Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Many Mahabharata’s



The Mahabharata has always fascinated me. It is one epic with a thousand threads, literally. Its an epic with literally 100's of significant characters spanning several generations; each with a history and eventful life. 

Every event has a connection to the past and a bearing on the future. Every good deed results in something that ultimately save the individual's a$$ or even his/her life and at the same time every bad/evil deed results in something that ultimately leads to the downfall or even death and of course certain bad things result in good things and vice versa.

The huge number of relationships and the extensive banyan tree like 'family tree' is truly astonishing. I rally wonder what the Kuru clan family tree look like. I really wonder the brilliant minds who concocted the epic in the first place.

In the past one decade, I have come across quite a few versions of Mahabharata written focusing on different characters.

I am currently reading one which focuses on Arjuna. There was a version focusing on Bheem as well another which was around Karna. When I picked up this one – Arjuna – I expected it to be autobiographical in nature; with the story being a narration by Arjuna or at least the story being told from Arjuna's perspective. Sadly, it turned out to be a story of Arjuna and not Arjuna's story.

The one version I am really really interested in is Bheesma's Autobiography. Bheeshma is the longest playing actor of the Mahabharata with the longest life span and you find making his presence felt right from the beginning till the end. He is one of the 'strongest characters' in the epic and I am not referring to physical strength here.

He had the great responsibility of looking after the kingdom entrusted to him by his father and also had the boon to decide his TOD (time of death) – making him practically invincible. He saw the many folly's of the kings and prince's of the kingdom and endured it. He was witness to the entire Mahabharata story seeing it in action at close quarters.

Who would be a better narrator of Mahabharata other than Bheesma?

And most of all, not just the story, I want his perspective.
I want to read about the hundreds of inner turmoils this one character went through at each and every folly committed by the members of the family. His pain and suffering was omnipresent in the epic and he might have never had a moment of true and sustained happiness … ingredients that would make a great autobiography ! !
Hope someone someday brings out the Bheesma's side of story ...

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