questionable and Shiv K Kumar‘s attempt at re-writing the Mahabharata is perhaps a good introduction for the younger generation who are yet to be familiarized with its labyrinths of complexities. This wonderful book retold by Shiv K Kumar from the original epic is published by Harper Collins Publishers and first published in India in 2011.Shiv K Kumar has dedicated this book to his son Manish and his grandson Sehan. There is no dissection of characters nor are theories and reasons behind the million episodes which make up the Bharat Katha. Instead what Shiv K Kumar has done is simply put into prose an epic poem of great significance.  

The novel begins from the birth of Devavratha who later came to be known as Bheeshma and traces. The story of the Mahabharata in a linear fashion. Divided into 80 chapters  the novel traces the Bharat Katha from the time of its inception through the subtle discrepancies which rocked one of the greatest empires of India and through a acts of disgrace and corruption meandered like a river into its final destinations.     From reading this story I am inspired by the skills and talents of the great Warrior Arjuna who was praised by the warriors Bheeshma and Drona themselves. He is a good human as in terms of the duties of a son, student, husband, brother, grandfather and a father.

This great tale is ultimately propelled by the force of human emotions – love and hate, lust and vengeance, jealousy and greed, loyalty and betrayal. The author’s pains taking description of each and every aspect of the great and timeless Indian epic is however worthy of praise and honors. I recommend this book to each and everybody.   

Reviewed by Bhaghya Ajith


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