Friday, 16 March 2012


Book Title : Jaya
Author : Devdutt Pattanaik
Year Published : 2010
Date I Read : 15 Feb 2012
My Rating : 7/10


Excerpt from the back of the book

A son renounces sex so that his old father can remarry
A daughter is a prize in an archery contest
A teacher demands half a kingdom as his tuition fee
A student is turned away because of his caste
A mother asks her sons to share a wife
A father curses his son-in-law to be old and impotent
A husband lets another man make his wife pregnant
A wife blinds herself to share her husband’s blindness
A forest is destroyed for a new city
A family is divided over inheritance
A king gambles away his kingdom
A queen is forced to serve as a maid
A man is stripped of his manhood for a year
A woman is publicly disrobed
A war is fought where all rules are broken
A shift in sexuality secures victory
The vanquished go to paradise
The victors lose their children
The earth is bathed in blood
God is cursed
Until wisdom prevails.

What I thought about the book

This is a illustrated retelling of Mahabharata. Unlike the Shiva Trilogy (Immortals of Meluha and Secret of the Nagas) which are works of fiction based on the life of Shiva, this is just the actual Mahabharata. What is interesting is the small stories that we do not know or have not heard. In addition to the sanskrit mahabharata, the author has included stories from all over the country and some even from south east Asia.

On a personal  note, I always feel that Pandavas were as bad as Kauravas in many ways. I am particularly irked by Yudhishtira who to me is not a man if he is not capable of stopping his wife from being publicly disrobed (as well as being the cause of it). The Author has left me hating them even more. Not that I like the other side. They are equally bad.

The concept of Jaya and Vijaya was also intriguing.

Do read this book if you are interested in new stories. It was a really fast read. 


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