Shekhar Ruparelia's Reviews > Arjun: Without a Doubt

Arjun by Shinde Sweety
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really liked it
bookshelves: indian-writing, mythology

(A slightly longer and more personal review of this book appears on my blog at https://adventuresofatraveller.wordpr... Please do have a look at that too. Thanks!)

“Arjun: Without A Doubt” picks up the Mahabharat tale with Draupadi wondering who exactly this Arjun is. Of course, she has heard of Pandu’s illustrious son, the man who defeated her father, Drupad, in battle as gurudakshina for his guru, Dronacharya. But she has never set her sights on him. And her father tells her Arjun is the most deserving husband for her. Even Krishn is all praise for him. She wonders if Arjun, and his family, have survived the burning palace and whether he will be able to win her hand at the swayamvar her father is organising.

Thus, once more, begins this grand old tale. The book is written from the points of view of Arjun and Draupadi, each of them taking up the narration in alternate chapters. Arjun is pretty much what we expect him to be: a champion warrior. His dedication to his craft is commendable. We get a glimpse of the hardships he had to undertake to achieve what he did. We realise that it wasn’t always a walk in the park for him.

And yet, he is more than just a soldier who is very good at lifting up a bow and shooting arrows. He dearly loves Draupadi and is heartbroken every time he has to leave her behind. He also has his moments of doubts about the nature of his duty towards his family, especially towards his eldest brother Yudhisthir. As war approaches, we can see these doubts surfacing, which eventually leads Krishna to answer his queries about why the war must be fought. Arjun’s shockingly rude and direct dialogue with Kunti when she mourns Karna’s death shows how much he has changed from when we met him at the beginning: indeed, Arjun is without any doubts now.

But it is for Draupadi’s voice for which you should read this book. From the moment when Kunti says that Draupadi must be shared by the five Pandava brothers is when we start seeing her being served injustice. And what makes this even more insulting is that Draupadi comes across right away as a strong, independent woman. What stopped her, I asked myself, from walking away from the Pandavas right then and there?

And yet, there are a couple of glitches. The construction of paragraphs is at times confusing: I lost track at a couple of places and had to retrace my steps in order to clarify whose speech it is that I was reading.

Yet, this is a minor flaw in a book which is effective in it’s larger purpose of drawing our attention to various aspects of the Mahabharat.

In conclusion, if you’re a Mahabharat fan, I would highly recommend you read this book.

(Disclaimer: The author sent me a copy of “Arjun: Without A Doubt” to review.)
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Quotes Shekhar Liked

Shinde Sweety
“Peace is the first casualty in every ambition.”
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
“I learnt that no matter what names they give you, nothing applies until you wish it to. No insult, no barb yours to bear unless you want it to. Use it, if you want. Make it into a weapon and let it boomerang back to those who uttered it. Just don't let it overpower your life.”
Sweety Shinde, Arjun: Without a Doubt
tags: insult


Reading Progress

February 17, 2015 – Started Reading
February 17, 2015 – Shelved
February 17, 2015 – Shelved as: indian-writing
February 17, 2015 – Shelved as: mythology
February 26, 2015 – Finished Reading

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