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Roll of the Dice: Duryodhana’s Mahabharata (Ajaya Book 1) Paperback – 1 Dec 2013
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After I read Anand Neelakantan's first book about the Asura leader Ravana's story, I was impressed.. The story of Ravana and his people really made me feel damn sympathetic towards the Asuran leader,,,, And the author does it again with Ajaya.... A Truly amazing rendition of the greatest Epic ever told (Now I feel sympathetic towards the Kauravas)... Ajaya is better than the author's previous book... Hopefully The Rise of Kali, the 2nd book in the Ajaya series will be released soon because I just cant wait any longer.. --Arvind Sreekumar on 30 Dec 2013
View the whole story in a different perception. I have read Asura too and was impressed by the way it was put across. --Sanjeev kumar M on ... 19 Dec 2013
If you love history and Anand Neelankatam.....Go for it. Hats of you Sir Anand for presenting views from armies who were defeated in our two epics(Mahabharata and Ramayana), no author had provided this kind of narration till date. --Amit on 18 Dec 2013
About the Author
About the Author: A dexterous writer and a cartoonist, Anand Neelkanthan started his career in writing with Asura: Tale of The Vanquished. His books have had big hits in the market and he has been named as one of the most popular writers in India. Ajaya: Book 1: Roll of The Dice (Epic of The Kaurava Clan) has not been an exception. Being brought up in a place full of temples and classical artists, Neelkanthan was interested in epics and myths from his childhood. Instead of blindly following the myths, he has created a new genre, of remaking and retelling, questioning and arguing. That is why he has become favourite to modern readers.
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The plot is excellent and the author has done justice to the vanquished side.The depth of his detailing of characters and its perspective is adorable. With a simple, clear and powerful presentation, Anand has been able to keep the book thrilling and aching for more.
The book helps in understanding the Mahabharata better and throws off the veil of Heroes and Villains and present the characters in a more human way. The divinity of characters is ripped off and they are presented as mere mortals. Even Lord Krishna is presented as a manipulator and someone who likes to play God. The book though revolves around the epic- Mahabharata,it derives hugely from the lesser known folklores and stories that are not part of the original epic.
The central philosophy of the book delves with the principles of Dharma, Adharma and Varna-the caste system.It sometimes even fits the ancient plot in the framework of current timeline, philosophy, ideas and politics.
The characters are given casteist shades to paint them Adharmic most probably to give voice and strength to the villains of the epic.
It seems this black-wash of central characters of Mahabharata was necessary to give voices to the vanquished. The fact that many of the stalwarts like Bhishma, Drona,Karna etc sided with the Kauravas and that unfair means were used for a fair objective is thought provoking.
However many of the original events within the epic has been ignored,modified and chiselled in such a way which doesn't justify some of the characters.Fictional events, fictional philosophy and facts which cannot be historically attributed has stolen the sheen off the very well written book.
The book raises valid questions through its characters, which throbs with life.The authors imagination is commendable as writing something which happened thousands of years and that too the voices of the vanquished from the Mahabharata is a marathon and uphill task.
Anand has been successful in resurrecting the dead villains and gave them voices to tell their side of the tale. After reading the book, a big question emanates from the mind.What is Dharma and What is Adharma. Who won the Mahabharata war.Was the war so necessary to decide the fate of Dharma and its advocates.Did the war help really to forge the spread the mantle of dharma.
At times, the book may also hurt the sentiments of the devout, when Lord Krishna is depicted as a manipulator who plays God to achieve his own objective and when the Pandavas are not allowed divine lineage and characterizing them in a offensive way. Of course it can be passed off as a necessity to pull down the aura of divinity but it also dilutes the Mahabharata. Perspectives should be looking at an event,person or fact from different angles rather than substituting it to create a suitable perspective.
A must read for those who are interested in religion,mythology, philosophy and all readers of the Mahabharata.
A five star rating.......enjoy reading !!!
**Roll of the Dice: Duryodhana's Mahabharata (Ajaya Book 1)* Rajesh Chandra ***
But only issue I have against the author is, in the process of projecting Suyodhana as a real hero, he has projected Pandavas as actual villains. Instead of improvizing on the presentation, it has become on presentation on the extremes. Everywhere we can see that except for Arjuna, other four brothers are bad; Yudhishtira is projected as a blind follower of scriptures without even questioning the reasoning. Krishna is projected as other side of Shakuni. I couldn't digest these things. Do you think it is without reason that Bhagawadgitha has come out? While I still recommend one time read for this novel, users should be ready to bear some scenarios being presented in a contradictory way which tries to question current faith; but we should be tolerant and all views are welcome :-)
One way of life at its commencement boasts of stable society and content beings and arrive at its extremum by the successful methods that are brought in to keep the system going. The person who is sitting on the throne has to be wise enough to not allow loop holes to be formed. Draconian instinct in ensuring that all the beings get their own space to live and prove themselves keep the system going for long. This way of life starts shriveling up when people take pride in sticking to the methods rather than to the purpose. This way of life becomes a menace when the honored cruelly abuse the downtrodden and leads to the evocation of crusades for the just of the downtrodden. The battle starts and if the latter wins, a sense of equality is restored in the society and everyone gets a fair chance to strive and ascend levels in the society. This way the latter one flourishes and results in chaotic dog eat dog society.
Even though Suyodhana fought for a good cause, he had other hidden reasons of his own survival. Those who accompanied him had other reasons for not fighting in the battle with their heartful, as they had their own family in the opposite.
The book is beautifully written...
Thanks to Amazon for their timely delivery...
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A must read book.