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Yuganta: The End of an Epoch Paperback – 19 Jul 2006
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A superb commentary on the Mahabharat as a historical text. Ms Karve's mastery of the epic is obvious. Her interpretation of the individuals central to the story and what that says about the social mileu is intriguing. As others have written in reviews, the last two chapters are particularly fascinating. I particularly enjoyed her views on the evolution of Hinduism. In all: a must read. Strongly recommended. --Sandeep Saxena Jun 10, 2012
This tiny book is a collection of essays on a few choice characters of Mahabharata such as Vidur, Kunti, Draupadi, Gandhari and so on. Irawati Karwe was a sociologist par excellence and she brings her keen eye for subtleties underlying social dynamics and uncovers a whole new meaning for her readers. We had one of the essays: Draupadi, prescribed for reading during or English Literature course in DU. It was so intriguing and realistic that it made me eagerly anticipate reading the whole book. I especially enjoyed the essay on Gandhari, a character of immense tragic significance whom we miss in the Mahabharat only because of the crowd that constantly jostles for our attention. A fascinating book! For anyone with an intellectual persuasion and an abiding interest in Indian mythology - collectible. --S Singh May 18, 2012
Wanted to read this one since ages, great book at a reasonable price. The print was okay. --soumya panda Feb 18, 2015
About the Author
Irawati Karve (1905 11 August 1970) was an Indian sociologist, anthropologist, educationist, and a writer from Maharashtra, India.arve was born in 1905 to a wealthy Chitpavan Brahmin family and was named after the Irawaddy River in Burma where her father, Ganesh Hari Karmarkar, was working for the Burma Cotton Company. She attended a girls boarding school in Pune from the age of seven and then studied philosophy at Fergusson College, from which she graduated in 1926. She then obtained a Dakshina Fellowship to study sociology under G. S. Ghurye at Bombay University, obtaining a master's degree in 1928 with a thesis on the subject of her own caste titled The Chitpavan Brahmans An Ethnic Study. Karve married Dinkar Dhondo Karve, who taught chemistry in a school, while studying with Ghurye. Although her husband was from a socially distinguished Brahmin family, the match did not meet with approval from her father, who had hoped that she would marry into the ruling family of a princely state. Dinkar was a son of Dhondo Keshav Karve, a campaigner for women's rights who, somewhat contradictoraly, opposed Dinkar's decision to send her to Germany for further studies.[a]
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While growing up B. R. Chopra’s Mahabharata was one of my favorite tv serials. The color tv era had just started and most of kids in my age group were in awe of the grandeur, the characterization and the sets of the 94 episode long saga. Kauravas and their allies were depicted, mostly if not always, to be fair, true to their word and sticking to Dharma, the righteous path.
Kunti: Her husband Pandu preferred young and beautiful Madri but Kunti had an advantage, she had the matra to conceive. Using the mantra once Madri gave birth to twins, Kunti didn’t want to share the mantra second time as another child or set of children will give Madri an equal or higher status as compared to Kunti. For the welfare of the clan, Kunti could have done that but she was selfish. She was shrewd in ensuring Draupadi is wife of 5 Pandavas, not just Arjuna or Yudhishthir alone, as it’ll bind them and keep them united.
Draupadi: She was the daughter of a mighty king, sister of a warrior and wife of the Pandvas, and yet she lives a sorrowful and humiliated life. Mahabharata was going to happen irrespective of Draupadi as the seeds were sown by Dhritrashtra’s denial of share to Pandavas and rivalry between Bhima and Duryodhana. Her struggle is illustrated well.
Gandhari: Was she unaware of the blindness of Dhritrashtra? Was she scammed into marrying the prince of Hastinapur by portraying the grandeur of the kingdom and hiding the truth about the prince?
This is a must read book. Author has researched thoroughly and reviewed the stories, writings about Mahabharata from different ages. At the end we are all human and are driven by emotions as well as logic. No character is infallible in this book.
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She talks about Bhishma and her analysis is of a human who at the height of power did not wish to give it up even at such an old age, also why did he turn a blind eye to Draupadi's disrobing - she was after all his granddaughter-in-law?
And the analysis of how Vidura and Yudhisthir could have been father and son was one of the most thought provoking chapters that made me sit and and think.
Karna is one of my favourite characters and how she opens him bare in front of the reader is one of the most disappointing reads for a fan. He wasn't great after all but impulsive.
This is a book one should read and sit back to think about it as well. What I sensed was a certain bias towards the whole Pandavas though she states facts of how they were not pious either. It still is one of my best reads of this year.
Can not put down.
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Just Brilliant !!!
Mahabharata - the most renowned Indian Epic never ceases to amaze me whenever I read or hear about it but the author Irawati...Read more