This is a book review of the book 'Mahabharata' written by the great Rajagopalachari. Ex-CM of TamilNadu.
Being a 'Dyed-in-a-wool' Mahabharata fan, I was looking forward to reading this book for quite some time. I wanted to read this for two reasons, One, the story was written by a great man from my state. I have read various versions of the saga written by the authors above the Vindhya pradesh region. Some one from the bottom of the subcontinent writing it could give a different proposition.
Two, Rajaji being a politician could give valuable insights on the war strategies used by Bhishma, Drona and ofcourse Lord Krishna. In fact the epic being penned not by a regular author but by a full time politician is the best selling point for the book.
Since the story is widely known and reduces my endeavor to give a blurb I have the luxury to jump into the chronicle of the book.
I should say it is a fantastic portrayal of the epic. The best thing in the book is war episodes. Detailed elucidation of the battle made me visualize it. The interconnected stories, the author written, was auxiliary to understand the blueprint of the mega event.
The Postwar sequences were dramatic and fascinating. The end was a quintessential 'Feel good' Indian movie climax. If that was a direct remake from Sage Ved Vyasa's epic, certainly it gives an ultimate gratification.
Couple of things I didnt find comfortable about the book was :
1. Too less description about Matha Draupadi and perspective. Being an ardent fan and devotee of Mata Draupadi, I expected the great Rajaji to describe more about her point of view on many occasions.
2. Lord Krishna's role until the battle was very less. Lord Krishna being instrumental in Jarasanda's death, also he played a pivotal role in eradicating Eklavya's army and Sishupala which would in turn become a ploy against Gauravas in the Kurukshetra war were not covered in the book. Krishna appears to be a war counselor to Arjuna rather than being the mentor to Pandavas.
Otherwise the story was well written and hats off to the legendary author Shri. Rajaogopalachari.