Books on Mahabharat

Books on Mahabharat


Mahabharat is one of the great ‘itihaasas‘ or histories of Indian culture.  The other being Ramayana.  Is it real or not,  I am not the expert.  But it is an amazing story.  The Mahabharat is supposed to hold the answer to all our problems.  It deals with a multitude of issues, dilemmas, lessons.  If it could be a soap,  it will last for centuries.  It has stories and then backstories,  then backstories for the backstories.  Which has been aptly reflected in the book Forest of Stories by Ashok Banker.  I can remember my mother quoting so often from the Mahabharat when faced with a dire situation.  Like if we lost a dear one.  Mom will immediately say,  Draupadi survived the death of her 5 young sons, we will too.

Yudhishthir who is the epitome of righteousness had still made many mistakes even though he walked the prescribed path and never deviated from Dharma.   Krishna who is God also commits cheating but he justifies saying it was the only way to win the war.  He tells us to focus on the ultimate goal and not on the means to achieve the goal.  There is no preaching in the book.  Every character is flawed.  And many more.

Almost all Indians are familiar with the Mahabharat thanks to TV Serials of the same name.  Books retelling the Mahabharat have been around for centuries.  Every story has its own elements, spiced with local flavours.   It is the ultimate book of war between cousins for gaining power, to become the King.

Another of my favourites is Randamoozham by M T Vasudevan Nair.  It is in Malayalam and has an English translation.  But the translation is terrible and so not included in this list.

But here,  I am selecting three books which have different takes.   Continue reading

Five Romances I loved

I love reading romances especially the ones which takes me through the emotions, the longings, heart breaks and gets me completely involved in the outcome of the love story.  As a teenager,  I would devour Mills & Boon books and photo romances.  I am not sure if there are any photo romances around.  I haven’t seen one since I left school.  For the un-initiated, Photo romances were like graphic novels of love stories.  Instead of illustrations,  there were photos.  The heroes and heroines were very beautiful with wistful expressions.  We used to smuggle them into classrooms and read them during recess.  But like the M&Bs,  they were quick one time reads.  I did get over it as I grew older.  But there are some books which are eternally cherished.heart-762564_640

With Valentines day around, love is indeed in the air.  That is what the media and marketing folks want you to think anyways.  For those looking for some romance,  I am listing down books which I enjoyed and have re-read them.  The list does not include M&Bs and its only the books I have read.   I have read Nicholas Sparks but did not enjoy it so much, not even the movie.  I like the Twilight series movies but, did not read the book.  Danielle Steel I liked but her heroines are always in distress.  I like my heroines to be independent with a mind of their own.  So, here is the non-exhaustive list – Continue reading