Saral's Reviews > Arjun: Without a Doubt

Arjun by Shinde Sweety
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it was amazing
bookshelves: indian-authors, historical

The author’s look at Arjun holds deep intimacy, at Krishna holds a searching question mark and at Draupadi holds worship.

Firstly Draupadi’s words are marked by *** while Arjun’s words are unmarked, as i confirmed with author. There, and now getting back to what I LOVED.

1] The first person narration makes Arjun’s ups & downs a personal experience. ARJUN the man behind the warrior is discovered with fresh eyes as one falls in love with him.

As a son (his emotional trauma when Kunti says those ugly words and the heartwarming scene when Indra gets jealous of the tears of mortals)

as a husband (he struggles to and cannot ever forget Draupadi, his funny first night with Ulupi and the fact that Subhadra also has to obey 1 year rule. So is that why Abhimanyu was their only child…?)

as emotional (when khandav dahan memory haunts him at dyut sabha and the way he treats the Gandiva bow as a living being)

as human (the cute scene with his nephews ‘They seemed to be born directly from wombs of Yudhishtir and Bheem, untouched by her’, his joy at learning archery as well as dance -‘both required timing and tempo, restraint and rhythm’

as warrior (how he built his concentration using the insults of kaurava cousins, his calm confidence ‘I would rather evoke envy than pity’, his severe discipline & grit reflected in his ‘I demand perfection of myself.’

his emotions for Yudhishthir & Kunti change from respect to anger to pity as he discovers that ‘Elders are just flawed people who happen to be born earlier’ , quite a SHOCKING new angle.

2]DRAUPADI’s role in keeping alive Arjun’s legacy, how she inspires Arjun into turning Savyasachi via eklavya’s story, how she guesses Arjun’s feelings on battlefield by seeing his arrows is totally a new way of looking at this couple’s strong bond.

She is mischievous and witty (Her main asset was her brother, mine was Me). Also she is steely (If they cannot use seniority as a sword, they cannot use it as a shield), mature (I wish there was a weapon that could raze evil souls or erase evil from souls) and truly Krishna’s ‘bravest soldier’. Atishay saksham varnan kele aahe.

3] KRISHN is not a god here. But his wisdom (Morals, rules and ethics are always the first casualty in war) and his foresight are clear (Maharaj is dangerous – but not to the enemy). His helplessness at Dwarka’s divided opinions, his silent tears at abhimanyu’s death, his deep attachment to arjun contrasting his own advice of detachment. Such scenes just make him very loveable, very HUMAN.

4) On KURUKSHETRA, Arjun & draupadi’s emotions are poles apart and yet to the author’s credit, both views are equally convincing. Draupadi sees Drona’s betrayal but Arjun feels drona’s grief over ‘grandson’ Abhimanyu. Same way Arjun’s respect and Draupadi’s disgust for bhishma are both true.

5) Draupadi-Bheem and Arjun-Kunti dialogues are shocking, but again make you think. Many truths about Karna also get uncovered like he was Drona’s student and his defeat at Draupadi’s swayamvar. Shikhandi’s battle for Draupadi does seem more logical than for amba’s revenge. I had to pause and reread many times to digest facts from ‘Myths’ chapter but there are references to show the research behind it.

6) FAVORITE scenes include draupadi-arjun’s first happy walk and their final sober walk together, their reunion after 8 years, krishn-draupadi talk before& after Subhadra, arjun-draupadi’s conversations which cover romance, archery, astras,Drona and their tug of love over krishna.

I CoMPLAIN. 1) Draupadi’s vastraharan is not shown at all, which we are so used to reading. But even without it, one can feel all of the horror and pain felt by Draupadi. 2) action scenes are brief, but maybe they reflect Arjun’s reluctance at war.

Overall the book asks tough, uncomfortable questions and it gives believable answers. It makes you rethink popular beliefs & myths with logic and references. It has humor, memorable quotes, bitter facts, tender moments and dramatic conversations. Definitely recommended.
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Quotes Saral Liked

Shinde Sweety
“Silence too, can be misquoted”
Sweety Shinde, Arjun: Without a Doubt

Shinde Sweety
“Tears are infinitely more precious than blood. Blood spurts from the body; tears stream from the soul.”
Sweety Shinde, Arjun: Without a Doubt

Shinde Sweety
“Don't underestimate your own triumphs. Leave it to the enemy.
# Krishn”
Sweety Shinde, Arjun: Without a Doubt

Shinde Sweety
“Power does not justify sin. Power is not virtue. Virtue is that which lasts inspite of power”
Sweety Shinde, Arjun: Without a Doubt

Shinde Sweety
“Absence of questions is not proof of answers.”
Sweety Shinde, Arjun: Without a Doubt

Shinde Sweety
“Truth is a kaleidoscope - it alters with perspective”
Sweety Shinde, Arjun: Without a Doubt


Reading Progress

February 16, 2015 – Started Reading
February 16, 2015 – Shelved
February 25, 2015 –
page 213
69.61% "Loving it so far..."
March 1, 2015 – Shelved as: indian-authors
March 1, 2015 – Shelved as: historical
March 3, 2015 –
page 281
91.83%
March 9, 2015 – Finished Reading

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