Jun 30, 2003

The Great Indian Novel is to books what Kalyug is to films. A contemporary reworking of the Mahabharata, it weaves the story in a political setting, with backdrop of India from under British rule to the end of Indira Gandhi's reign. Shashi Tharoor gives the lead roles to various Indian political figures such as Gandhi being Bhishma, Yudhishthira donning the cap of Morarji Desai and Duryodhana being renamed as Priya Duryodhani, in the mould of Indira Priyadarshini. It was pretty interesting with his use of verse in parts, but I wouldn't go gaga over it. The many references, clever word-twists (like Laslut for Lahore. Get the joke?), comparisons of people and events in the original epic and the Indian political scene are what make it worth atleast a one time read. The book was courtesy the generous lending of Samrat. And yes, yes, Jinnah is Karna!

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