530 pages Platinum Press (29 July 2015) English
After reading Ajaya1 , I could not hold myself from reading Ajaya2, out of curiosity to know how the author leads the story line further from Suyodhana's point of view. Unlike the first book, where there seemed to have a conscious effort to portray Suyodhana as righteous and Pandavas as evil, Ajaya 2 successfully reinforces that every one possess purely human feelings of jealousy, hatred,love, passion and dejection.
Author portrayed the story with so much conviction that I felt if that it was exactly the real Mahabharatha.
The story line involving Lakhsmana, Samba and Ekalavya and that of Iravan's fate is a new revelation. May be because of my lack of knowledge of the scripture, I haven't ever heard of the story, which surprised me.
The interpretation of Geetha as a communication between Krishna and Balarama is a brilliant venture and the author succeeded in conveying the vast message in a few pages.
The effort of compressing the scripture into two books is really praiseworthy.
The confusion of the characters about the real Dharma and Adharma is the reflection and representation of a huge mass who gets caught up between the right and wrong.
Another praiseworthy thing is that, even if, story is Duryodhana's Mahabharata, author reinforces that the protagonist was wrong in what the did to Draupadi.
Only fact that disturbed me was that Krishna was portrayed in a bad light. At some points, I felt that Krishna was portrayed as the other side of Shakuni. Being an ardent Krishna devotee, it was disturbing. But towards the end there seems to have a clarity about Krishna's intentions and the author himself has given an explanation for the same.
Kudos to Anand Neelakantan for spreading the message of peace and non violence as well as unity and equality from a book which is all about the greatest war in the history.
A few typos took the cherry from the cake.
All in all Ajaya 2 is a step ahead of its prequel.
The biggest question is if kurukshetra saw victory of good over evil, then why does Kali rise
Rating : 4.0
About the author
The author in his own words: "I was born in a quaint little village called thripunithura, on the outskirts of cochin, kerala. Located east of mainland ernakulam, across vembanad lake, this village had the distinction of being the seat of the cochin royal family. However, it was once more famous for its hundred-odd temples, the various classical artists it produced, and its music school. I remember many an evening listening to the faint rhythm of chendas from the temples and the notes of the flute escaping over the rugged walls of the school of music. However, in recent times, gulf money and the rapidly expanding city of cochin have wiped away all remaining vestiges of that old world charm. The village has evolved into the usual, unremarkable, suburban hellhole, clones of which dot india. Growing up in a village with more temples than was necessary, it was little wonder that mythology fascinated me. Ironically, i was drawn to the anti-heroes. Life went on…i became an engineer, joined the indian oil corporation, moved to bangalore, married aparna, and welcomed my daughter ananya, and son, abhinav. But the voices of yore refused to be silenced. I felt impelled to narrate the stories of the vanquished and the dammed, and give life to those silent heroes we have overlooked in our uncritical acceptance of the conventional renderings of our epics.This is anand’s third book and follows the outstanding success of his #1 bestsellers, asura tale of the vanquished and ajaya book i, roll of the dice."