- Paperback: 306 pages
- Publisher: Rupa Publications India (19 February 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8129137275
- ISBN-13: 978-8129137272
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,33,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tunnel of Varanavat: Mahabharat Reimagined Paperback – Import, 19 Feb 2016
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About the Author
Gautam Chikermane is a writer tracking the worlds of money and power, faith and mythology. He is currently the new media director at Reliance Industries Ltd and a director on the board of CARE India. Earlier, he has worked in leadership positions for some of India’s top newspapers and magazines like the Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Financial Express and the Outlook group. He has served three terms as director on the board of Financial Planning Standards Board India and one as its vice chairman. He is also the author of The Disrupter: Arvind Kejriwal and the Rise of the Aam Aadmi. His body lives in Mumbai and New Delhi, his soul in Pondicherry.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book has been written in first person from the point of view of the main chatacter, Badri. The author has described Badri’s feelings and his past in detail. The story has been written in a way that I could actually picturise many scenes. It was like a movie playing, many a times.
The language is simple and the pace is well maintained, though there were a few places where I felt that the pace had slackened a bit, but the story covered up for it.
Overall, a very well written book
Recommended for lovers of mythology.
What challenges does Badri face in helping the Pandavas escape? Can he deal with his past as a kshatriya? Who are his friends? Who are his enemies? What is Dharma? Is he taking the side of dharma by helping the Pandavas escape or is there more to it than what meets the eye?
You will come to know all of it and much more in 290 pages of racy action written in simple & lucid language. However, I found the mention of Yama as Yam & Vedas as Ved, a bit strange. All-in-all an excellent read for people who enjoy reading & understanding our great ancient civilization.
Who was Purochana, the evil executioner of the evil plot? What were his motivations beyond the orders of his king and the lure of immense riches? How did Purochana manage to get so much of inflammable material without arousing the suspicions of the people of Varanavat? Who was the skilled digger – the tunnel digger that Vidura sent? Did he work alone? How did he manage to stay hidden even as he dug a tunnel from under the palace to a place far away that would ferret the Pandavas to safety?
All these are tantalisingly unanswered questions that Gautam Chickermane seeks to answer in his taut thriller, Tunnel of Varanavat. If it makes you want to read the full epic, in its unabridged glory, it would have served its purpose even more completely.
Secret passageways and tunnels – “surang” as they are also often called – used to be the favored means of escape for kings. These allowed kings to exit the palace undetected during times of peace, and to escape quickly in times of war. Thus, when Badri, expert miner, civil engineer, and architect of tunnels, is approached by Vidur, the prime minister of Hastinapur, with a mission to save the future of the Kuru dynasty, he cannot refuse. Surangraj – the honorific by which Badri goes – sets out to Varanavat, accompanied by his dog, Veer, and horse, Kadak. The forests are not safe any longer – by design, for a reason. Once at Varanavat, he meets Purochana, the formidable giant of a man who stands between him and the lives of the Pandavas.Read more ›
Wishing for more such interesting books by the author.
It's easy to think about the Mahabharat in terms of Good vs evil.
The Tunnel... gives you a lot more to think about. It's a common man's story and he owns the narrative.
Badri is not exactly the underdog, he's not a downtrodden, he's not a subaltern. He's associated with the upper echelons of power in the kingdom of Hastinapur. He's the chief miner of the kingdom and has the ear of one of the most powerful of men in it. He's refreshingly honest, extremely principled, and wonderfully sensitive. In Badri's story is the story of the difference a 'common man', whose job it is usually to carry out orders, can make to the destiny of those he is ruled by. It is a story of how one man's decision and determination can change the course of history.
What I found remarkable about The Tunnel... is its intensely feministic leanings. It's a great retelling of the social angles as can be imagined having prevailed in those times.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tunnel of Varanavat redefines the subaltern narrative of Ancient India. For a reader interested in the ancient past, this book has many things to offer. Read morePublished 6 months ago by The Indic Reader
For someone who doesn't read too much fiction, I really enjoyed the Tunnel of Varanavat. The story picks out an obscure character out of Mahabharata- who is said to have not got... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kayezad E. Adajania
‘Tunnels of Varanavat’ is based within the universe of the Mahabharata, and involves characters from the epic as well as new ones. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book gives us an excellent account of the insignificant, not much known to the world, fictitious miner and an ex soldier of the Puru empire who in his crusade to save the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jonty
A racy thriller on the backdrop of Mahabharata! Very well written. It is interesting to reimagine Mahabharata from the perspective of contemporary values such as gender equality,... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
There is no significant mention of the miner who built the tunnel for the Pandavas’ escape in the ‘Adi Parv’ of the various versions of ‘Mahabharata’ I have read till now,except... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Meenakshi