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Ajaya: Roll of the Dice

(Epic of the Kaurava Clan #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,632 ratings  ·  438 reviews
CROSSWORD TOP 10 BOOK OF 2013 & 2014


THE MAHABHARATA ENDURES AS THE GREAT EPIC OF INDIA. But while Jaya is the story of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra; Ajaya is the narrative of the ‘unconquerable’ Kauravas, who were decimated to the last man.

At the heart of India’s most powerful empire, a revolut
Paperback, Mass market Paper back, 456 pages
Published December 1st 2013 by Platinum Press
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,632 ratings  ·  438 reviews

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Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws

There are always two sides to a story and depending upon the narrator, one gets to live the story the way the narrator sees it. Then again, it is mostly the victor’s side of the story that gets narrated to generations after generations until someone tells the other side of the story. And no one does it better than Anand Nelakantan. If you have already read his debut novel, ‘Asura’, then you know… If you are yet to pick up an Anand Neelakantan book then pic
Anshul Dixit
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indian-mythology
Like almost everyone else, I grew up worshipping Pandavas and Krishna. They were my heroes. I remember how as a kid I used to make bow and arrows from sticks and pretend to be Arjuna.

So, I was a little skeptical when I picked this book. But having read the first book by the same author (Asura), I wanted to give him a chance. And he didn't disappoint at all! By the time I reached the end of the first part, (second part has not yet released), I began questioning everything that I knew about Mahabh
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Why it is always the ones who are defeated tagged "villains" while the winners are always the heroes? Why losers are ridiculed all through-out the pages of history ?
Pandavas fought for a kingdom which did not belong to them at first place, they gambled their wife away in the gambling-court of men, they broke and deceived all the rules of the greatest war which was ironically named the Dharma-yudh. And they emerged as the heroes of history.
Kauravas, the righteous heirs of the throne of Hastinap
Sriniket Raghavan
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was quite disappointed with it actually. I went into the book expecting a saga of family and politics minus the divinity and righteousness . but instead I got the picture of a author who only wished to turn the tables and make proverbial good guys appear bad and vice versa. instead of making the protagonist appear like a doe eyed idealist making him as unbelievable as the traditional adaptations of Mahabharata make the pandavas and Krishna. the constant references to social evils were exhausti ...more
Jaideep Khanduja
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it

Book Review: AJAYA by Anand Neelakantan: Roll of Dice has Begun

AJAYA Epic of the KAURAVA Clan Book 1: Roll of Dice by Anand Neelakantan is the second book from the same author that I have read and reviewed. Earlier book Asura: Tale of Vanquished: The story of Ravana and his People was an excellent read that was quite engrossing and proved Anand to be an excellent writer who does extensive research before writing his book and takes his own time to sip and d
Rashmi Chendvankar
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The greatest achievement of Anand's books is that they trained our minds to see the other perspective.... And people have embraced his books with both their hands... That goes to show that our society is truly liberal... We openly accept the other perspective even on epics which have been ingrained in the common physche of the society for thousands of years.... this is what modern India is like - open minded and liberal.... many thanks Anand for writing these books.... And he says that his lates ...more
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Mahabharata from Duryodhana's eyes! What a refreshing thought. The thought itself held so much promise. And so it was that I proceeded to buy the book against sage advice from those who had read the author's previous book, Asura.

The best thing about the book is the promise of the premise - that of the view point of the vilified, the Kauravas. The worst thing about the book is that it is an opportunity squandered. A glorious opportunity squandered.

To be fair to the author, he makes several good
Samarpita Sharma
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I had loved, Asura when I had read it, albeit much later than a lot of people. History is not very easy to write about, or re-write, with a fresh perspective. Neelakantan had taken a villain and put him in a fresh light for us, made him lovable and relate-able. In Ajaya, personally, I felt that Neelakantan has outdone himself. This time his muse is Duryodhan.

The book begins with Bhishma and how his actions based on his beliefs, actually proved wrong for others. It all began when he alm
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book!!!
The worst part is that u have to wait for its second part due release in august. The viewpoint of anand has completely baffled my understanding of mahabharata. Its really GOOD!!! For those who are not conservative and welcomes a different perspective, this is the book to go for!
Won't disaapoint you!
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ஆணடாணடுகளாக கேவலபபடுதபபடட ஒரு கதாபாததிரததின உள ஆழததில செனறு பாரககும போது அநத கதாபாததிரததிறகு நேரநத நியாய- அநநியாயஙகள புலபபடும. தோறறவனின கதையை படிககும போது தான வெனறவனின சாதுரயம புரியும. இதுவரை நேரததியானவரகள என நாம நமபிய கதாபாததிரஙகளின நயவஞசகம புரியும. இதுவரை நாம வேனறவரையே கதாநாயகரகளாய பாரததுளளோம. இது வீழததபபடடவனின கதை.
சகுனியும கிருஷணனும மிக சிறநத தேரநத political strategists ! இவரகள இருவருககும இடையே பகடையாய உருடடபபடடு காணாமல போன அஸதினாபபுரதது இளவரசன துரியோதனனின கதை. தனககு எவவகையிலும உரிமையிலலா அரி
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
In Neelakantan’s retelling, the ‘dharma’ of the Pandavas is not about ‘duty’ or ‘justice’ – it is actually about rigidly and unquestioningly following caste rules. Their antagonists, on the other hand, are the egalitarian Kauravas, represented mainly by Suyodhana, who believes in equality, personal merit and accomplishments, charity towards the poor etc. Read more:
Vikas Datta
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The mark of a great epic is the ways it can be endlessly interpreted.... this is one of the most credible versions insofar as it overturns and inverts the conventional wisdom and ably stresses how outmoded customs, a tyrannical social order, boundless ambition and manipulative people can take the whole epoch to a monumental disaster... The parallels with the present day or the roots of present day malaises are well-done though a trifle overdone
Rohit Sharma
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mahabharat and Ramayan are two of the most loved epics from our part of the world and I have read almost half a dozen of the new-age versions in the name of Mythological Fiction which sells like a hot cake in today's time. Some of them are damn interesting, some I totally loved, liked and even lived with but there are a very few which I actually end up hating for various personal reasons (call it my personal opinion, like or dislike) and this one unfortunately falls in that sad category where I ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well done Anand Neelakandan ....

Ajaya:ROll of the Dice (Book 1 )is a novel which describes the famous rapscallion of Mahabhratha, Suyodhana known as Duryodhana, in a different dimension,
In authors note section of this book Anand describes a temple dedicated for Dhuryodhana in a village called Poruvazhi, which is very near to my birth place.
The festival every year was during my school summer vacation and once I visited the place with my father during the festival .
As a kid I was wondered why pe
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anand Neelakantan’s second Book ‘Ajaya – Roll of the dice’ is the story of Jaya, or Mahabharata as we popularly know it. However there is a twist, the tale is a narration from the Kaurava’s angle. History has always been from the side of the victorious as the losers never have a chance to elaborate their plot. Ajaya – Roll of the Dice gives them that power of speech to tell their story and not the ‘His story’ version.
The Author beautifully portrays the mindset, lifestyle and caste dominancy of
Hemantkumar Jain
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Absolutely Brilliant ....

Anand has written the Epic from a whole new angle. The characters are same but each one of them is a different shade of gray in Anand's version.

I am completely floored by this Mahabharata ... let me tell you that this Mahabharata is different from any other Mahabharata that you might have read or seen till date. Duryodhana is not the villain and there are no Gods or Sons of Gods in the story. The story is not about the war for land or kingdom ... its act
Swathi Kiranmayee Manchili
Feb 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-so-good-ones
Pandavas and Krishna need not be painted negative just to show Duryodhana in positive light. One of the worst books I have read.
Divya Sarma
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
The flavor of the season seems to be Mahabharata reteelings, and after reading a half baked highly insipid retelling by Kavita Kane in Karna's wife (read my review here, I picked up Ajaya, with a lot of expectation, but with also a fear that it may disappoint.

Ajaya does not disappoint. Like in Asura, Neelakantan has created a remarkable counterworld, where the voice of the villains seem right. He has made the story consistent with his worldview, and has
Shyam Bulusu
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
During my childhood, I used to read one of the greatest of Indian epics, the Mahabharata, in Telugu, as a comic-book in black-on-white (Balala Bommala Bharatamu - బాలల బొమమల భారతము). I lost count of how many times I read it, never getting satiated.

There were heroes, there were villains, there were heroines, there were Gods and angels; all characters clearly etched, leaving no room for doubt. The Pandavas were the heroes, despite the subterfuges they indulged in, in the name of dharma. The Kaurav
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a book. Seriously what a book. Managed to read it in 3 working days.
What is this book about?

A. This book is about Suyodhana(Yeah he was called Suyodhana) or Duryodhana, as he is popularly known and the Mahabharata from his point of view.

Why is this book interesting?

B. A dumb question which i asked and would anyways love to answer. It first and foremost teaches you a lot more about Mahabharata than the TV series taught us. Most important it talks from the point of view of the vanquished. Al
Rangarajan Iyengar
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
We have heard and seen that there are 2 sides of a coin. When Asura was released, it was seen as the other side of the coin of Ramayana. After hearing about Ajaya I confess spending restless days waiting for the book after hearing that this was going to be another counter story. Giving us Duryodhana, I mean Suyodhana’s point of view sounded exciting. And I am not disappointed with this book at all.

Going back to the coin aspect, I wish to share a new perspective. While there are 2 sides of a coin
Girdhar Joshi
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I just completed reading Ajaya: Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan and feel obliged to write a review at this site. First, Anand deserves a pat on his back for presenting a different view-point of the great epic Mahabharata and its heroes. He has just turned the things upside down and did it meticulously and after a good deal of research on the subject. The story is already known to most of the readers so I will not summarize what the author has written about. What I couldn't easily digest is ...more
Karthik Nilagiri
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mahabharat have been told in a number of ways by a number of people... Yet the story never cede to capture a reader's attention... And no wonder its my favourite story too... The difference in here is that its told from the view of the lost, the Kauravas... Frankly the book is of neutral view... Hence I loved it even more...

The english is simple... I found just 5 mistakes in entire book - 1 spelling, 2 grammar & 2 punctuation... The flow is beautiful... Dialogues are of different views... It
Vishnu Chevli
From childhood we heard heroic stories of Pandavas & Krishna, along with evil stories of Kaurava and Shakuni. 'Ajaya' - Mahabharata from Duryodhana (or Suyodhana) point of view was never brought to us.

Anand has depicted how story could be if Suyodhana was not an evil person. Anand used all loopholes in conventional Mahabharata stories presented as divine intervention either by Krishna or God, and presented them as how it would be if there were no divine force other than tempering actual fact
Awdhesh Singh
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ajaya is a book, which shows Suyodhana (popularly known as Duryodhana) as a compassionate and righteous hero and Pandavas and Lord Krishna in a negative shade. According to this book what Krishna and Hindu Scriptures called 'Dharma' is nothing but upholding the caste system ruthlessly and the meaning to "Karma" is to stick to the rules of Dharma without application of mind. If you believe in Mahabharatha as commonly known and understood, you may be shocked to read this book, which reverses the r ...more
Ruschil Aggarwal
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ajaya is the synthesis between the author's attempt to portray the other side of the coin, and a generous dose of fiction. Arguably, it is also a hypothesis of what 'could have been', and not what it 'is', as handed down to us over the generations. Kaurava Prince Duryodhan is depicted as a man of compassion, and the Pandav camp (sans Arjun) + Krishna, are bigots and hypocrites. All of which may well have been true, if the result of the fratricide was any different. The beauty of the Mahabharat i ...more
Arun Sashi
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly a masterpiece, totally a new perspective , i empathize with the character Suyodhana, who was forever misunderstood. If you research him , even the scriptures have mentioned that he was a maverick , opposed the false beliefs which people those days termed " dharma" ,
He was truly a very self made man , who kept friendship and selflessness all above

many of the Mahabharata characters depicted by sage Vyasa always confused me , especially the Pandavas , who were righteous most of
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have always been fascinated by mythological stories.Be it Ramayana or Mahabharata stories I am always eager to listen them.
Mahabharata is the largest epic ever written and Ajaya is been narrated from the ones who were defeated i.e the Kaurava clan.
Author beautifully portrays the mindset,lifestyle of people in Mahabharata time.
The book forms the most important plot of Mahabharata that is the dice game. Here the duryodhan is proclaimed as the hero and the sons of Kunti(Pandavas) are shown in neg
Natasha Borah Khan
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: namrata
Suyodhana (popularly known as Duryodhana) is the hero of this book. He is liberal, kind-hearted, a progressive thinker, a visionary, loving and strong man. But at the same time he is naive and gullible. And his uncle Shakuni clearly manipulated him to take his revenge on Bhisma. The author has told the story in a way which is believable, logical, practical and reasonable. The magic, godliness and miracles associated in the epic are depicted in a logical manner. He has even connected some things ...more
Nandhini Chandrasekaran
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it

To accept or not the standpoint of the author is totally up to the reader. It requires a wide open mind to get into the shoes of Duryodhana which, I would say, the author has skillfully done. More than acceptance, what precisely the book intends is an understanding of how everyone, regardless of their nature and principles, is struggling with their own battles in life. I congratulate the author for his brave endeavor. What he has envisaged beyond the story
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I was born in a quaint little village called Thripoonithura, on the outskirts of Cochin, Kerala. Located east of mainland Ernakulam, across Vembanad Lake, this village had the distinction of being the seat of the Cochin royal family. However, it was more famous for its hundred odd temples; the various classical artists it produced and its music school. I remember many an evening listening to the f ...more

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