I had ordered both Govinda and Kaurava together. I had my own apprehensions when I had ordered both the books. I was not sure if I would like them. But I was pleasantly proven wrong when I just could not put Govinda down. Without given a break of 10 minutes, I was reading Kaurava.
Generally part 2 of any trilogy can be much dragged but this book keeps the same pace going. The story starts from where it was left in Govinda but the focus is Kaurava’s as the name suggests. The emphasis is on Syoddhan and Dharma. The way the story is written is very realistic and does show a different angle to the entire story of Mahabharata.
The entire episode of the game of gamble when Dharma (Yudhisthir) looses everything is shown in a different light in this book. Dharma a compulsive gambler pushes Syoddhan to play really high stakes.
The book talks in detail about the character of Dharma. Dharma is shown as inebriated with morality and being good, with that he knew he had his brothers to obey him at all times. He believed that it was his destiny to rule and to increase his power he plays the game of dice with such high stakes. He thought till the end that he could win back everything. Syoddhan on the other hand comes across as a likable person, who doesn’t really like the actions of his brothers and also knows that they will not support him. he at times envies Dharma for his strength was his brothers.
They way the author has described Panchali’s reaction to what happened to her in the dice game is amazing. Like the earlier book she comes across as a Hero. She is shown to have suffered in the hands of her first love, in the hands of her husband and hands of Dussasan after Dharma gambles her away; yet she is able to make wise decision to free her husband and his brothers. This entire episode is worth reading. It shows the strength of a woman.
I loved the way Krishna has described Asvattama and other characters.
Another fascinating portions is the way the attack on Dwaraka is described. It leaves you with awe.
On a whole Kaurava is a must read for all the people who have read Govinda. I just went out and got the next book, Kurukshetra. Can’t wait to read this book!
Overall Kuddos to Krishna Udayasankar for amazing work!