Monday, 12 May 2014
Kim's Review : Ajaya - Epic of the Kaurava Clan - Roll of the Dice
"Ajaya" is Anand Neelakantan's second book, but the first one that I read (I had bought Ravana as soon as it came out, but its still lying unread in my bookshelf.)
A chance visit to a small village in South India, that was celebrating the feast of Suyodhana (popularly known as Duryodhana) planted the seed of this thought in his mind and we the readers are truly blessed for having the opportunity to read what he conceptualised.
In this tale, Suyodhana is the righteous one and the Pandavas are the illegitimate children of the younger brothers wife who are conspiring to take control of the kingdom. The same stories that all of us have learnt about the Mahabharata from childhood, are turned on their head as propaganda by the victors of the war - the Pandavas.
Parashurama and his belief in the strict observance of class rules, forms a backdrop to the setting of this version of the Ramayana. Dhaumya is his mouthpiece/spy in Hastinapura who then allies with Kunti and her sons to spout his beliefs.
Duryodhana is the enlightened, sensitive one who truly wants to do his best to uplift his subjects from their misery.
The whole tale is retold from a more practical and believable point of view and this alone makes it worth reading multiple times (to catch the many nuances)
Rating : 4.5 / 5
Also read Brajesh's Review of this book.