Summary and Story:
The Kuru women – Draupadi, Amba, and Kunti are well settled in Kalyug in modern-day New Delhi. But the Pandavas, and particularly, Yudhishtra, will have none of it. The brothers decide to visit Kalyug, with Narad Muni in tow, to drill some sense into the ladies and bring them back to heaven.
What they hadn’t bargained for is that New Delhi is nothing like the Indraprastha of yore. Neither the city, nor the people. And more importantly, the Kuru women. What follows is laughter and tears as new battles are fought, old fires are rekindled, and the men find their place in the modern world.
I had read Ms Draupadi Kuru, the first book in the series by the author, way back in 2016 when it was released. I came across it at a hospital of all places, where my father was admitted. Looking for a book to help me escape from a not-so-good prognosis. It did help temporarily.
The sequel was a long time coming. After I finished reading the book, I recall thinking it would be interesting to read how the Kuru men would fare. They are definitely more stickler for the rules (off the battle field, that is). I recently re-read the book, picking on things I had missed the first time around.
Coming back to the review, the sequel The Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata continues a year after the Kuru women decide to embrace mortal life and stay back in the Kalyug. Although it can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend you pick if the first book. It puts a lot of things in perspective. Why Draupadi and Kunti chose to stay back and become mortals. Why they share a camaraderie when they were not so civil in their mortal life. And of course, why their “transporter” Narad Muni has been punished to lead a mortal’s life for thirty days.
“We are each responsible for our own destiny. Don’t base your decisions on what other people want or feel. Do what will fulfill your own soul. Guilt-free.“
If the Kuru women are all settled in Kalyug, can be Pandavas be far behind? The Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata by Trisha Das #BookReview #MistersKuru #BookChatter @blogchatter @HarperCollinsIN @thetrishadas #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
The book is not a retelling of Mahabharata in the modern context. It is a witty and quirky take on how the Kuru men would react in the present scenario. Sometimes with hilarious consequences. There are a few culture shocks, too. Vibrators, protection, and skin-tight jeans.
While the first book concentrates more on the women navigating the current Indraprastha, Misters Kuru is about the Pandavas carving their own destiny and moving away from the shadow of their big brother. Between all the laughs, it is also their chance to right the wrongs. A second chance at life if you will. Arjuna making up for his years of silence. Draupadi’s calling out thick-headed Yudhishtra on his decisions that caused the entire family great suffering. Kunti standing up for her daughter-in-law. As someone who has read numerous retellings of Mahabharata, I enjoyed how it was well woven into the narrative without sounding too preachy.
It is interesting how the author picked the basic character traits of the Pandavas and built on them. The Dharamraj Yudhishtra chooses to become a Guru. Arjuna’s gandiva is replaced by a cricket ball. Bhima takes up cooking for the orphanage his mother helps run. Nakula with his good looks turns to modeling.
“Apparently, in the Kalyug, criminals resided at lawful addresses and conducted their business openly while honest people were reduced to hiding”
How can a book based in Delhi not have a generous smattering of current politics? The upholders of Indian culture, the nationalists, the whole debate that non-vegetarianism is not intrinsically Indian. The names chosen for the characters are often too obvious.
I am a bit partial to the first book in the series. I sure did miss Amba, although I can understand why we didn’t get more of her. But this was a delightful read nonetheless. If you enjoy Mahabharata retellings and are okay with a generous amount of creative liberties, I would recommend you pick the book.
This review has been written as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program. I was offered the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
About the author
Trisha Das is the author of The Mahabharata Re-imagined, The Art of the Television Interview and the internationally acclaimed How to Write a Documentary Script. She has written and directed over forty documentaries in her filmmaking career. Trisha has also won an Indian National Film Award (2005) and was UGA’s ‘International Artist of the year’ (2003).
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