Book: ARJUN, Without A Doubt
Author: Dr Sweet Shinde
Publishers: Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd
Arjun, without a doubt, is a saga, a tale of betrayal and love torn warrior. If you have read the Mahabharata or (watched the series), you would know what the story is all about. Somehow the lines between the wedding of Drupadhi with the five Pandavas has been blurred, giving us the casual outlook to pologamy in those times. However, no one actually told us what the two went through- Arjun, who won his bride fair and sqaure while Dharupadi, who was yet to fall in love with this mixed character of a man who was neither a king or a brahamin, who holds her hand and feels the softeness of the luxuries that must never have been denied her.
The writer, Dr Sweety has given it quiet a thought and really have gone through nuances of these two characters, gotten into their minds and deliberated what could-have-beens. However, what I find fascinating about this book is its romance, that seeems to linger in your thoughts for a long time. There is no actual use of words such as ‘sex’ and perhaps the author has tried to maintain its decency with words, and somehow aced it brilliantly. Being a reader, I always go for a very detailed description of two people in love how they consumate their love. But in this book, I was just happy to read their thoughts, their ache to be with each other yet when Arjun is forced to give away his right as a husband, and share Dhrupadi with his brothers, It tears him apart. The surprise element is maintained throughout, even though you would know about the story. The writer has not let the stories that she has heard from the past tarnish her imagination. She has given this story a whole new prespective, something that I appreciate a lot. She has made me dig into my sciptures and question the intentions of some characters- for example, Yudhisthar- who is supposed to be the loving, dotting eldest brother, yet he never looses a chance to show that the other four are under his thumb and that what he wants, he will get. Or Bhishm Pitama- who is supposed to be the only ‘righteous’ royal blood, doesn’t stand by his orphaned nephews or his daughter-in-law. And you know that the so-called good is just ‘less evil’.
And the year that Draupadi spent with Arjun is the most beautiful part of the book. Both are happy, things suddenly seem right only to take her happiness away when the crused dice match begins at Hastinapur. She is a strong woman, knows her place in the palace and keeps husbands in tow, letting them know that she is extremely unhappy with being bargained away to win the dice match. These instances, her pain, her trust is all shattered. Her cruel laugh, when the husbands tell her that they meant to put her hut in the center to protect her, is the testimony to how much she distrusts them now. Her only hope is seeing the end of hastinapur.
Arjun, is a true soldier, he loves with all his heart, gives away to the only woman he would ever love and respect, yet is unable to claim her because of the social norms. He never learnt to say ‘no’ or disobey his mother or elder brother. He keeps regretting the decision that Draupadi had taken all by herself. The Mahabharata starts and he knows that he wouldn’t be fighting for anyone but for himself. No one has actually been in ‘right’ here. He would be the lesser evil and that’s that. His questions to Krishna makes the demi god ache for him too. Krishna turns out to be the link between the two love lorn characters and brilliantly portayed. Without him, this book wouldn’t have made sense. Without Krishna, Arjun woud never survive or know what to do next.
There is hardly any flaw in the book and you tend to be mesmerized with every one who is trying to keep up with the pace of the novel. The characters are built just to give you an idea of what made the Mahabharata happen and why it could have been prevented if not for the betrayal of Yudhisthar. I think you understand why Arjun is as helpless as everyone. Yet I feel he is only a warrior and doesn’t think much and only before the war of pandavas and Karauvas.
This tale, retold in Dr Sweety’s words has really won my heart and this one is certainly a keeper.
(This is a sponsored post and all the views are unbiased and honest)