Book- Arjun Without a Doubt
Author- Dr. Shinde Sweety
Genre- Fiction: Mythology/History/Epic
Publisher- Frog Books and Leadstart Publishing
The great and epic saga of “Mahabharata” is narrated again by “Draupadi” and “Arjun”. A story that is full of revenge and ill-fate. No one is unaware of all that happened in the Sabha. No one is unaware of all the “Chaal” that were practiced in "Hastinapur".
The whole dynasty is questioned; the whole clan has bloody hands. But what remains in the core of the tale. Do some questions remain?
What happens when the love of “Draupadi’s” life stays away from her? What happens when “Arjun” is all alone on a difficult journey? How will they re-unite, hoping for a better tomorrow? Will there be any better tomorrow?
Mahabharata will always remember the mighty soldier “Arjun”. But only his existence in the title of the book, was it really decoding the real essence? I don’t think so. I found stronger traces of “Draupadi” in the book and the name totally emphasizing “Arjun” didn’t work for me. The alternative could have been picked, depicting hardships of the couple or the strand between them, in one way or the other.
The cover was better than the title as it had a single approach. It painted Krishna through the magnificent colours. The “Mor-pankh” was serene. The book is a story and not any sort of action, as the name “Mahabharata” suggests, so simplicity mixed with tender flames produced a cover of this kind.
What can be said about characters when one is talking about this saga? As expected, there were tremendous amount of characters coming in front from time to time. But, I missed the villains. "Duryodhan", "Shakuni mama" and "Dushasan", also "Ashwathama". I had a lot from one side. I was only hearing things from the "Pandavs", of the "Pandavs". Yes, the book was meant to be inclined towards “Arjun” but without villains and their nose in between, things seemed a little on the back-stage.
But never mind.
I have my personal favourites, keeping in mind the characters drawn in this book; I would like to pick, “Draupadi”, "Abhimanyu" and "Dhrishtadhyumn". I have my personal reasons behind this. Also, I love "Karn" but he didn't play any role in the book, so I will sideline him.
I was awestruck to see that how balanced and well versed was the story. The proper division between the parts of Arjun and Draupadi made things easier to grasp. There was no confusion at any point of time, making it a perfect read. The narration was more inclined to what one felt rather than what the story (shown in all these years) was. There were some minute details which were blended with the actions. They worked as the cherry on the top and only a good narrator has this ability to put the incidents precisely, making them more effective and precious for the reader and the writer himself/herself.
Full marks to the narration.
Right from the start your attention is demanded. This is not any easy read; it takes time and maturity to understand that as to why one does something. The story is well known but to what extent? The book has the power to hold and drown you in the pool of immense drama, rage and revenge. The story starts from the famous “Swayamvar” which held the love birds in the cage of desire and self satisfaction.
The author has tried to deliver enough transparency, so that the reader can know “Draupadi" and "Arjun” beyond some lines. “Arjun” and “Draupadi” worked hand in hand at every stage. What took my attention was that the chapters were immensely balanced. For instance, there was this chapter in the initial stage “The Defended Victors”; the part when “Draupadi” showed her heart without any fear to the readers was very effective. The whole picture of a patriarchal system comes in front. So women were not subjected to freedom of action even in that age...
Krishna has always played with words and the dialogues which author scripted can sear someone’s heart with ease. What delicacy, I must say. You can learn the small aspects which lay hidden behind the veil of selfishness and no far-sightedness.
“The Alliance with Dwarka” is another chapter which has very strong viewpoints. I loved “Draupadi” at every page which contained her. Her character is shown with such brilliance. She has all the emotions which a normal lady carries but there is something in her, something which make her stand apart from the rest. She has that power to accept what is crafted in her fate.
“The lonely soldier amongst the wounded warriors”, “The pointed finger”, “Broken rules, broken trust, broken smiles” and “Slippery fingers of the hopeless”, these chapters had beauty of its own kind. There was drama, there was action, and there was fate involved and it all blossomed “Draupadi”, not delightfully every time. She had her highs and lows. “Arjun” though was an important part everywhere but his side of tale is plain and well known since ages.
The highlight of the book was the conversation between “Bheem and Draupadi”, she taught me how one woman can handle a man who has the power of numerous elephants. She taught what power one woman has. She explained that chastity doesn’t relate with body; it needs a soul and a mind that can feel the same.
The book was a gem. It can gift you power, knowledge, self control and much more. The tale of Mahabharata was properly narrated and beautifully balanced in the book. It deserves to be in a lot of shelves “Without a doubt”.
· “Success is more difficult to handle than failure”.
· “If learning was a river, then I was forever unquenchably thirsty” - Arjun.
· “Blood spurts from the body; tears stream from the soul”.
· “Sometimes the idea of bondage is stronger than the chains”.
· “Magic takes away illusions faster than it creates them”.
· “It is easier to fight when you know it is the only choice”.
· “What a learned assembly. So much education, so little wisdom” - Draupadi.
· “Be careful of what you wish for, you may get it” - Draupadi.
· “There is nothing as exhausting as regret. There is nothing as hopeful as tomorrow”.
· “Absence of questions is not proof of answers”.
The most enchanting thing about the book is the perspective from which it is written. I have watched the same story from different angles but I have never judged the whole scenario from "Draupadi’s" point of view, and that is what make this book little different, for me. I have been an ardent follower of Mahabharata from quite some years and I must mention that this book has unfolded some new chapters in front of me.
Like, I never knew the reality behind Yudhisthir’s act and never could I understand why Panchali was on exile. I must thank the author for this. Mythological books weren’t in my sphere but “Arjun without a doubt” changed that notion.
I so missed the “Cheerharan” episode and the power of Krishna that ruled the stage. I missed the rage of “Bheem” in the Kurukshetra. Though the story was all about “Arjun” and the ones who were close to him but still there were some places where the other people were needed to rule the stage. But there were no flaws in writing so these points can be nullified.
You surely need to read this if you are a keen follower and admirer of Mahabharata and “Draupadi especially”. The tale has some turns which you “MIGHT” haven’t heard before.
Connect with the author-
· Author’s Blog : “Impractical Dreamer”