Read Ajaya: Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan Online

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an5lcg...- Video trailer CROSSWORD TOP 10 BOOK OF 2013 & 2014CROSSWORD AWARD 2014 SHORTLISTEDhttp://www.amazon.in/AJAYA-Epic-Kaura...THE MAHABHARATA ENDURES AS THE GREAT EPIC OF INDIA. But while Jaya is the story of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra; Ajaya is the narrative of the ‘unconquerable’ Kauravahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an5lcg...- Video trailer CROSSWORD TOP 10 BOOK OF 2013 & 2014CROSSWORD AWARD 2014 SHORTLISTEDhttp://www.amazon.in/AJAYA-Epic-Kaura...THE MAHABHARATA ENDURES AS THE GREAT EPIC OF INDIA. But while Jaya is the story of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra; Ajaya is the narrative of the ‘unconquerable’ Kauravas, who were decimated to the last man.***At the heart of India’s most powerful empire, a revolution is brewing. Bhishma, the noble patriarch of Hastinapura, is struggling to maintain the unity of his empire. On the throne sits Dhritarashtra, the blind King, and his foreign-born Queen – Gandhari. In the shadow of the throne stands Kunti, the Dowager-Queen, burning with ambition to see her firstborn become the ruler, acknowledged by all.And in the wings:* Parashurama, the enigmatic Guru of the powerful Southern Confederate, bides his time to take over and impose his will from mountains to ocean. * Ekalavya, a young Nishada, yearns to break free of caste restrictions and become a warrior.* Karna, son of a humble charioteer, travels to the South to study under the foremost Guru of the day and become the greatest archer in the land. * Balarama, the charismatic leader of the Yadavas, dreams of building the perfect city by the sea and seeing his people prosperous and proud once more. * Takshaka, guerilla leader of the Nagas, foments a revolution by the downtrodden as he lies in wait in the jungles of India, where survival is the only dharma.* Jara, the beggar, and his blind dog Dharma, walk the dusty streets of India, witness to people and events far greater than they, as the Pandavas and the Kauravas confront their searing destinies.Amidst the chaos, Prince Suyodhana, heir of Hastinapura, stands tall, determined to claim his birthright and act according to his conscience. He is the maker of his own destiny – or so he believes. While in the corridors of the Hastinapura palace, a foreign Prince plots to destroy India. And the dice falls…...

Title : Ajaya: Roll of the Dice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789381576038
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 456 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ajaya: Roll of the Dice Reviews

  • Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
    2019-03-22 02:05

    http://www.b00kr3vi3ws.in/2014/01/Aja...There are always two sides to a story and depending upon the narrator, one gets to live the story the way the narrator sees it. Then again, it is mostly the victor’s side of the story that gets narrated to generations after generations until someone tells the other side of the story. And no one does it better than Anand Nelakantan. If you have already read his debut novel, ‘Asura’, then you know… If you are yet to pick up an Anand Neelakantan book then pick up one because as a reader you can only live this experience by reading his narration.‘Ajaya’ tells us the story from Suyodhana’s, or as we all know him more commonly as Duryodhana, point of view. Yes, Once again the author has gone and done it by telling the story of Mahabharata from a different point of view over the more common version of Padava’s. As we delve into the pages, we come to a realization, Bhishma wasn’t all good, Karna was indeed mistreated and was more of an honorable man than depicted earlier and that there were very important reasons behind every single act that we took as a general course of the story. The fact that no one is made of only light or only darkness is highlighted over and over again as we see the lighter sides of the ‘accepted’ villains of the story and the darkness within our heroes. The superstitions and hypocrisy of the society then reflects how little we, as humans, have actually developed over time.The author’s language and narration remains crisp as ever. His view can be described as radical as he takes us on the journey to question our heroes and give a chance to the other characters to explain their situation, their point of view and their dilemmas. I love the fact that he encourages and makes us question everything that we know about Mahabharata and its cast. At the same time he brings certain freshness to the same old story that every Indian has grown up reading.I thoroughly enjoyed the insights to the other side through the author’s quill and you will too if you pick this book up with an open mind. I will be eagerly waiting for the next installment.

  • Anshul Dixit
    2019-03-18 02:23

    Like almost everyone else, I grew up worshipping Pandavas and Krishna. They were my heroes. I remember how as a kid I used to make bow and arrows from sticks and pretend to be Arjuna.So, I was a little skeptical when I picked this book. But having read the first book by the same author (Asura), I wanted to give him a chance. And he didn't disappoint at all! By the time I reached the end of the first part, (second part has not yet released), I began questioning everything that I knew about Mahabharata. Suddenly, Pandavas and Krishna are no longer the heroes, and Duryodhana (Suyodhana) and Kauravas are no longer the villains I thought them to be. They are all mere human beings, with shades of grey.The only reason Duryodhana is considered a villain is because he lost the war, and with that his image. After all, history is written by victors and the losers are always remembered the way victors portray them.

  • Avanthika
    2019-03-15 03:20

    Why it is always the ones who are defeated are tagged as villains while the winners are always the heroes? Why are the losers ridiculed all through-out the pages of history ? Pandavas fought for a kingdom which did not belong to them at first place, they gambled their wife away in the gambling-court of men, they broke and deceived all the rules of the greatest war which was named the Dharma-yudh. And they emerged as the heroes of history. Kauravas, the righteous heirs of the throne of Hastinapur, waited and waited and waited, only to be tagged as evils in the pages of history. I always admired Duryodhan more than Yudhistir (let alone the Vastraharan) and Karna more than Arjun who relied on Krishna for his victories ! If the Kauravas are not the righteous, then why should Bhishma, Vithur, Kripacharya, Dronacharya and Karna took their side in the Kurushetra war ?Ajaya : The epic of Kaurava clan by Anand Neelakantan glorifies Suyodhan (“Dur”yodhan) all through the book. The dark side of the wealthy kingdoms and the result of king’s ignorance, the slums of Hastinapur and Indraprasta are beautifully and tragically explained. I never imagined that I will ever read a book that’ll give prime importance to the hunter Jara and decieved Ekalaiva. Hats off to the writer for bringing them into the picture. The cold war between Kunthi and Gandhaari, I loved it. Duryodhan & Banumathi’s romance is well captured  The foreign prince, Sakuni, always holds prime importance in mahabarat related stories and once again, he doesn’t disappoint here. The book ends with the stupid prince gambling away all he had which includes his puppet brothers and common wife Draupati while the foreigner Sakuni watches the scene with a glee. Draupati’s fate is in Duryodhan’s hands now and I am waiting for the rise of Kali book which will explain the rest of the story justifying Duryodhan’s actions.

  • Jaideep Khanduja
    2019-03-23 23:08

    http://pebbleinthestillwaters.blogspo...Book Review: AJAYA by Anand Neelakantan: Roll of Dice has BegunAJAYA Epic of the KAURAVA Clan Book 1: Roll of Dice by Anand Neelakantan is the second book from the same author that I have read and reviewed. Earlier book Asura: Tale of Vanquished: The story of Ravana and his People was an excellent read that was quite engrossing and proved Anand to be an excellent writer who does extensive research before writing his book and takes his own time to sip and drink to finish the bottle with no hurry. And that is when I became a complete fan of Anand Neelakantan and eagerly started waiting for his next book AJAYA. Anand loves to touch Indian mythical and epic stories with a totally different kind of touch to provide an entirely different perspective but not without doing his homework well with good amount of research in his subject.And that is where I started closely following Anand to find out about his next ventures. I participated in cover release for AJAYA, then an exhaustive Prelude and then requested him for an author interview. This is the first time any author has got so many posts on my blog. It has been an excellent journey for me with Anand Neelakantan.Now about AJAYA. AJAYA is the story of Duryofhana, the eldest son among Kaurava Clan. The story is based on famous Indian mythological epic story Mahabharata but has been presented in a very different manner. Duryodhana has been presented as a positive character whom so far we have always seen as the biggest villain and most negative characters in all TV serials based on Mahabharata and almost all the books so far written on the same subject. So far prior to this book we have found innocent Pandavas as victims in the hands of Kauravas who are presented as crooked and cunning in all their deeds. That is the strength of Anand Neelakantan to take huge challenges of changing the main characters to their extremities and presenting it so well that the reader almost get engrossed in such a way that the whole outlook about the character that was there in the mind changes by 180 degrees. As far as writing style of Anand is concerned, it is undoubtedly and unchallenged. He has the art of creating big picture and then taking to the journey with the magic of his writing to extreme depths. Duryodhana in AJAYA is the lead character and is with neat intentions, and good deeds. Whatever he had to do was in response to the acts from the opposite end. His defeat in the hands of Pandavas does not prove that he was the villain and Pandavas were heroes.Anand Neelakantan even took the challenge of playing with the characterization in a different style. We all read so far, for instance, about Shakuni, as a short, harsh and not too good appearing character. Shakuni, we see, in AJAYA, as a totally different character - tall, handsome and good looking. So is with many other characters. We saw Bhadra in his earlier book ASURA as one of the main characters who is born from nowhere but plays a substantial role in the whole book. The same happens in AJAYA too, here we find a character Jara, a beggar, along with his blind dog Dharma and has played a substantial role in the book.Overall a very interesting read with some great lessons and insights on life. For instance a conversation happening between Karna and Kripacharya on pages 68-69 is excellent in learning about the caste system, the purpose why it was built initially and how it got misinterpreted subsequently over the period of time when one caste became the enemy of another instead of the reality that one could not survive without the other.Though there are many excellent quotes in the book, one out of them I would like to place here on life what Acharya Kripa told to Karna after saving him from a suicidal attemp - "Life is a gamble. You do not know how the dice will fall. But once they have, how you move the pieces is in your hands."One thing that I could not digest is about the absurd talks by Acharya Kripa and Acharya Drona against Vidhura, Bhishma, Duryodhana and the blind king Dhritrashtra to an extreme insulting extent and that too quite openly. After all they both were the servants in the kingdom and were paid for their services. It cannot happen even in today's scenario, how could that happen in those times?And finally there is a proof reading mistake on page 15 when "few" is used twice in a sentence.Final Verdict: A fantastic, interesting and engrossing read to learn an insight of Mahabharata in an entirely different perspective.

  • Sriniket Raghavan
    2019-03-02 21:07

    I was quite disappointed with it actually. I went into the book expecting a saga of family and politics minus the divinity and righteousness . but instead I got the picture of a author who only wished to turn the tables and make proverbial good guys appear bad and vice versa. instead of making the protagonist appear like a doe eyed idealist making him as unbelievable as the traditional adaptations of Mahabharata make the pandavas and Krishna. the constant references to social evils were exhausting and frankly the concept of " foreign hand" being the cause of all trouble is far too clichéd.

  • Ikpoxan
    2019-03-11 02:25

    Mahabharata from Duryodhana's eyes! What a refreshing thought. The thought itself held so much promise. And so it was that I proceeded to buy the book against sage advice from those who had read the author's previous book, Asura. The best thing about the book is the promise of the premise - that of the view point of the vilified, the Kauravas. The worst thing about the book is that it is an opportunity squandered. A glorious opportunity squandered.To be fair to the author, he makes several good points, several relevant points. The exploitation of the downtrodden, the untouchables at the hands of the higher castes are very valid points. Had it been a fictional account, or even historical account of these aspects, it would have been a good read. However, in Ajaya, we have these societal aspects mingled with the story of the Mahabharata with Duryodhana as the protagonist.There is nothing wrong in that. Except that it would have been better off as two books - one a book about the exploitation of the downtrodden and how a prince, against all odds, stands up for them and is ultimately vanquished by those wanting to uphold their false sense of the ancient order. The second book should have been about Duryodhana and trying to interpret the events of the Mahabharata from his point of view - why he did what he did.Unfortunately, this was not to be. So we have a book where Duryodhana is the epitome of all that is good, is manipulated by his devious uncle Shakuni and the Pandavas are cast as evil (with the inexplicable exception of Arjuna). Aiding them, or rather driving them is Krishna who is stripped of his divinity (that is not what my complaint is) and is a conniving schemer working his own agenda. Unfortunately, simply reversing the roles of the good and the bad IS NOT Mahabharata from the view point of the vanquished. No character in the Mahabharata is clearly black and white. That left so much to explore. Ajaya simply casts Duryodhana and co. in pure white and Pandavas and co. in pure black. Shakuni is painted an extra shade of black. While this makes it very easy to glorify Duryodhana, for those who are familiar with the story of the Mahabharata, it is wholly unconvincing. Further, in order to paint the characters in his choice of colours, the author has twisted events to suit his purpose. That takes away from what the book could have been.Making matters worse is poor execution. The language itself is simple and contemporary and this is admirable. However, narratives do not flow smoothly into each other, there are gaps in and mixing up of timelines, disjointed narratives etc., The worst part is the inconsistency in characterisation. For example, Subhadra who is deeply in love with Duryodhana, begins to hate him and falls in love with Arjuna. The reason? Because Duryodhana crowned Karna as king of Anga and thereby insulted Arjuna!This is compounded further. There are events that are inconsistent too! For example, Drona orders Duryodhana to conquer Panchala and capture Drupada. Duryodhana does not wish to wage war against a friendly state. So he goes to Kampilya with only a few divisions of the army and conveys to Drupada the reason for Drona's anger and a repentant Drupada sends gifts with Duryodhana. He also appreciates and admires Duryodhana for his handling of the event. So far so good. An annoyed Drona orders the Pandavas to capture Drupada. Inexplicably, the entire Hastinapura army accompanies the Pandavas! Further, Arjuna captures Drupada and his sons Shikhandi and Dhrishtadyumna (there is an error here but more later) and presents them before Drona. Strangely, this angers Drupada and his sons against Duryodhana! Now why would Drupada get angry against one who treated him with respect and not one who insulted him? Furthermore, it is only now that Bhishma, who is running the affairs of the kingdom himself, comes to know of the mis-adventure of the Pandavas and comes to apologise to Drupada! So what was the Grand Regent who would have overseen the army doing while first Duryodhana assembles a few platoons and marches to Kampilya (as per the narrative, the whole exercise would have taken the Kauravas a week) and then the Pandavas mobilise the whole army and march off to invade a neighbouring kingdom!The author also mixes up the timelines. A couple of instances: in this book, Duryodhana arrives at the rajasuya yagna AFTER Shishupala is killed by Krishna. This is incorrect. Duryodhana was appointed as the person to collect gifts from visiting kings - a very high honour. Therefore, he was present when Shishupala was killed. This is a glaring inconsistency in the book.Another instance: the book states that Arjuna bound Drupada, Shikhandi and Drishtadyumna in chains and presented them before Drona. This is incorrect. Drupada, captured by Arjuna and insulted by Drona, performs a yagna to get a valiant son who will avenge him. Drishtadyumna (fully grown) emerges from the fire of the yagna as a result. The supernatural theme notwithstanding, this means that at the time of his defeat at the hands of Arjuna, Drishtadyumna DID not exist as a son of Drupada. He may have been adopted later or may have been the son of a close relative who was later adopted for his valour, but clearly, he was nowhere in the picture during Drupada's defeat.There are also instances - important ones - that the author skips completely. Yudhishthira was crowned as the crown prince soon after the show of skill (when Karna makes his appearance) but BEFORE they proceed to the house of lac. This is a critical event that the author has completely missed.In summary, this books over dramatises, twists events simply so that the Kauravas can be painted as righteous (I am not saying they weren't) and the Pandavas as evil (again, I am not saying they weren't), is marred by poor execution, inconsistent characterisation, errors in the story etc.,The only silver lining is the depiction of the plight of the untouchables and the downtrodden - that is deserving a book in itself. There is little in the book about Duryodhana himself - most of the times he is depicted as a clueless fellow who lets himself be manipulated easily. Had the title of the book been Mahabharata - the untold story of the downtrodden AND did not have the errors and inconsistencies mentioned above, it could have been a much better book.I really, really wish the brilliant opportunity to tell a good story not been squandered.

  • Rashmi Chendvankar
    2019-02-23 02:25

    The greatest achievement of Anand's books is that they trained our minds to see the other perspective.... And people have embraced his books with both their hands... That goes to show that our society is truly liberal... We openly accept the other perspective even on epics which have been ingrained in the common physche of the society for thousands of years.... this is what modern India is like - open minded and liberal.... many thanks Anand for writing these books.... And he says that his latest book Ajaya is a tribute to Vyasa - thats so true - because Vyasa originally painted his characters in grey - years and years of interpolations made them black and white.... Anand has actually revived the true spirit of the Mahabharat which was never a goody goody tale - it was actually a harsh take on human nature - and human life.... Thanks to Anand again!

  • Samarpita
    2019-03-17 03:19

    4.5 starsI had loved, Asura when I had read it, albeit much later than a lot of people. History is not very easy to write about, or re-write, with a fresh perspective. Neelakantan had taken a villain and put him in a fresh light for us, made him lovable and relate-able. In Ajaya, personally, I felt that Neelakantan has outdone himself. This time his muse is Duryodhan. The book begins with Bhishma and how his actions based on his beliefs, actually proved wrong for others. It all began when he almost forced Gandhari to be wed to blind Dhritarashtra. We have read about how righteous the Pandavas and Kunti were, but Neelakantan has spun his web on a different spine. Questions like why was Karna treated the way he was, why did he have to keep proving himself, why was Eklavya insulted, why was Khandiva forest destroyed. This book is about Duryodhana. Suyodhana, actually. What surprised me was, how Suyodhana and Subhadra had fallen in love, sadly it didn't work out. Ajaya is a book, once should read. Mainly because we have always read one version of the Mahabharata and a story is not complete, unless it's heard from all sides. I am waiting for the next book in the series, now.http://sankshvet.blogspot.in/2013/12/...

  • Mohit
    2019-02-27 00:16

    Great book!!!The worst part is that u have to wait for its second part due release in august. The viewpoint of anand has completely baffled my understanding of mahabharata. Its really GOOD!!! For those who are not conservative and welcomes a different perspective, this is the book to go for!Won't disaapoint you!

  • Avanthika
    2019-03-15 23:58

    ஆண்டாண்டுகளாக கேவலப்படுதப்பட்ட ஒரு கதாபாத்திரத்தின் உள் ஆழத்தில் சென்று பார்க்கும் போது அந்த கதாபாத்திரத்திற்கு நேர்ந்த நியாய- அந்நியாயங்கள் புலப்படும். தோற்றவனின் கதையை படிக்கும் போது தான் வென்றவனின் சாதுர்யம் புரியும். இதுவரை நேர்த்தியானவர்கள் என நாம் நம்பிய கதாபாத்திரங்களின் நயவஞ்சகம் புரியும். இதுவரை நாம் வேன்றவரையே கதாநாயகர்களாய் பார்த்துள்ளோம். இது வீழ்த்தப்பட்டவனின் கதை.சகுனியும் கிருஷ்ணனும் மிக சிறந்த தேர்ந்த political strategists ! இவர்கள் இருவருக்கும் இடையே பகடையாய் உருட்டப்பட்டு காணாமல் போன அஸ்தினாப்புரத்து இளவரசன் துரியோதனனின் கதை. தனக்கு எவ்வகையிலும் உரிமையில்லா அரியணையை கோரிய பாண்டவருக்கும், உரிதானவற்றை அடைய தடை தகர்க்க முற்பட்ட துரியோதனனுக்கும் இடையே நடந்த கதை."கௌரவன் - உருண்டன பகடைகள்" மிக நேர்த்தியாக துரியோதனனின் நியாய தர்மங்களை எடுத்துரைக்கின்றன. கௌரவர்கள் ஏற்கனவே வடித்து வைக்கப்பட்ட நீதிகளை கேள்வி கேட்காமல் ஏற்றுகொள்வது ஆகாது என்ற கொள்கையோடு வாழ்பவர்கள். வர்ணசாஸ்திரத்தை கடுமையாக எதிர்த்த ஒரு சத்ரியன் என துரியோதனனை மட்டுமே காண்பிக்க முடியும். நேர்மைக்கு பெயர் போன விதுரர், சாஸ்திரங்களில் தேர்ந்த கிருபாச்சாரியார், கங்கையின் மைந்தன் பீஷ்மன், நூறை ஒதுக்கி ஐந்துக்கு முக்கியத்துவம் அளித்த துரோணர், கிருஷ்ணரின் சகோதரன் பலராமன், மேலும் பல சிற்றரசர்கள்... இவர்கள் அனைவரும் துரியனுக்கு சாதகமாய் நிற்க காரணமென்ன ? பொதுவான காரணத்தை நாம் அறிவோம். அந்த காரணங்களுக்கு முற்றிலும் புதிதான ஒரு கோணம் காட்டி துரியனை ஒரு படி மேலுயர்த்துகிறார் ஆனந்த் நீலகண்டன். காந்தாரி, திரிதராஸ்திரர், கர்ணன், அஸ்வத்தாமன், பானுமதி, துரியனின் சகோதரர்கள் என இது கௌரவர்களின் தூண்களையே நெருடி செல்கிறது. பொன்னால் வேயப்பட்ட அத்தினபுரியின் சேரிகளிலும், தெருக்களிலும் வாழ்த்த மூன்றாம், நான்காம் வர்ணத்தவரின் கதை இது. சூளுரைத்து நாசம் கண்ட சகுனியின் பகடைகள் உருண்ட கதை. இரண்டாம் பாகத்தில் திரௌபதி துகிலுரித்தலும் அதற்கு துரியனின் பக்க வாதங்களும் எடுதுரைக்கப்படலாம். போரும், சகுனியின் தாயத்திற்கான முடிவும் அதிலேயே அமையும். :)மகாபாரத்தில் மிகவும் இழிவுப்படுத்தப்பட்ட (வஞ்சிக்கப்பட்ட என கூறுவதையே நான் விரும்புகிறேன்) ஒரு கதாப்பாத்திரத்தின் கதை என்பதினாலோ என்னவோ, பக்கங்கள் யாவிலும் ஒரு வித வலி எதிரொலிக்கின்றது. சமாளிப்போ சால்ஜாப்போ எதிலும் இல்லை. சில நேரங்களில் கால மாறுதலுக்கு இணங்க சரித்திரம் மாற்றி அமைக்கப்பட தான் வேண்டும் ! மறைக்கப்பட்டவற்றிக்கு கோணம் வழங்கப்பட தான் வேண்டும்.

  • Indiabookstore
    2019-03-19 03:07

    In Neelakantan’s retelling, the ‘dharma’ of the Pandavas is not about ‘duty’ or ‘justice’ – it is actually about rigidly and unquestioningly following caste rules. Their antagonists, on the other hand, are the egalitarian Kauravas, represented mainly by Suyodhana, who believes in equality, personal merit and accomplishments, charity towards the poor etc. Read more: http://www.indiabookstore.net/bookish...

  • Vikas Datta
    2019-03-08 21:00

    The mark of a great epic is the ways it can be endlessly interpreted.... this is one of the most credible versions insofar as it overturns and inverts the conventional wisdom and ably stresses how outmoded customs, a tyrannical social order, boundless ambition and manipulative people can take the whole epoch to a monumental disaster... The parallels with the present day or the roots of present day malaises are well-done though a trifle overdone

  • Anand
    2019-03-15 21:59

    Well done Anand Neelakandan ....Ajaya:ROll of the Dice (Book 1 )is a novel which describes the famous rapscallion of Mahabhratha, Suyodhana known as Duryodhana, in a different dimension,In authors note section of this book Anand describes a temple dedicated for Dhuryodhana in a village called Poruvazhi, which is very near to my birth place.The festival every year was during my school summer vacation and once I visited the place with my father during the festival .As a kid I was wondered why people worship anti gods like Dhuryodhana, and I asked my father about that .He replied “Dhuryodhana was a great king who lost the war and the image”That time I couldn’t understand what my father meant . When you interpret history with unbiased agenda yes villains become heroes and heroes become villains !!!What's is the biggest evil humankind ever produced ? Sure it’s not the nuclear bomb ? Its the Varnasrama based on Sanathana Dharma that is a byproduct of our great Indian culture !! Millions got affected and millions are still under the dark grip of it. Claims of avatars had happened to protect it whenever few revolutionary human being tried to challenge it. They had been sidelined as asuras and subjected to genocide. Neither Ravana nor Mahabali nor Suyodhana couldn’t escape from that. Poets became paid copywriters to glorify the carnage .This Book Ajaya is a well expressed writing with an excellent plot. The Author speaks as a philosopher and as a radical humanist many occasions . The real and fictitious characters of Ajaya are precisely formulated. One character requires special mention here is the whimsical , epigrammatic , insurgent Kripa . Anand carved Kripa’s character with sharp edge of rationalism and polished with sense of banter which can be seen in Kerala traditional art forms like Thullal , Koothu and modern day theater mimicry….I am sure that this book will blow your thoughts and unnerve your mind . waiting for the second part of this book…

  • Daniel
    2019-03-07 02:59

    Anand Neelakantan’s second Book ‘Ajaya – Roll of the dice’ is the story of Jaya, or Mahabharata as we popularly know it. However there is a twist, the tale is a narration from the Kaurava’s angle. History has always been from the side of the victorious as the losers never have a chance to elaborate their plot. Ajaya – Roll of the Dice gives them that power of speech to tell their story and not the ‘His story’ version. The Author beautifully portrays the mindset, lifestyle and caste dominancy of the Mahabharata times through a series of pre battle coaxes and doings that caused the epic to unfold in the first place. The fact that Arjuna was not the first to win the contest in getting Draupadi, but rather Karna, King of Anga who won it; the fact that Krishna created hatred towards Suyodhana and love for Arjuna in the heart of Shubadhra; the fact that based on Vedic laws a woman can only marry four men and beyond that, would term her a prostitute however for the sake of not creating strife between The Pandavas that rule was overlooked!The book ends with a call for Draupadi to be presented to the Kaurava Clan where her fate lies in their hands. Anand Neelakantan’s second part to Ajaya – Roll of the Dice is set to release some time in 2014 and is sure to be as eye opening as its predecessor.

  • Hemantkumar Jain
    2019-03-09 03:08

    BRILLIANT !!! !Absolutely Brilliant .... Anand has written the Epic from a whole new angle. The characters are same but each one of them is a different shade of gray in Anand's version. I am completely floored by this Mahabharata ... let me tell you that this Mahabharata is different from any other Mahabharata that you might have read or seen till date. Duryodhana is not the villain and there are no Gods or Sons of Gods in the story. The story is not about the war for land or kingdom ... its actually the story about India ravaged by the Caste system and how it was destroying the country from within. Anand has come up with a BRILLIANT version of the Mahabharata which is both intriguing and refreshing !!!

  • Rohit Sharma
    2019-03-14 05:05

    Mahabharat and Ramayan are two of the most loved epics from our part of the world and I have read almost half a dozen of the new-age versions in the name of Mythological Fiction which sells like a hot cake in today's time. Some of them are damn interesting, some I totally loved, liked and even lived with but there are a very few which I actually end up hating for various personal reasons (call it my personal opinion, like or dislike) and this one unfortunately falls in that sad category where I don't want any book to put in as far as I can. But this one is an epic disaster of sorts for so many reasons that I would not be able to point out in here because if I really do that, it will not remain a blabber but will turn out to be a book of epic proportions and a comedy of errors of sorts. Also, there are a very few books which make me furiously sad and I swear in the end to never pick anything else from the same Author ever in future, how so much critical acclaim they may gather as they have had indeed shot down some of my all time favorite and loved characters in the name of fiction and fame. This is one such book, if you intend to read this because you may have heard of so much praise for it, you can stop here and get back to doing what you were doing and I will go on blabber a little more about this unfortunate accident and I am not even talking about poor editing (or lack of it - I love this term), spelling mistakes or cringe-worthy grammatical mistakes - I am no expert on any of them anyways, still couldn't not notice. I love my mom to teach me one thing very clearly and that is engraved somewhere deeper in my heart that to make my line longer, I am not supposed to erase someone else's line and make it shorter. If I have to succeed I do not have to make others to fail. Unfortunately I couldn't say the same for Anand or his parents may have taught him differently, so in quest of telling Duryodhan's version of the Epic Mahabharat, he has gone overboard in making almost every other character a solid villain and he is pretty good in sketching those characters damn dark. He actually succeeded big time as so far from the versions that I have read, Karn is my all time favorite and now he has made Suyodhan to become my second favorite for sure with his book but unfortunately everything else is a disaster in this story (call it mytho fiction as that's precisely what this is). I just couldn't believe my eyes when I read something like Bhim calling Suyodhan a "Blind fool, Son of a blind fool", howsoever hatred he may have for his father in his heart, this is impossible. The terrific lines his characters kept on mouthing like "I will make an offer you will not be able to refuse", or Karn trying to bribe the security guards to enter a Kingdom. Pandava's walking besides Uncle Vidhur and trying not to touch him mistakenly since he was an "Untouchable". Or the epic disaster of Suyodhan kissing Subhadra (mind it - lip to lip) right below the nose of brother Balaram, that was like a "Wow" moment of the entire book. Or even the best archer of the world mighty Arjun, blinding a dog to prove his prowess in archery or blinding the lover birds at the drop of a hat. I mean, you get a hang right? he left no stone upturned in turning the Pandava's or almost everybody else from the epic to be a villain and the hero is only one man and that is the great "Suyodhan" who was misunderstood all this while. Guess the Author actually found a temple of Suyodhan down south in India where people treat him like a god, I believe him as that is awesome. Of-course in the name of Mythological Fiction and retelling anything and everything is allowed since there is no censor board so far monitoring the kind of literature coming out from anyone's pen. This one actually left the same taste in my mouth as a movie like "Slumdog Millionaire" leaves on every Indian's mouth of showing India in poor light even in bloody 21st century. Indraprastha (Pandava's part) and Hastinapur (Kaurava's part) was no better than the current Dharavi of Mumbai (Asia's biggest slum) if you already not know that. The epic details in which he has covered the life of downtrodden untouchables from the two states and holds Krishna and Bhishma responsible for what happens in the story is simply beyond me. On the positive side as always the case is with these fictional accounts, I will give him his due by calling it a very smartly written book with a damn good pace that it almost works like a good page turner. I just couldn't keep it down or trash it mid-ways, had to complete it to know how he decides to end it. This one unfortunately ends at at a point where the reader is totally stuck to know what happens next and the rest would be covered in the sequel that I have sworn not to read (over my dead body). But the damn sad or good thing is that he has converted me into fan of Suyodhan, I would never be able to call him Duryodhan again ever. The guy was totally misunderstood is what I always believed but that does not makes everybody else a villain, I am sure of it. Some priceless lines and mentions that I will remember for life from this book will be like Balaram telling Karn "Godspeed Karn". And Suyodhan shouting back on Guru Drona saying "You have eaten Hastinapur's Salt....". And I already mentioned the legendary God Father's line mouthed by Mama Shakuni was the best of the lot. Karn actually getting an Armour as a gift from the followers of Lord Sun :). Lord Indra living a life of a recluse with untouchables as for some reason he was no good to be a God anymore. If you have read this and loved it, I welcome the brickbats but if you have hated it like I did, here is a Hi5. But if you haven't read it so far, I will seriously say, stay away man! As we have far better versions to read about the epic. I will definitely move on to Mrityunajaya soon as that's been on my TBR for quite a while, saying this before everyone jumps and recommends the same to me :). But do let me know your thoughts on the book if you have read it. It's a Goodbye Good-riddance to Anand Neelakantan from me here.

  • Divya Sarma
    2019-03-17 01:04

    The flavor of the season seems to be Mahabharata reteelings, and after reading a half baked highly insipid retelling by Kavita Kane in Karna's wife (read my review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I picked up Ajaya, with a lot of expectation, but with also a fear that it may disappoint. Ajaya does not disappoint. Like in Asura, Neelakantan has created a remarkable counterworld, where the voice of the villains seem right. He has made the story consistent with his worldview, and has taken perfectly acceptable creative liberties with the story. Also, he is not interested in remaining true to the era of the story. So his characters speak in modern language, seem to sprout Marxist ideology, all of which is perfectly acceptable. He mixes timelines, and speaks of an India, when the the notion of India as a nation state did not probably exist, but that again is acceptable. Amish Tripathi did a similar thing with his Shiva trilogy, and Neelakantan has taken on a tougher job. Tripathi merely tried to humanize a god and show his heroic splendor, Neelakantan is consistently making the villains the heroes. Neelakantan succeeds better than Tripathi, because his writing is better, though not perfect, and he mostly avoids trite, filmy situations. The only problem with Ajaya is that the hero is quite anaemic. In an effort to make him a good guy, the author seems to have sacrificed all the passion of Suyodhana. Even Vyasa's Mahabharata appreciated this passion. It has been acknowledged that Duryodhana was a just and benevolent ruler. But here, he is constantly mentioned as a just man, but seldom really shown to be that. His famous charisma is evident in some scenes, like when he crowns Karna king. His sense of justice is evident when he fights on behalf of Ekalavya or he takes offense at the living conditions of the poor in Indraprastha, but the author does not let these speak for itself. He is instead constantly propped as a good guy, every other page mentions that he visits the slums and gives alms to the poor, and all these props somehow stifle the hero. We dont get the passionate, full-blooded, impetuous, benevolent and just man, which Duryodhana was even in Vyasa's Mahabharata. His love for Subadhra is evident, but the scene where he stops himself from going too far with her, even though she seems willing, is frankly laughable. It adds no value. I am not saying that Duryodhana should have gone ahead and consummated the relationship, just that the scene is one of the props to show Duryodhana is a nice guy, when actually, there are enough other scenes where it emerges quite naturally. That is the major problem with this book. The author is clearly on ths side of Duryodhana and therefore constantly tries to assert that he is a great guy. Draupadi's vastraharan is not described here at all, it is awaited in the sequel, but there are enough clues to show that Shakuni, Karna and Dushasana will take all the blame here and Duryodhana will be absolved. Some of the Karna retellings have done the same thing, absolving Karna completely of any wrongdoing. But the point is both Duryodhana and Karna had a part is Draupadi's humiliation (if not disrobing) and they acted in ways which were natural and true to their character. A retelling has to accept this fact, because this is what adds complexity to the character. Duryodhana is too impetuous to take Draupadi's laughter lying down and for Karna Draupadi's insult at the Swayamvara was probably the culmination of all the insults and missed opportunities in his life. It is only natural that they will hit back if they have an opportunity. Neither are saints, and we dont want retellings which refuse to acknowledge these realities. Vyasa's mahabharata did acknowledge that Yudhishtra was an inveterate gambler, and his own brothers, specially Bhima and his wife constantly threw the fact at him. Arjuna even questions his valour at one point in the war, practically saying that it is upto him and Bhima to win the wars, so that Yudhishtra can rule. In fact, while Vyasa's Jaya did have a pro pandava tilt, it was definitely far more complex and gray. It is only Amar Chitra Kathas and the TV serials which established Pandavas as holier than thou. Trying to establish Duryodhana as holier than thou therefore does not really serve the purpose. I am surprised Neelakantan did this, because in Asura, both Ravana and Bhadra are complex and real characters, not the paragons of virtue. Ravana is righteous in many ways, but he is also arrogant, proud and obsessed with himself. He fought the war with Rama, for the sake of his 'daughter' Sita, and led the entire asura clan to destruction. Bhadra was a common man, struggling to make sense of life. He had his strengths and his faults. But these are minor quibbles. Overall, the book is quite commendable. There are some interesting plot angles like Karna and Parashurama and the manhunt for Karna. There are also some interesting new perspectives which will probably be explored at a later time. For instance, there is a point when Bhanumathi, when she thinks of Karna has a premonition that if there is a point when he has to choose the welfare of his friend over fame and glory, he will choose the fame and glory. This is a very interesting take on Karna's character, something with Iravati Karve has also explored in her collection of essays Yuganta. I grew up idolizing Karna, but while everyone, including Duryodhana himself lauds him for sticking to Duryodhana even against his own brothers, in what way did he stick to him. He could not give his all in the war, just like Bhishma and Drona never did. He repeatedly spared Pandava lives. He went into the war with the knowledge, nay even the desire to just die and be done with it. None of it makes him bad, they are quite human. But the point is him sticking to Duryodhana was merely symbolic. In fact Kunti's cruelest treachery against Karna was not her abandonment and subsequent non-acknowledgement. It was that by telling him the truth at the time she did, she ended up making Karna untrue to Duryodhana in his death, when he had spent most of his life being true to him. S L Bhyrappa also explores the dilemma of Karna quite well in his Parva, and the mental struggles which go on when he makes his decision/non-decision to stick with Duryodhana is quite engaging. Also, Arjuna's repeated questioning of what is Dharma and whether they are doing right is interesting, and foretells his final indecision quite well. I am sure that when the Gita is finally discussed, it will be discussed in a more critical way than the 'word of god' which it seems to have become now. In fact Amartya Sen makes an interesting point in the Argumentative Indian, that actually, the voice of the pacifist Arjuna is never suppressed in the Mahabharata. He may have fought the war, but he repeatedly had doubts,and after the war, all the Pandavas had their doubts. It is only when there is a divine origin granted to the Gita that Arjuna's perfectly valid doubts get suppressed. I have rambled quite a lot in this review, but I really want to congratulate Neelakantan on a job well done. The book is engaging, it makes you want to know more and yes, it shares the other viewpoint quite well. I hope in part two, he makes Ajaya a genuine countertelling of Vyasa's complex Jaya and not a retelling of an Amar Chitra Katha or a B R Chopra version.

  • Shyam Sundar Bulusu
    2019-03-23 03:14

    During my childhood, I used to read one of the greatest of Indian epics, the Mahabharata, in Telugu, as a comic-book in black-on-white (Balala Bommala Bharatamu - బాలల బొమ్మల భారతము). I lost count of how many times I read it, never getting satiated.There were heroes, there were villains, there were heroines, there were Gods and angels; all characters clearly etched, leaving no room for doubt. The Pandavas were the heroes, despite the subterfuges they indulged in, in the name of dharma. The Kauravas were the villains, despite the noble acts they committed. The heroines were chaste, despite being promiscuous, power-hungry, and polyandrous. No questions asked. No answers given.Right through my life, from childhood until now, I have been hearing people - erudite savants - categorise the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, as the treatise on politics and power, but I have never looked at it from that angle, having accepted the “uncritical conventional renderings of the epic” handed down from generation to generation.It is in this back ground and mindset that I read the book “Ajaya Book I – Roll of the Dice” by Mr. Anand Neelakantan.How do I find it? Simply, brilliant.The language is flowery, as is befitting the epic that it is. The descriptive prose is meticulous with an uncanny eye for detail. The storytelling is masterly, making the book a compelling page-turner. Well, all this is in the realm of the mundane. Is it controversial? Of course it is. The angle from which he looks at the epic makes it so - from the “villain’s” point of view. “Nothing succeeds like success,” is the adage. It was true in Dur(Su)yodhana’s case. It is true today.However, the greatest achievement of the author is the demythologising of the characters, the significant incidents, and the story itself. I see that a lot of research has gone into the work. The power play, the caste equations, the class prejudices, the political manoeuvres, the interpretation of raja dharma by various players to suit their needs, have all been brilliantly depicted through the narration, giving the reader a glimpse of the goings-on behind the royal curtains. This has unequivocally exhibited why this great epic is still topical.One issue that is a little jarring (to me) is the frequent references to India as one united nation during the ancient Mahabharata times; the ancient name of Jambu Dweepa or Bharata Khanda or Bharata Varsha might have been more appropriate. This, along with some modern-day expressions and grammatical errors, mentioning which will be inappropriate in the context of the excellence of the work, are the minor faults I could see. I congratulate Leadstart Publishing for bringing out this excellent work and the author for creating it.I wish Mr. Anand Neelakantan would, even if temporarily, loan me his magical literary quill.Shyam Sundar BulusuPublished Author (Dance of Life)Mob. 90030423312100, 3rd Street, Vasantham Colony,18th Main Road, Anna Nagar west,Chennai-600040.

  • Srikanth
    2019-02-26 02:15

    What a book. Seriously what a book. Managed to read it in 3 working days. What is this book about?A. This book is about Suyodhana(Yeah he was called Suyodhana) or Duryodhana, as he is popularly known and the Mahabharata from his point of view.Why is this book interesting?B. A dumb question which i asked and would anyways love to answer. It first and foremost teaches you a lot more about Mahabharata than the TV series taught us. Most important it talks from the point of view of the vanquished. Also it brings in a lot many other characters who are heroes but got sidelines for say 3000 + years.C. How is this book different from rest of the mythology based books that are coming out in droves?This is probably the first time in the world where we actually can get to see the point of view of Kauravas. This book uses logic and makes most of the incidents adhere to real life scenarios. Mostly it will help us to brush up our epics for our kids, nieces etc etc Last and the most important it doesn't bore you for even a minute. Surprisingly it can also teach us that our curse of caste may have resulted in our downfall.The book is only about Mahabharata so the story is the same. But yet it talks from the losers perspective. It talks from the point of view of justice being denied due to the curse of caste. The whole books premise is based on the maintenance of status quo and people trying to fight it.What i liked about the bookA. The book is awesome to read. Its as simple as that.B. Some of the characters who are actual heroes in the original book who have been sidelined a bit are bought to prominence. e.g. EkalavyaC. The book is realistic, so much so that each and every incident is narrated with minimal fuss and drama. e.g. How did Krishna came to be considered as god.D. It looks at the good of Kauravas and doesn't exaggerate. AT ALLE. The character of Shakuni was brought out superbly. Infact he can be called as the most villainous of the all the villains. He waits and gets his work done patiently.The best thing i liked about this book is, how awesome Hinduism is. I mean if he had written this for any other religion then i am assuming death threats, protests etc etc. This has made me realize how open minded and tolerant we are as culture and race.What more do i write about... The one request i would make is to please read this book and atleast ensure that good authors are encouraged. I mean Jhumpa Lehari may have won an award for a supposedly awesome book. But Anand Neelakantan has won this aam admi!! Oops no this aam soldiers award for sure. I am scared of aam in any form these days you see. Too much of chaos.More power to authors like him.. Nothing should be sacred when it comes to inquisitiveness and nothing should be above country and countrywomen and men.

  • Rangarajan Iyengar
    2019-03-18 21:22

    We have heard and seen that there are 2 sides of a coin. When Asura was released, it was seen as the other side of the coin of Ramayana. After hearing about Ajaya I confess spending restless days waiting for the book after hearing that this was going to be another counter story. Giving us Duryodhana, I mean Suyodhana’s point of view sounded exciting. And I am not disappointed with this book at all.Going back to the coin aspect, I wish to share a new perspective. While there are 2 sides of a coin, what happens when we toss the same coin? It undergoes a simultaneous shift in the vertical plane along with multiple 360 degree circular motions and finally comes down the same height. You can always act smart and argue that with more force the coin moves through greater height. Let us keep things simple for the moment. I believe each position in the journey of the toss gives 2 sides of the same coin. Each set of ‘2 sides’ is distinct from some other position in the coin’s upward or downward journey. Mathematical equations aside, this translates to infinite positions. With this as the base background, fact is that between truth and counter truth, there are infinite shades of truth. The infinite shades are nothing but infinite perspectives. If we take 100 people and make them watch Chennai Express, for example, each person will comment differently. Ask 100 people about Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi. The diversity in perspective will be enormous and each perspective or opinion is a position of the coin and from where the individual is looking at the coin. If this is clear, we can appreciate Ajaya and marvel at what Anand has done. He has managed to position himself in a co-ordinate where nobody has been to and told us a story with impressive conviction. When the story is the grandest story of them all, The Mahabharata, the enormity of his achievement gets significantly multiplied. Since childhood, I have believed that certain grey areas in Ramayana and especially, the Mahabharata will need to be explained better. And Anand has done justice to all the characters – the book surely needs to be read with an open mind because Krishna, for example is portrayed as a shrewd strategist and like in Asura, here too blasphemy has to be overlooked.Go ahead and read the book. I found it very good but Asura had sketches that Ajaya doesn’t. That was a big negative for me. The gyan sessions sometimes get a little too long but overall I will give it 4 / 5 stars. We definitely have an amazing author here and I am looking forward to a signed copy of Part II.Didn’t want to write a summary of the book and wondering what is next after Part II of Ajaya for Anand.More reviews and other stuff at http://rangarajaniyengar.wordpress.com

  • Girdhar Joshi
    2019-03-04 21:25

    I just completed reading Ajaya: Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan and feel obliged to write a review at this site. First, Anand deserves a pat on his back for presenting a different view-point of the great epic Mahabharata and its heroes. He has just turned the things upside down and did it meticulously and after a good deal of research on the subject. The story is already known to most of the readers so I will not summarize what the author has written about. What I couldn't easily digest is the following:One, Duryodhana or Suyodhana for the author, is shown as innocent, meek, shy, and kind person to the extent that he is even unwilling to shoot the bird on the tree during the training session, which is unlikely of princes or kings who invariably did gaming for fun. Though to an extent we can agree that some injustice was done to Duryodhana by not naming him the crown prince as he was the able-bodied eldest son of his blind father, but he could have been shown as brave, arrogant, and a courageous prince fighting for his dues.Two, the author has paid too much importance to the caste equations prevalent then that he had not even hesitated to call many of them as 'low caste' including Vidura who was son of the same father as were Dhritrashtra and Pandu, though from a different mother. He has tried to prove that the society then was highly unjust to the people born in the lower strata of it. Most of the time the narratives seem describing the present day casteism in the social structure.Three, the author is at pains to accept Lord Krishna as a super-human if not God, who plays treacherous, cunning, and dishonest to Kauravas to save his friends and devotees Pandavas. This is just an antithesis what has been a popular acceptance from centuries.Besides these, there are filmy jerks like Parashurama lying unconscious for weeks on learning that his disciple Karna was not brahmin but a low caste son of a chariot driver.

  • Karthik Nilagiri
    2019-03-16 01:21

    Mahabharat have been told in a number of ways by a number of people... Yet the story never cede to capture a reader's attention... And no wonder its my favourite story too... The difference in here is that its told from the view of the lost, the Kauravas... Frankly the book is of neutral view... Hence I loved it even more...The english is simple... I found just 5 mistakes in entire book - 1 spelling, 2 grammar & 2 punctuation... The flow is beautiful... Dialogues are of different views... Its interesting to see Krishna as bad guy, Yudhishtra incompetent, etc. Good read... An interesting different beautiful view of the epic Mahabharata...*About Karna's crowning, against the wishes of all priests and kings, Suyodhana says to his mother, "I did it mother because it was the right thing to do."*When Vidhura asks Bhishma to stop Yudhishtra from playing further and losing, "I will not stop a fool from losing. Such a fool who wage everything in a game is not competent to rule a kingdom and I see nature eliminating such a fool in it's own way."*Arjuna sees only the eyes of the parrot, a target, and fires. Suyodhana sees love around the parrot and hence does not fire arrow.*Character Jara and the blind dog Dharma keep coming at various spots.*Krishna believes that he is Vishnu avatar, destined to restore dharma. Balarama is worried about this attitude of Krishna.*Krishna, "Do not be worried about the Untouchables who are going to die. They are saving you Kshatriyaas from burning down in that palace. Don't feel bad. Its apat dharma. In next birth they will be born as Brahmins. I will give them moksha. Now let them die for you."*Kunti, "Arjuna, whatever prize you got, share it with your brothers." The other four Pandavas look at Draupati with lust.And... This is just part one... Second part would be coming soon...Verdict: Preserve in your library

  • Vishnu Chevli
    2019-03-01 22:07

    From childhood we heard heroic stories of Pandavas & Krishna, along with evil stories of Kaurava and Shakuni. 'Ajaya' - Mahabharata from Duryodhana (or Suyodhana) point of view was never brought to us.Anand has depicted how story could be if Suyodhana was not an evil person. Anand used all loopholes in conventional Mahabharata stories presented as divine intervention either by Krishna or God, and presented them as how it would be if there were no divine force other than tempering actual fact. Starting from birth of Pandavas, to Khanva-forest, to Jarasandh-killing etc. Anand has also given weight on characters like Eklavya and Jara in details. Anand has wonderfully colored Suyodhana and circumstances that made him look evil.I hope next part that I am going to start is as thrilling as this one.

  • Awdhesh Singh
    2019-03-07 21:09

    Ajaya is a book, which shows Suyodhana (popularly known as Duryodhana) as a compassionate and righteous hero and Pandavas and Lord Krishna in a negative shade. According to this book what Krishna and Hindu Scriptures called 'Dharma' is nothing but upholding the caste system ruthlessly and the meaning to "Karma" is to stick to the rules of Dharma without application of mind. If you believe in Mahabharatha as commonly known and understood, you may be shocked to read this book, which reverses the roles of Pandavas and Kauravas.However, if you don't 'believe' in the Mythologies and consider those as stories, you would know the other side to the story as well and perhaps stop thinking Krishna as God. A long book of 430 pages. Read this book, if you have time and patience to learn the counter-intuitive and perhaps the full truth of Mahabharatha.

  • Arun Sashi
    2019-03-04 21:19

    This book is truly a masterpiece, totally a new perspective , i empathize with the character Suyodhana, who was forever misunderstood. If you research him , even the scriptures have mentioned that he was a maverick , opposed the false beliefs which people those days termed " dharma" , He was truly a very self made man , who kept friendship and selflessness all above many of the Mahabharata characters depicted by sage Vyasa always confused me , especially the Pandavas , who were righteous most of the times. This book opened up a new dimension , and made me think and debate , what have we been subject to all along ? if Suyodhana was evil then why do people still worship him , there has to be a catch. Thanks to Mr Neelakantan for this impeccable masterpiece , awaiting book 2... I wish you'd write about other fallen and misunderstood characters in our hindu mythology

  • Ragini
    2019-03-15 04:27

    I have always been fascinated by mythological stories.Be it Ramayana or Mahabharata stories I am always eager to listen them.Mahabharata is the largest epic ever written and Ajaya is been narrated from the ones who were defeated i.e the Kaurava clan.Author beautifully portrays the mindset,lifestyle of people in Mahabharata time.The book forms the most important plot of Mahabharata that is the dice game. Here the duryodhan is proclaimed as the hero and the sons of Kunti(Pandavas) are shown in negative light.ajaya covers all the important topics from Mahabharata and the book ends at the stage where Drupadi is lost to the kauravas. I would like to recommend it to everyone to all the ones who like to read mythology.

  • Natasha Borah Khan
    2019-02-25 03:16

    Suyodhana (popularly known as Duryodhana) is the hero of this book. He is liberal, kind-hearted, a progressive thinker, a visionary, loving and strong man. But at the same time he is naive and gullible. And his uncle Shakuni clearly manipulated him to take his revenge on Bhisma. The author has told the story in a way which is believable, logical, practical and reasonable. The magic, godliness and miracles associated in the epic are depicted in a logical manner. He has even connected some things to the present era. Like Mayasura, who built the beautiful city of Indraprastha for the Pandavas and was banished by them after the completion of the city as he was a low caste.... Read my full review at http://natashazwords.blogspot.in/2014...

  • Nandhini Chandrasekaran
    2019-03-06 05:27

    http://pagesfromserendipity.wordpress...To accept or not the standpoint of the author is totally up to the reader. It requires a wide open mind to get into the shoes of Duryodhana which, I would say, the author has skillfully done. More than acceptance, what precisely the book intends is an understanding of how everyone, regardless of their nature and principles, is struggling with their own battles in life. I congratulate the author for his brave endeavor. What he has envisaged beyond the story of Mahabharata through the same story deserves this country’s applause!AJAYA – History Re-written!

  • Pragya Maheshwari
    2019-03-14 21:00

    My first book by this much praised author and I must say I totally loved it. The book makes you question every single belief you have ever had. It acts like a blow straight on your face to realise the people whose glory and virtues you grew up hearing, were far less honorable. It questions your very understanding of Dharma and Adharma, the Good and Evil.Not that I was always under the blind impression of the goodness of Pandavas, I somehow knew all is not what it is portrayed as, yet this book was quite and eye-opener.Can't simply wait to lay my hands on the second part of the book.

  • Venkatesh V
    2019-03-21 05:01

    Wonderful interpretation of the Mahabharat. This interpretation is very possible and truthful. If we compare the characteristics of each of the protagonists in both the versions, the characteristics are similar. Only the interpretation and reasoning is changed.Reading this book was a very good experience. Waiting for the second part.