I started this book out of curiosity. I was curious to know what logical reasons S.L. Bhyrappa had tried to give in his book de-mythologizing the original tale in a believable way, which is quite a challenge in itself. Well, I must say this interpretation of Mahabharata is very practical and convincing. It gives realistic reasoning to all most all the mythical facts. Basically this book focuses more on telling how all characters here are just humans with no super power and how they act and react to a given circumstance in a normal way. Even God Krishna for that matter!
The story starts, when both parties are busy preparing for the war collecting warriors on their side. Arranging other necessities for that. From there the story moves to Kunti’s point of view - how she gave birth to her sons practicingniyoga and what difficulties she faced because of that and then to Bhima his love for Draupadi and how he felt sorry for Hidimbi and how selfishly he went to invite his son Gatohkacha for the war. Then it moves to Draupadi’s point of view. This was my favorite part in this book. I was touched by the way she unveils herself. Her suffering . Her apathy towards Dharmaraya. And how she first fell for the handsome Arjuna and as she grows old how gradually she sees the real caring, compassion for her in Bhima, how unknowingly her love turns away from Arjuna towards Bhima. The revelation of her feelings is beautifully explained. Then the viewpoint shifts to Arjuna then to Karna and so on. Finally towards the end to the battle field. What difficulties both Kaurava’s and Pandavas go through during the war. How both the team suffer. How with in the party they misunderstand each other and solve and move forward. At last when the war is finally over after losing so much and so many loved ones did the war had any meaning? Did winning seemed worthwhile? Though this kind of thing might not have happened in the real Mahabharata yet one cannot ignore with what has been said here.
Bhyrappa’s way of approach towards this book was amazing. Its difficult to write about each characters and their view point, their feelings, frustrations, loss everything in one single book. Without being partial or impractical towards a character or an incident. Covering this epic without leaving a single thing adding black humour here and there. But it has been accomplished by him exceptionally.
It was more than a year since I bought this book and how lucky I was to get a Hardcopy of the English translation of this magnum opus. Since then I have been trying to read it but was unable to. The reason being it was a very huge book to carry where ever I went and it felt more like a show off to carry as well :P and there was no kindle edition available to buy. But this time I had determined to finish it, allowing myself to take it slow so that I can savour every moment though in the end I did savour but I had to gobble it up. Could not rest myself till I finished it. This probably says how interesting this book was for me.
Now waiting to read this in Kannada the original language in which it was written.