One thought on “Amusing

  1. You may have noticed the fact that I am a tad obsessed with Mahabharata. Which makes me rather glad that you read it….and a bit envious that you got to read it for the first time….

    I haven’t read Smith’s translation but the versions I usually recommend are:

    Kamala Markanday: An abridged version, around 1200 pages. The language isn’t great but she does prune out all but the basic story [which still involves 4 generations, plenty of meddling and at least 4 clans]

    Ramesh Menon: Written in a biased manner – Kauravas are definitely demonic and evil and Pandavas are undoubted good guys…but the 2 volumes are well written and the story is told as a story rather than a pre-ordained act.

    Chitra Bannerjee’s _Palace of Illusions_ is a retelling of the legend from the perspective of Draupadi. Another one is Yagyaseni.

    I personally prefer the sanskrit text as it is the most ambiguous and least inclined towards moral judgments. In fact, the tradition and the myths surrounding the writing of the epic maintain that there were two versions of this composition of Vyasa. The one that survives gives the benefit of a doubt to the Pandavas, the one given to Jamdagani was written from the POV of the Kauravas. And both ended with Vyasa exhorting the reader to interpret the events in any way they wish to….

    In terms of multi-media, there was a TV series by BR Chopra. I see the DVDs everywhere, so they must be available online. Peter Brooks also did a 9 hour movie on the epic. I haven’t seen that but have heard good things about it.

    Oh, and the Pandavas had 6 fathers and two mothers between them – Dharma, Vayu, Indra, The Ashwini Twins and then Pandu, the man whose name they took and used to stake a claim on a kingdom that wasn’t even their adopted father’s at the time of their birth.

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