Saturday, September 1, 2012


I am still on leave.. Alas!! They come to an end. Sob.

So I just finished a book called Govinda. It is written by a lady who goes by the name of Krishna Udayashankar. I have never heard of her before.

It was an impulse buy. I was reading the back flap of this book at a shop when the shopkeeper (obviously the non crossword, non landmark ones who do not have an opinion on anything and just sit there to bill people.. the owners of these small stores actually have an opinion and recommend books) told me that I should try this one out. And I do not usually need much persuasion to buy a book!!!!!!!!!

I did not read it for more than 10 days. It was lying around for a long time waiting to be picked up. The print was small. That is a big put off for me. And I had just finished the "Fallen" series and was still mulling over it. No, I did not like it. And I did not feel like starting another series especially on Krishna. I thought it will be one preachy Krishna story and I just did not feel like wanting to be preached to.

But finally I ran out of all books till I had only this one left. I even thought to order more books from Flipkart just to put off reading this one. Finally I felt guilty enough (of buying this book and not reading it).. so I decided to skip read it. Skip read as in skip paragraphs, chapters in between.

But of course things turned on its head. I quite enjoyed reading this absolutely fast paced non preachy book. YES, NON PREACHY.

It is about Govinda, aka Krishna, yet not about him. It is about the events around the era of Mahabharat. So there is the inevitable Panchali, Bhishma, the 5 Pandavas, the kauravas etc. But, it is so different from what we have seen or read earlier. The focus is not on Mahabharat per se.

There is a dying breed called firewrights - they create weapons. This art was passed on from generation to generation. But now they are a dying breed. They are hunted and killed. Then there are the firstborns (sages like vyasa) - firstborns of the arya race or aryavrat. They and firewrights have always been at loggerheads. And then finally the third set of people..the kings who serve the firstborn.

The books is all about politics. If you enjoy reading politic thrillers, then you must read this. It shows a very different side to that era. There is no good vs evil as portrayed on TV. Everyone falls in the "grey" range. This is what I liked about it. No one is shown to be right or wrong. Everyone is shown to be political, as it should be among the rulers. Like Suyodhan (i.e. Duryodhan) was always a big "NO" for all of us. This book showcases him in a different light. A positive person who Dharma (Yudhister) always falls back on. Or the fact that it is Panchali who rules the kingdom, who deals with all adminstrative work etc and not Dharma. These are of course the side tracks the book veers off to and form an important though small part of the bigger picture.

Yup. A truly enjoyable read. Worth a buy.