Hello!’Jaya’ seems a peculiar name for a book title but let the title not deceive you.This book is based on the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata.Many might cast the book away assuming it’s just a repetition of the old stories which everyone knows.Devdutt Pattanaik’s book brings a whole new perspective to Mahabharata.

Mahabharata has always had a special place in my booklist.For reasons unknown, the variety of characters seemed to draw my attention.As an Indian kid, I heard some snippets of bedtime stories or even had a reading of children’s version story.I even read the famous C.Rajagopalachari’s Mahabharata, one of the most renowned English version but was left desiring for more depth.Jaya was unique and caught my eye

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Jaya gives an unedited retelling of Mahabharata.The original name of Mahabharata is Jaya.It gives a detailed account of Yudhistira’s journey to Vaikunta and his victory(Jaya) of overcoming all his sins and desires.His quote “Within infinite myths lies the eternal truth, Who sees it all?Varuna has but a thousand eyes, Indra, a hundred and I, only two.” highlights the fact that there are a hundred versions of the same story but this book is his version of the story.

With vivid sketches and small information boxes after each chapter, he manages to bring in a new flavour to the ancient epic.Devdutt Pattanaik has attempted to trace the Mahabharata from its origin.Family trees, some mind-boggling thoughts are a few things I liked about the book.The character sketch brings out the author’s vivid imagination and research.

This is the narration of the war between cousin, the Pandavas and the Kauravas.Jaya starts with the Sarpa Yagna conducted by Janamejaya where the entire story is narrated to the great-grandson of Arjuna.It traces the origin of Kuru, the ancestor of Pandavas and the Kauravas, the ancestor of Krishna, the mastermind behind the whole war.It brings out various folklores and beliefs from all corners of India.From the birth of Pandavas to their journey to the Himalayas with their wife, Draupadi an elaborate tale is woven.

Mythology lovers should not miss out on reading this book.The book manages to seek the attention of the audience with a few spices added to the story.It would make you wish for a time traveller to know the actual truth!

Critic’s Rating-8/10

Cheers,

Ramya

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