"I knew there was nothing poetic about death. I knew not that the most horrific battles are fought off the battlefield."
Arjun: The idealist in a non- ideal world; the warrior whose deadliest opponent was his conscience. History forgot his voice, but misquoted his silence.
"My self-esteem originates from me and ends in me. Why does your honor depend on me? Find your own."
Draupadi: The untamed tigress, the fragrant flame, the unbridled spirit.
"Power does not justify sin. Power is not virtue. Virtue is that which lasts in spite of power."
Krishn: The enigma whose unique ideology churned the battlefield into a quest for Truth.
The Missile... The Trajectory... The Vision. The trio that makes for the core of Mahabharata.
This is their saga.
Insightful, visceral and candid.
"Everyone wants to be the best and I don't mind toiling to ensure my superiority. But the best is always a state of flux, it is a constant endeavor, not a one-time title. I will encounter so many warriors in my lifetime. Each will have his own specialty, finesse and his tutor's nuances. I have to de-learn, relearn and reinvent myself constantly.
"I am not being self-effacing. I am doing it with a definite purpose. If I get smug, I will stagnate. Why would I do something so cruel to myself?"
I leaned forward,"Let us switch to better topics. The mere mention of Hastinapur makes me gloomy. Duryodhan tried to kill you all so as not to lose Hastinapur. That conflict died without any skirmish and in his favor. Now what is his grief?"
"His grief is that we are still alive."
"I disagree, Arjun. The feud ended with the division of land. They are in their Hastinapur, we are in our Indraprastha. They are of no consequence anymore." I gazed from one to another.
"Your are not merely alive. You are flourishing. Indraprastha does not merely exist. Indraprastha is blindingly prosperous. Inconsequential things have a way of snowballing into vicious problems."
Krishn, as always, liked to have the last word.
About The Author:
Dr. Shinde Sweety holds a Doctorate in Medicine, with numerous publications in Indian and International Medical Journals. She is an avid Mahabharata fan and a voracious reader. She loves to day-dream, swim, sketch and learn new languages- currently trying Spanish and Sanskrit. She blogs at "Impractical Dreamer", where she review books, delves into spirituality and searches for humor in everyday life. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
For all the Mahabharata lovers- It's a book that you would cherish getting back to, each time. An enthralling read that will lead you to the wise insights of past, present and future.
The reader's heart
I apologize to the author for keeping the review copy for almost six long months. There are so many things I missed out and unfortunately this wonderful book too. Thank you so much Dr. Sweety for being kind and patient with me. Getting back to the review.
Arjun Without A Doubt by Dr. Shinde Sweety, is significantly about three very powerful characters of Mahabharata- Arjun, Krishn and Draupadi. Through this book she has retold the essence of myth and our beliefs attached to it. I appreciate the author for such an excellent and smooth narration. As I started reading, I was moved with the characters right from the very first page. It was beautiful to read from Arjun's perspective and then Draupadi's perspective. I especially loved Krishn's dialogues with light humor and effectiveness; the all time savior. I felt bad for Draupadi for being shared as a common wife among Arjun's brothers. At the same time I was happy that the love between Arjun and Draupadi didn't fade but get stronger with each new challenge thrown over. Draupadi, a rare combination of beauty, brain and courage was the most appealing character. For all her life she sacrificed to sacrifice. I was almost in tears reading the reunion part of Draupadi and her sons. There are so many instances in the book that have become close to my heart, I found myself involved and connected it. If someone come and say what's so hard to tell an old known epic? But wait... this is not just an epic but a work of sheer brilliance. There are some books you read and forget but there are some special books which had kept you hold till the end when you first read them, you feel getting back to them again and again. "Arjun Without a doubt" undoubtedly stands in the latter category.
What I liked?
The author has masterfully worked over the main characters and events with beautiful description. There are many inspiring and awakening quotes in the book. It's the first time I read a mythological genre and I must say this book has open a way to this particular genre, for me.
* "Don't underestimate your triumphs. Leave it to the enemy."
* "Silence too, can be misquoted”
* "Peace is the first casualty in every ambition.”
* "I learnt that no matter what names they give you, nothing applies until you wish it to. No insult, no barb yours to bear unless you want it to. Use it, if you want. Make it into a weapon and let it boomerang back to those who uttered it. Just don't let it overpower your life.”
* “Ask yourself if I'm capable of contradictions, Draupadi.
Some missions succeed only by their spectacular failure. - Krishn”
* “..war doesn't decide who is right - it just decides who is left.”
What I disliked?
What I disliked in the book was, at a few places I was confused whether the statement was by Draupadi or Arjun. It was a bit irritating to go through the previous lines again but it doesn't take away the credits for writing a wonderful book.
Why should one read this book?
Whether you are a Mahabharata fan or not, doesn't matter. I bet you won't deny in accepting it to be one of the best reads. I won't say that you "should" read this book. In-spite, I would say, "Must Read It"
Writing Style: 5/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Title: Arjun Without A Doubt
Author: Dr. Shinde Sweety
Genre: Mythology/ Epic/ History
Publisher: Frog Books
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 195 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
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To this mesmerizing reading ride full of wisdom and insight with an exceptionally moving narration; I give a four-star rating.