Ajaya: Roll of the Dice (Epic of the Kaurava clan, #1)

Ajaya: Roll of the Dice (Epic of the Kaurava clan, #1) - Anand Neelakantan http://www.b00kr3vi3ws.in/2014/01/Ajaya1.html

There are always two sides to a story and depending upon the narrator, one gets to live the story the way the narrator sees it. Then again, it is mostly the victor’s side of the story that gets narrated to generations after generations until someone tells the other side of the story. And no one does it better than Anand Nelakantan. If you have already read his debut novel, ‘Asura’, then you know… If you are yet to pick up an Anand Neelakantan book then pick up one because as a reader you can only live this experience by reading his narration.

‘Ajaya’ tells us the story from Suyodhana’s, or as we all know him more commonly as Duryodhana, point of view. Yes, Once again the author has gone and done it by telling the story of Mahabharata from a different point of view over the more common version of Padava’s. As we delve into the pages, we come to a realization, Bhishma wasn’t all good, Karna was indeed mistreated and was more of an honorable man than depicted earlier and that there were very important reasons behind every single act that we took as a general course of the story. The fact that no one is made of only light or only darkness is highlighted over and over again as we see the lighter sides of the ‘accepted’ villains of the story and the darkness within our heroes. The superstitions and hypocrisy of the society then reflects how little we, as humans, have actually developed over time.

The author’s language and narration remains crisp as ever. His view can be described as radical as he takes us on the journey to question our heroes and give a chance to the other characters to explain their situation, their point of view and their dilemmas. I love the fact that he encourages and makes us question everything that we know about Mahabharata and its cast. At the same time he brings certain freshness to the same old story that every Indian has grown up reading.

I thoroughly enjoyed the insights to the other side through the author’s quill and you will too if you pick this book up with an open mind. I will be eagerly waiting for the next installment.