Do you know about the greatest epic in Indian history – The Mahabharata? Indian children grow up listening to various stories from this epic highlighting the righteousness of the Pandavas and fine strategy of Lord Krishna. At the same time, they develop a sound hatred for the Kauravas who have been depicted as cruel and unholy beings.
What if someone told you Kauravas were not that bad? What if everything told to you is just one side of the story? Would you want to listen to the other side? Would you want to listen to the Duryodhana’s Mahabharata?
Anand Neelakantan is a talented Indian author who has successfully carved his own niche where he tells the greatest stories of Indian history in a twisted manner. And I happened to read the Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan.
About the book: Roll of the Dice
Roll of the Dice is the first book in the Ajaya Series by Anand Neelakantan. The book is the retelling of Mahabharata from the perspective of Kauravas. As this is called as the Duryodhana’s Mahabharata, it presents the story as if Duryodhana was the guy who was wronged and who deserves our sympathy.
Of course, the mere plot of this book is enough to awake fury in many conservative people but I believe a true reader is a one who reads with an open mind. And this book has been written only for that set of versatile readers who are ready to get introduced to a new perspective.
My experience with Roll of the Dice
As I said, the book won’t be liked by the people who would read with a closed mind and who would frown at every instance where the name Suyodhana is used instead of Duryodhana. But for those who are going to pick this book for a fresh perspective, this book is a delight.
The plot of the book is of course same as that of the real Mahabharata. All the events that happen in the story are same. However, there is special attention given to characters like Karna, Eklavya and Suyodhana in the book. Characters like Karna and Eklavya aren’t given much attention in the usual Mahabharata (I haven’t read the real Mahabharata but my opinion is based on the T.V. shows based on this epic).
Although the events are something which are known to many, the way it has been portrayed while highlighting the life of Suyodhana is very appreciable. In no time, you would get connected to the main protagonist – Suyodhana/Duryodhana and would turn the pages to know what happened next. This was a tough task as for a person who already knows all the events in the story, it is tough to get him excited enough to keep turning pages.
The characters in the story have been so well presented. Considering the length of the story, there are a lot of characters in the book and I liked the way how each character was given much attention. Apart from the main characters, I loved Jara who was once a friend of Eklavya and how he pops up at every important event and shows the irony of those situations.
The book Roll of the Dice has lots of negative points which could make it a boring book. For example, a story line which is known to almost everyone in the country, a twisted plot challenging the beliefs of people in such a sharp manner etc. But the book is so good that it easily overpowered such negative points.
This is a huge book and I couldn’t feel less interested in the book at any point. I kept on reading and had wanted to complete the story as soon as possible. That’s the quality of this book.
I loved the book and I think everyone who reads it with an open mind or picks it as a new story would enjoy this book to the fullest. It is an interesting and page turning novel.