Title : THE WINDS OF HASTINAPUR
Language : English
Author : Sharath Komarraju
Genre : Fiction
Publisher : HarperCollins ( October 2013 )
ISBN-13 : 9789351160878
ISBN-10 : 9351160874
Binding : Paperback
Price : Rs. 299 ( Buy from Flipkart.com @Rs.237/- ( 20% Off! )
Pages : 320
The Book Summary : The epitome of Sanskrit literature, The Mahabharatha is a story of war, conflict, bloodshed and men. But it also the story of the women by their side, and primarily the story of the children of Ganga and Satyavati. The Winds of Hastinapur is a mythological fantasy about the women behind the Mahabharatha. Ganga, the river goddess, is dying. Bereft of a virgin to pass her knowledge and being to, she is fading away and seeks to tell the story of the Mahabharatha as she saw it. In her words and the words of other strong women from the epic such as Satyavati, this book lays bare the greatest epic ever told from the women who knew it best.
A classic oeuvre retold mellifluously, The Winds Of Hastinapur presents the Mahabharata as a fast-paced female-centric opus, more plausible for the modern day. The tome has two segments to it—one expounding the tale of the River Maiden and the other about the Fisher Girl. The Mahabharata, as we have known it, is a story that celebrates the glory of men in a dynastic tussle over the throne of Hastinapur. The Winds Of Hastinapur is a story about well-matched women of action, their appraisal of men and their deeds that prove zest, fortitude and mettle on par with men. In the book, Ganga is ousted from heaven and sent to live with the mortals due to an unfortunate curse. Shantanu, the king of Hastina solicitously offers to take care of her needs and protect her on the condition that she gives him a son. Ganga accedes to his request and slays her first seven sons. She takes away Devavrata, the eighth son, to be raised in the midst of the celestials. When the opportune moment arrives, he will return to Hastinapur, where he belongs. Satyavati, the fisher girl, manages to emancipate herself from the clutches of her clan and becomes Shantanu's second wife. The second half of the book outlines Satyavati's ruthless schemes to destroy Devavrata and the sagacity she develops over the years. The author has made a genuine effort to encrust all the focal values, bringing forth a phenomenal book. The Winds Of Hastinapur was published in 2013 by HarperCollins and is available in paperback. The story gives a lucid account on the birth of Pandu and Dhritarashtra. The book gives you an interesting take on telling the tale of the age-old Indian legend.
My Point of View ( P.O.V ) : Except for the Doordarshan's Mahabharat by B.R Chopra, that was telecast during my school days and some stray Amar Chitra Katha comics, I must admit I've not read the grand epic in any of its formal formats. So, although I fleetingly know many of its inter-woven stories of its vast line-up of magnificient characters, I'm not really aware of their original stories. So, though this book claims that it is a re-telling of the epic from its female character's point of view, I decided to read and review it as an independent book - as I won't be able to place its origins, accuracy etc.
Well, I'm thankful to the author for sending me a copy and I must admit that it is a refreshing read. Reading about historical ( mythological? ) characters has its own charms, as you are transported to a very different world, so unlike the one we are currently living in. And what makes it more interesting is that we feel we know these characters, as we've heard about them somewhere in our lives. I've heard about Ganga and Bhisma, but wasnt aware who Satyavati was, until I read the book. The story is about Ganga, mother of Bhishma and Satyavati, his step-mother. While Ganga is portrayed in a softer motherly way, with concern for the well-being of her cursed child on earth, Satyavati on the other hand, is portrayed as ambitious and having political agenda for her children, her clan; her rise from being a fisher-woman and becoming the Queen of Hastinapur. Both characters are however not completely black & white, as both their positive and negatives points gets highlighted. The diverse characters of Ganga and Satyavati, and outcomes of their decisions and actions is what that makes the story interesting and an engrossing read.
Interesting thing about the book it that it tells the story from female point of view. Ganga, married Shantanu, the king of Hastinapur and was mother to eight. But they were soon to return to the heavens. The eight was however cursed to live a long life as Bhisma. Why Ganga was sent to earth in the first place and the very origins of what led to the famous Battle of Kurukshetra is also highlighted here.
The story is written in a modern format, so even God/Goddesses will seem to have the normal emotions like we humans. Also is described how Heaven too is dependent on Earth for its various supplies. Then there are the Asuras and what role they play. If you like this kind of genre, then go ahead and read away. I'm sure you won't get disappointed.
Positives : Good flow and lots of mythological details ( that I was not aware of earlier ). Language is simple yet rich and easy to read; it is pacy, witty and very creative.
Negatives : None.
Who will enjoy this? - Everyone!
Buy or Don’t Buy? – A Must Buy!
About the Author : Sharath Komaraju is an Indian writer based in Bangalore.Sharath Komarraju started off writing novels to kill time. After facing some setbacks in selling two of his initial novels, he struck the chord with Murder in Amaravati. Sharath lives in Bangalore and his influences are Isaac Asimov and Agatha Christie. His other book is called Banquet On The Dead. The Winds of Hastinapur is his third novel..
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