Friday, August 2, 2019

Meet Khalnayaka of Mahabharata - Shakuni - Read the Story of Master of the Game

I know "Shakuni" from Mahabharata and "Manthara" from Ramayana, these two are always portrayed as darkest or the most wicked minds of their time. You will find good and bad of all other characters, be it Duryodhana, Karna, Ashwatthama or Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Vali. I feel even storyteller needed an antagonist for such epics, so 99.99% times you will find these two characters in negative color only. Have you thought what was their thought process behind their actions. I haven't encountered a book on Manthara yet bu in Shakuni this was given in finer details.

Book Blurb
Threatened by the formidable Kuru dynasty, the kingdom of gandhara is forced to marry off its princess to the blind king of Kuru, Dhritarashtra. Enraged by this defeat, shaken, the heir to the gandhara kingdom, vows to seek revenge. He uses the Kauravas and Pandavas as Pawns in a cleverly crafted game of deceit and destruction and watches as the mighty Kuru kingdom crumbles. Told through the gripping perspective of shakti, this retelling of the Mahabharata asks the burning question –was shakuni really the vilest of all villains or the victim of a grave injustice?.
I won't take you through the story, as usual, instead let me give you situations to visualize
  • Assume your beloved sister is at the age of marriage. You are looking for a good candidate. But some powerful guys come to your father and forced your father to give your sister's hand in marriage to a blind guy.
  • Assume you love your sister's eyes as she sees and tells you how she sees the world. Now she has wrapped the cloth around her eyes for the rest of your eyes.
  • After all these sacrifices she is married to a person who lost kingship due to his blindness to a weaker candidate
Can you tell me what would be your reaction? Unless you are a saint or insane you will be disturbed and shocked. So was the case with Shakuni.

If you think he was all evil and coward. Have you ever thought about how he was able to manage his kingdom staying away in Hastinapur. Well, that required good governing policies and implementations. Coming to cowardice he did encourage and plotted the skirmish within the family, but when the time came for the war he didn't run away. He was there with his nephew. Read the book to know the exact character of Shakuni.

The book is written nicely with author's imaginary skill which has capabilities to neutralize one of the sinister characters from Hindu mythology. Language usage is good for regular readers. The pace of the book is medium to fast. A good choice for a long trip. Talking about the ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Concept - 4/5
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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