Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Warrior Woman For All Seasons


Do people get better at what they do as the years go by? Does a warrior woman get more mettlesome as more and more thunderbolts are thrown her way? If so, Mrs. Nalini Chandran must be one fierce warrior, at the age of eighty!



When did it all begin?

Did it start when she was a young girl, travelling around the country, finding wonder in everything she saw? Her father was a Railways employee, and he enjoyed taking his family around by train. Nalini and her brothers looked forward to these journeys, and they watched the world whiz by as they sampled the train food thalis that changed with every station they crossed. Her mother was the disciplinarian, who tamed her children with love, but her father was the one Nalini hero-worshipped, as he guided her into reading the classics, Shakespeare, the Bible and beautiful poetry.

Nalini learnt Kathakali for seven years at a time when girls were not encouraged to go on stage and make spectacles of themselves, as a few envious souls put it. She gave several shows in Mumbai, blossoming out into a dancer of rare repute.



Her first major battle against the world came when she fell in love with Eashwar, a boy who was her closest friend, an ally who understood her. His only crime was that he belonged to a family of slightly lower standing in society. However, love knows no barriers, and despite stiff opposition from her grandmother and her aunts, Nalini went ahead and married the love of her life. Her parents stood by her, but her grandmother took seventeen years to reconcile with her favourite, but headstrong granddaughter.

Eighteen years of marital bliss later, and three daughters who were deeply loved, Nalini had to face the unkindest cut of all, the death of her beloved husband, Eashwar, at the age of forty-two. She was a young widow of thirty-nine, and her daughters were still studying, the youngest one just seven at the time. Just a year ago, Eashwar had suggested that she start a school of her own in the tiny town of Thrissur, in Kerala. He was due for premature retirement from the Army himself, and had plans to do poultry farming and live a relaxed life with his beloved family. Unfortunately, Fate had other plans.

So, this young widow stood strong in a town that was, at that time, still conservative enough to throw brickbats at her. While there were a number of people who supported her, there were the diehards who condemned her ‘mummy-daddy’ school, mainly because she believed that, while the mother tongue was absolutely essential, every child had to learn English as well, if he or she had to survive in a world in which barriers opened up if there was a common language.



Many were the times when she had young men standing with black flags at her gate, protesting in violent syllables, even as they struggled to brave the heat of the sun. It is then that the humanitarian in her would take over, and she would saunter to the gate with glasses of cool sambharam (lassi). “Here you go!” she would smile. “Quench your thirst so that you may have the strength to continue shouting slogans.” Needless to say, she won over a number of them with that one gesture, reminding one of the well-loved quote by Abraham Lincoln: “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”



Thus, the warrior woman battled on, living for her school, turning discipline into a catchword, busy in creating students who were not bookworms, but true citizens of the world. She coined a slogan that exemplified her school. “Let the peal of harmony be the appeal of all religions!” This was something she believed in implicitly, as all religions were given equal importance by her. The school choir could burst into melody at any given moment, and render bhajans, carols, mapla pattu (Muslim songs) and patriotic songs at the drop of a hat.

One would have thought that this grand lady could have rested on her laurels at the age of seventy, ten years ago. However, an unexpectedly vicious storm was awaiting her, and once again she had to take up the cudgels, this time to fight for her own school, the institution that she had built out of her blood, sweat and tears. It is a fact that beginnings are always tough and take a lot of strain and upheaval; however, once an enterprise is thriving and running on its own steam, there are countless usurpers who are ready to take credit for its success.

This is exactly what Nalini had to go through. One fine day, she found that a handful of people, whom she had full trust in, had turned against her, and wanted to oust her from her own school. This time, she was badly hurt, almost broken, but her indomitable will and the support from her true friends came to her aid. Besides, “this crazy old teacher”, as she often referred to herself, must have done something good, for without exception, almost her entire band of teachers, the parents of her students, and many of the townsfolk stood staunchly by her, and kept her afloat. Maybe, it was a homage to the way she had nurtured all their children and brought them up as young adults well able to stand on their own feet.



Today, at the grand age of eighty years young, with a slew of awards under her belt, Nalini hopes that her battles are behind her. Her beloved school is considered one of the top ICSE/ISC schools in the country. Her principles and her methodology are being followed by many other schools, and around fourteen schools in Thrissur itself have principals who have been trained by her, no small feat by any standards.

What is it that keeps her going even now? Maybe, it is an amalgam of many beautiful qualities: her will power which does not allow her to give up, her optimism (“Remember the tea-kettle; it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings”), her amazing sense of humour which allows her to find joy in the tiniest of things, and of course, her multi-faceted personality that makes her excel at poetry, drama, dance and choreography, academics and sports.



But above all this, it is her innate goodness that makes her so well loved by all. This is exemplified in one of her favourite poems, titled ‘Abou Ben Adhem’ by Leigh Hunt, where the moral is beautifully clear. "I pray thee, then,/Write me as one that loves his fellow men." For that is what Nalini Miss or Nalini Valiyamma (big mother) does best of all! May her tribe increase!

The Tournament:
When a Greek pirate ship sails in to loot the wealth of the Cholas, it is brutally defeated by the navy and forced to pay a compensation. A  payment that includes a twelve-year girl, Aremis. Check out this new historical novel Empire (http://bit.ly/DeviEmpire) with a warrior woman, Aremis, at the heart of the novel.

https://www.juggernaut.in/books/9caf48b3c2564d8db735980aa0aabaaf



Friday, September 1, 2017

Interpreting the World

The Piano #FridayFotoFiction



The unearthly music echoed around.
“She’s playing the piano again!” breathed Namita, rapturously.
  A proficient piano player, Ujwala had performed across the country. However, after her beloved husband passed away, she had locked away the piano along with the love in her heart.
“Ujwala, we long to hear you play again,” pleaded her friends. She had shaken her head.
Two years flew by, but no music had echoed in the cottage. Till today.
Ujwala welcomed the group in, as the music played on.
“Who is the magical artiste?” asked Namita, surprised.
“How well she interprets the world through her music!” added Annie.
Ujwala led them in. They gazed at the delicate girl whose long fingers tripped across the keys.
“Naina!” called Ujwala softly.
The music ceased; the girl turned, smiling.
“How well you play!” Annie suddenly stopped. Shocked, they gazed at Naina’s beautiful but sightless eyes.


The Piano #FridayFotoFiction

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Snowbound by Olivier Lafont


What can Adam and Zach do to revive Christmas? Do read Snowbound by Olivier Lafont to find out.




Print Length: 339 pages
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Young Adult Adventure/Fantasy 




Christmas is dying.

The last Santa Claus had triplets who each inherited a portion of his father’s power, and that split is now tearing apart the soul of Christmas.

Niccolo Vecchio, the eldest, has fortified the North Pole into a citadel of ice and metal.

Santini, the middle brother, is in hiding somewhere in the Mediterranean.

The youngest brother, Niccolo Piccolo, is raising legions to reclaim his inheritance.

Two of the triplets will have to renounce their claim in the next forty-eight hours, or this Christmas will be the last one ever.

And it’s up to Adam, underachieving teenager sub-ordinaire, and his brand new jock bully Zach to make that happen…


It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR





Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor. His novel ‘Warrior’ was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has just released his new contemporary romance novel 'Sweet Revenge' exclusively on Kindle. 'Purgatory: The Gun of God' is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa. 

Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide. 

As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials. He acted in ‘3 Idiots’, one of India's all-time blockbuster hits, the critically-acclaimed ‘Guzaarish’, and the Lifetime film ‘Baby Sellers’, amongst other films. 

Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Yours To Love Yours To Take

Yours To Love Yours To Take by Reshma Ranjan

A Heartwarming Saga of Love and Sacrifice





Print Length: 202 pages
Publication Date: July 21, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited 
Genre: Romance 


As if losing her parents and her voice in a childhood accident wasn’t cruel enough, Anita Batra now has to come to terms with her twin’s death and help her sister’s partner get a new lease in life. 

Adopted by the Verma Clan after his parents died in an accident, Dr. Salim Verma finally finds love and a chance to be happy only to lose it in an accident he himself survives. 

When fate strikes a final blow and brings two strangers together, Salim can’t help but punish Anita and make her tread through the hell he himself was in, while all Anita wants is to help her sister’s partner start afresh, no matter what the cost. 

Will Salim ever be able to ignore Anita’s resemblance to his dead girlfriend and fall in love with her instead? Will Anita be able to reveal the real Salim hiding behind the monster? Will they be able to embrace their tumultuous attraction for each other despite their terrible start? 

Yours To Love Yours To Take is a heartwarming saga of love and sacrifice that will reinstate your belief that love conquers all. 


It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR.






Here is a passionate romantic who loves literatureand has created many happy ending in her imagination, for every movie or book with a sad conclusion.

She soon began to create her own characters and situations, creating plenty of romances and happy endings to satisfy her imagination. "But for my laziness and diffidence," says Reshma "I would have penned umpteen stories of unexpected pairs meeting and falling in love, overcoming troubles and hurdles to unite for a lifetime."

A voracious reader, Reader, Reshma is a poet as well, and feels that she would be blessed as a writer if she could bring a happy content sigh on the readers lips.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Frankly Speaking - An Evening of Immersive Theatre

Script: Kirthi Jayakumar   Direction: Samyuktha PC

Performed by: Keerthi Pandian, Kirthi Jayakumar and Aparnaa Nagesh








It was a performance that left its audience with goosebumps, a performance in which the stunned lookers-on played a pivotal part, as, in a dim-lit room, to the background of staccato gunshots, three young women played out a macabre repertoire of genocide in various war-ravaged countries in the world. As they spoke, intoned, sang and wailed, the horror of violence and the anguish of death were keenly felt in every heart. At intervals, however, the quotes of Anne Frank acted like a balm, much akin to an oasis in the midst of tremendous turmoil.

Kirthi Jayakumar is much like Anne Frank herself, as she strives to come to terms with a world where "men have lost their reason". Maybe, this is why she put so much of herself into 'Frankly Speaking', a touching piece of writing which was directed by Samyuktha PC, and staged on June 12th (Anne Frank's birthday), at the Goethe Institut. It was staged once again at the Lady Andal Auditorium. Both performances wrung the hearts of the audience, as they immersed themselves in the lives of the protagonists from different countries. 

It was an honour to speak to Kirthi about the actual process of writing that went behind this amazing performance.

1.      What role does Anne Frank play in your life? You have been party to many lives, histories and biographies across the world. Why did you choose this young girl and base your moving narrative on her?
Anne Frank has been an enduring presence since the time I turned thirteen. I read her diary first in grade nine, when I had just turned thirteen. At the time, it seemed amazing and that's about all. But each year, since, something made me return to the diary every year. With time, I began connecting the diary with things that I saw happening around me. Each year, the diary sounded and felt different, and meant new things. I suppose in the process, Anne has lodged herself into my subconscious.

2.      Tell us about the actual writing process that gave rise to this powerful piece of poetry. When did the idea of dramatizing it strike you?
I was on a Skype call with Drew Kahn, the founder of the Anne Frank Project in Buffalo University, under the SUNY system at NYU. In his project, as a teacher of theatre, he gets his students to internalise Anne and her story and produce pieces that are responses to her. After the call, I sat from 11:30 PM to 2:00 AM and wrote out the whole play without a second glance at what I had written. The next morning, I wake up to this piece and I'm astounded because I couldn't believe that this was what had come out of the exercise. I showed it to Aparna Nagesh, who is a dear friend and a fellow Sagittarius - so as is wont to happen to anyone born under that sign, she jumped in with both feet. We went to Samyuktha and she was amazing - the rest, is as you see!

3.      How did you prepare for your roles? (All three of you) Was it a stringent pre-course to the actual performance?
Samyuktha PC is much more than a director. She is incredibly humane. She welcomed and celebrated the fact that the play, the lines and the emotions meant personal things to each of us. She gave us amazing impetus to explore the lines, to internalise genocide and its occurrence, to do research and to be there for each other. Each day, we spent time on the facts of each genocide, and I would share stories of real women from each of the conflicts. That helped us internalise. On the day of the play for both shows, I ate half of what I normally eat so that the Hunger my characters felt real. I wore clothes one size looser with folds so I would feel the heaviness. Through the journey, I wrote letters to Anne, telling her whatever came up each day.




4.      Before the start of the performance, when people were walking into a dim-lit room, you were there, yet not there, veiled in silence. You did not speak, or respond or even acknowledge the crowd. Was this part of the pre-course?
Absolutely. The idea was to maintain character and to send to the audience a powerful message. There are three women who have ears only for the war sounds, and yet, around them, people are chatting, talking, giggling and going about their daily lives. Just the way we handle life, even as atrocities continue, the world over.

5.      How closely did you work with the director? Did you all accede to her suggestions or was this a fluid integration of thoughts and ideas?
Samyuktha is easily the most amazing human being I know. The depth of passion for her craft, her warmth and her empathy still sends me chills. Nearly everything you saw us do was her brainchild. Where we had ideas, Sam had us articulate, and then, she heard us out completely. We would discuss the feasibility and logic of it all. I don't think any idea went unheard or unincorporated. Sam is exceptionally democratic and inclusive, and that came through.

6.      What is the significance of the names of all the fictional characters, who, yet, had their moorings in reality?
All the women are named according to their cultures, but their initials are AF, like Anne Frank's initials were. Every first name means peace in some form, or mindfulness / mindful thought.

7.      The refrain that appeared at the end of every narrative added to the poignancy of the lives of the women. Was this a conscious effort, or did it flow onto the narrative on its own?
I think it was a subconscious line, because every survivor I have spoken to, talked about how the ones punished were punished for an identity, or an ethnicity, and that was truly not a sin, at all. And since genocide is so calculated, a part of the process is to render it invisible. So before you know it, it's over. Thus the refrain, "But it ends, ends before it begins... for the punished ones have no sins, except for being Tutsi or Yazidi or Rohingya, or Muslim or Black or Tamil or Arab or Mayan Ixil.

8.      Do tell us about the songs in the performance. How did you pick them up?
The songs were a very interesting inclusion. We originally wanted to establish ethnicity through the headscarves and headdresses. But in one rehearsal, I brought to the team a song by the Mayan Ixil community. Soon, I remembered a song I had recorded by a Syrian refugee in Vienna last year, with her permission to listen and learn and sing it. That was part of the ensemble too. Then Kothbiro came up - it was a DholuoRwanda song from the film The Constant Gardener. During one of the rehearsals when I was doing the lines, I sang it subconsciously. Finally, seeing three poems with a song, we decided to even it out with a song for one other poem, when I found a beautiful Palestinian lullaby, Ya sitti, which we learned.

9.      The voice of Anne Frank in a dim room made her come alive throughout the evening. What is your hope for a world, war-ravaged and violence-ridden?
I hope every day for a return to peace. And I'm sure that it's not difficult because, like Anne says, "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart."




10.  Women hold up one-half of the world, and yet, they suffer most in a patriarchal world. Will there come a time when this imbalance will be rectified?  Do you see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, and a world in which people are still good at heart?
I wish the horrific crimes against women would end. I suppose it is a function of patriarchy that operates on a greater scale during war. It's something I try to feel hopeful about when it comes to dreaming of a changed future, but I also feel upset at how rampant it is, and thereby how stifling its occurrence is to the process of peace.

11.  How different will it be to perform on a larger stage as compared to a small, dim-lit room? Will you make any changes to the narrative or the performance in any way?
Having done it twice, I can honestly tell you that each experience is chillingly different... in the last round, I found myself choking up on each poem. It's like opening up a wound all over again and feeling it bleed! But you also see so many people around you imbibing the truth, and that helps stitch up that wound.





And as she paused, I wondered at the heart of this young girl whose actions live up to Anne's joyful words, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."





Friday, July 28, 2017

Window Seat by Yashluv Virwani





A window seat often offers the best vantage point for a person to observe the world going by. Yashluv Virwani explores this concept to the fullest in his riveting anthology titled ‘Window Seat’, capturing the imagination right from his ‘Prologue’ which entices the reader with the refrain “I was drunk and the night was red”, and ending on a twist.

‘Cliché’ deals with the young writer who comes in search of Veronika just so that he can keep away from the screams and the howling, the negative presence in his room. Veronika enjoys the lights and colours that flow around her “like the fireflies, from the tales of a childhood raconteur, in the vastness of nothing.” She is an artist who fills her own life with colours; he a writer of logic, two souls who come together to create magic.

‘Window Seat’ is a tender story of a housewife who lives in her world cooking up a storm, and a tenant below who looks out at the world from his window. Their two souls meet when “the spear of loneliness first pricked”, and they each reach out to “a presence they could talk to”, filling a void within themselves. The narration brings to mind Longfellow’s lines about ‘ships that pass in the night... a distant voice in the darkness”.

Two travellers listen to the secrets told by the dawn breeze as they share a journey to a special place to look for freedom, finding it in different ways as they take inspiration from each other in ‘Favourite Quote’.

In ‘Soulmates’, chai plays a vital role as a lady finds her soulmate in her travelling companion in a train. Yashluv Virwani employs the train as a metaphor to describe the mediocrity of life bounded within its tracks. The lady, a writer who writes character-driven stories, sits by the window, conversing with her differently-abled companion.”You’re your true self only when facing a stranger”. This line takes on a whole new meaning by the end of the story. Likewise, the story titled ‘Strangers’ brings together a musician who plays his own tunes and an artiste in whom colours have found their home.

Love can be expressed in a myriad ways, but often guilt and happiness go together. ‘Object of Affection’  and ‘Freckles’ touch upon the perfection of love, beyond the shackles of matrimony, a love which has no binding, in which lovers are happy in their own secret worlds.

The book abounds with writers, storytellers and artists who narrate “stories picked up from people around (us) to weave a tale with the threads of magic”.  Be they lovers, co-artistes, fellow travellers, confidants and strangers, “these conversations with people (you) meet out of nowhere and will never encounter (them) again, ever” give the reader glimpses of their loves, their lives and their  philosophies, as they look out from their windows at the patch of sky visible beyond.

Maybe, there was a reason why the young writer left the most poignant story ‘Naiyya’ for the last. The old man at the sweet shop who waxes eloquent about his beloved wife, and the young girl whose grandmother had first brought her to this city, enter each other’s lives like two souls, to, perhaps, fulfill an unfinished bond. It is this story that brings all the stories to an end, leaving the reader “consumed by the characters”, as he tried to wrap his mind around the consummate manner in which the narrative has come around, full circle.

All I can say is that this slim volume packs a punch. The fluid lines of Rumi weave in and out of the stories, and in the words of one of the characters, “There’s so much of colour in here.”



Monday, July 24, 2017

Yudhisthira -The Unfallen Hero

A short extract from Yudhisthira - The Unfallen Hero by Mallar Chatterjee




Yudhisthira
The Unfallen Pandava

By Mallar Chatterjee


The forest was eerily silent. Only my voice was audible. Each time I shouted for Vidura, flocks of birds were taking off from treetops creating a flutter that immediately subsided back into silence.

Suddenly, I heard a strange sound. It sounded as if someone was rushing through the jungle bushes. The sound was moving away from me. Curious, I chased the sound. I was so desperate that no fear of danger could cross my mind at that time.

I saw a strange being—obviously a human—run away. The man was shockingly thin. His bones were sharply jutting out from beneath his skin. He was completely naked. His long, unkempt, dirty hair-strands formed natural braids dangling from his head. His emaciated face was almost fully covered with anarchic beards, most of which was whitish. The whole body of the strange man was covered with scums and dirt. His hips were covered with faeces, evidently excreted from his own body.

He was not a good runner. Or, he did not have anything left in him to run a good distance. I was catching up with him even running with half-speed. He was panting and coughing. I recognised the coughing sound—I had heard it many times!

That ghost of a man was none other than our Uncle Vidura—the wisest Kaurava ever born!

‘Uncle Vidura, why are you running away from me? Can’t you recognise me? I am your Yudhisthira. I have come to see you.’

He stopped. He had no other option though as he had run out of breath. He tottered towards a big banyan tree and leaned against it to rest. I looked at him carefully. What my venerable uncle had reduced himself to! He too was staring at me. His complete transformation could not change his eyes—to my pleasure. But was he struggling to
recognise me? Had he forgotten his Yudhisthira? Or, had he reached a different spiritual echelon that blurred his worldly memories?

Though his expression did not change, I noticed a momentary flicker in his eyes. Vidura recognized me! Would he say something to me?

I waited, holding my breath. I knew if he would say something in this condition, it would be very very special. But nothing came from him. In order to make him talk, I said again, ‘I am Yudhisthira. . . Yudhisthira. . . don’t you remember me?’

Almost immediately I remembered what Dhritarashtra had said—Vidura had stopped
speaking or eating, as a part of an extremely punitive meditative exercise he was following. It dampened my spirits to some extent. If he would not talk to me, what was the use of meeting him?

Dejected, I cast my glances to him for one last time before turning my back.

The light had already started to fade away. The dense forest looked dusky, mysterious. A deathly silence was reigning in the place. It seemed that the place was far away from the usually boisterous planet we were familiar with.

But I could not turn back. Vidura’s eyes made me motionless. They were shining like two brilliant sapphires as if all his vigour, wrenched out from his skinny frame, found last refuge in his two eyes only.

Did he mean to convey any message through his eyes only? I felt so captivated that even my eyes forgot to bat lids.

Suddenly, I felt quaked by a stir. It came from an unknown depth of my body. It was like a gentle commotion that briefly shook my limbs, my ego, my senses, my intellect and my belief. The feeling subsided quickly.

To my great surprise, I found my eyesight strikingly improved! Even in that dim light of that surreal twilight, I was almost seeing through that impregnable jungle. I could even see the mole on a squirrel’s back that was climbing down a mahogany tree at some distance.

Perhaps due to my much improved vision, I noticed another thing that sent a chill down my spine. A very thin smoke-like mist was spiraling out of Vidura’s skeletal body and disappearing into mine—as if something was being transferred from Vidura to me! With an ordinary eyesight, I could not have witnessed the bizarre phenomenon for sure.

I was hearing much better too. I could even hear a spider alight on a leaf from a tree branch! I felt much stronger and fitter also. I sensed that my knowledge, wisdom and physical abilities were suddenly increased manifold by some strange magic.

That curious mist stopped emitting from Vidura’s body. He was still standing aslant, leaning against the tree with lips slightly gaping. His eyes were not shining anymore; rather they now assumed a dull, stony look.

I rushed towards him and shook him with my arms. His lifeless frame fell on my chest with two frail arms dangling over my shoulders. He died after having passed on to me his legacy in a manifest manner. What an unbelievable gift that was for me!

I had heard Vyasadeva often say that Vidura too was an incarnation of Lord Dharma—just as I am believed to be one. Was that why he had always had special interest in me? On our first entry to Hastinapura, Kunti introduced me to Vidura. Then she went on introducing my other brothers to him. But Vidura’s stare curiously did not leave my face;
neither did mine from his. His smile was miserly, as usual, but his happiness was too copious to miss. We got along almost immediately as if we had known each other for long. He always made me feel special in his company. He was to me the closest thing to
a father.

Why was he always so desperately in support of me? I did not know what he had found in me. Was he impressed with the popular belief that I too carry a special relationship with Lord Dharma like him? Or, keeping any divine reference out of
consideration, was it just mutual love between two ordinary mortals—a virtue not yet extinct from this troubled planet?

Vidura had always been a curious chapter in my life, but with his final gift to me, he became literally inseparable from me.


Book Blurb
Though the Kuru family survived on Vyasadeva’s seeds, he never belonged to the house. Moreover, being an ascetic, he was even exempted from obligations of the complicated dynamics of human relationships. This armed him with a ruthless dispassion and he could go on telling his stories with stoical detachment, free from any bias and uncontaminated by quintessential human dilemmas.

But had any of his characters given his own account of the story, would not that have lent a different dimension to the events seducing ordinary mortals like us to identify, if not compare, our private crises with those of our much celebrated heroes?
The Unfallen Pandava is an imaginary autobiography of Yudhisthira, attempting to follow the well-known story of the Mahabharata through his eyes. In the process of narrating the story, he examines his extremely complicated marriage and relationship with brothers turned co-husbands, tries to understand the mysterious personality of his mother in a slightly mother-fixated way, conducts manic and depressive evaluation of his own self and reveals his secret darkness and philosophical confusions with an innate urge to submit to a supreme soul. His own story lacks the material of an epic, rather it becomes like confession of a partisan who, prevailing over other more swashbuckling characters, finally discovers his latent greatness and establishes himself as the symbolic protagonist.


About the Author
Born in a suburban town in North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, in a family of academicians, Mallar Chatterjee’s childhood flame was mythology, especially the Mahabharat. The Unfallen Pandava is his debut novel. Mallar is a central government employee, presently posted in Delhi.


Yudhisthira - The Unfallen Pandava is available online at Amazon.