Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Review of "The Winds of Hastinapur"

The Mahabharata is a vast, sprawling epic containing stories within stories and many different versions of this tale have been created over the centuries. They follow the same basic story but highlight one legend more than others or give different causes for the different actions of its characters.   Over the years, I have read many different versions as well as some scholarly analyses of these tales and have yet to be disappointed by any of them. The reason is simple- the basic Mahabharata story is so perfect that it is impossible for anyone not to like it no matter what your perspective is. 

Sharath Komarraju’s book “The Winds of Hastinapur” is another fresh new rendition of this ages old tale. This one is told through the eyes of the women of the novel and lays out the background of the events leading up to the Great War. It’s worth a read, even for someone who is intimately familiar with the story. A number of more obscure legends have been weaved into the tale to create the world of the celestials whose actions trigger off the story. A completely new angle is given to the story by the world that the author creates for the celestials. It’s also very interesting to read the well-known tale told deftly through dialogue and action. The chapter where King Shantanu meets with Satyavati and her father is truly riveting.

This is a good one-time read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the Mahabharata. Possibly, the ones who are completely new to the Mahabharata would gain even more from it. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment of this tale.

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