Mythological retellings are at all-time high in India. Credit goes to epics like Mahabharata, Ramayana, four Vedas, and many more holy scriptures. Retellings are different in approaches, they pick up a theme or character and then the whole story is woven around it.
Another aspect that why retellings are being liked by masses is that they are neither boring nor overwhelming. We get to see something new, previously unheard. It’s easy to grab moral lesson from retellings than the original heavy versions. Lately, I picked up 5000 Years Back: A Timeless Conversation by Neetika Maheshwari Kasat
I read it on Kindle, a short and fast read. It’s a mixture of retelling and modern adaptation. The objective of the book is to bring alive that conversation between Arjun and Krishna took place during the Mahabharata days. Why? That is the essence of Bhagwad Gita – Hindu Holy book. The author contemplates to bring this for our current generation that probably cannot digest so much from the real books or old TV soaps.
The book has a modern approach, right from names to competition and other things. Two main characters are Aarj and Kris. It will not take much time to recognize that Aarj is Arjun, Kris is Krishna, and Duro is Duryodhan, and Yudi is Yudhister.
Same situation, same fate – Pandavas are ignored, humiliated, and cheated. They are left with nothing but misery and poverty. Who did this – Duro. Since this is a modern-day adaptation, chances of a war wiped out. And Aarj is not an archer, he is a sportsman, a powerful boxer, so does Duro. Soon a boxing championship event arrives. The winner will get the property of the loser. Aarj is participating to seek revenge on Duro. Uncle Kris gives his money to Duro, and his guidance to Aarj.
The first part is interesting: about their struggle in the hedonistic world nudged by aspirations, greed, and ambitions. Uncle Kris tries to pacify both the parties but Duro is not listening to anything. The championship is an opportunity for Pandavas to turn the tables, especially by Aarj. This is a bit queer retelling as the entire focus is on Aarj, not on other characters.
Anyway fast forward, just before facing Duro in the ring, Aarj is back seated by his own cogitation about harming others in pursuit of achieving wealth. And that is the part of the book. Here onwards, the book is essentially conversation between Kris and Aarj. It has around 18 chapters through conversation. In the episodes, one can find that the book takes a slightly heavy tone and redundancy turns on. But the startling aspect is that it sheds light on knowledge that is not found in original versions. It transcends the vista and even sounds contemporary…for instance the knowledge about royal secret, super human being, energy game, phases, 120 millions back knowledge, and so much that one can find themselves brimming with insights about Dharma, Karma, Spirituality, Action, Outcomes and much more.
This is a retelling with an immaculate objective than only about story or fiction. It is educational with its stance.
View on the Cover Page:
Cover page is simple, depicting a sort of ancient time device. It doesn’t have any illustration or character image, the book is a modern adaptation of Mahabharata…but the cover page has an evident title. It could have been much better like the inside illustration.
Views about the Characters:
The book is divided into Aarj, Duro, and Kris. Other characters are not visible in that capacity, had been a real book of Mahabharata. The reason is that as the book is about a timeless conversation between Aarj and Kris. The characters hold resemblance to that of Mahabharata but they are quite modern in this book. Since it’s a short book with light content for teenagers, drumming so much about characters could have been a banal activity. Thus, the novel is apt with its characters.
|Title||5000 Years Back: A Timeless Conversation|
|Author||Neetika Maheshwari Kasat|
|The Asian Review Rating||8 out of 10|