Are you interested in books related to Mahabharata? I have read a few, and I still want to read more. From reading Mahabharata from Duryodhaan’s perspective to reading Draupadi’s Mahabharata, my appetite for books around this great Indian epic is unsatiated. But the problem is books around this tend to be long and repetitive. And that’s why it’s been long since a read a book on this subject. It changed as soon as I found out about The Sixteenth Night: Based on Mahabharata by Aswin P Chandran.
Today, I’m going to review this book for you.
The Sixteenth Night is actually a pretty short novella. It’s a 44 pages long ebook and documents sixteen conversations that happen on the sixteenth night of the great war. So, the war between Kauravas and Pandavas is ongoing, and now the sixteenth day has ended. Mind you, this is the day when Karan was about to kill Arjuna and change the outcome of the war but didn’t, as he wanted to be a warrior that lives by the rules of war.
What has happened before this? What’s going to happen now? What is everybody feeling? That’s what is discussed in this book through sixteen conversations. For example, there’s a conversation between Karan and his family, Draupadi and Arjun, Krishna and Arjun, Kunti and Karan, Duryodahana and Karan and so on.
This was a very important night in the war and this really had a lot brewing in the night than the actual days of the war. All those emotions and things have been captured in the book.
Now, here’s what I think about it.
About The Author
First of all, let’s talk about the author. He’s a talented learning and career coach, an NLP trainer, placement consultant. He also happens to be a passionate learner of mythology, and as a result, he has written a book on a subject that not many talk of when discussing Mahabharata. Everybody focuses on the war and the events that led to it but Aswin P Chandran has focused on one specific time in the entire story and captured a lot through that.
Book Review: The Sixteenth Night
Normally, at this time, I would be diving into the plot but this book is just conversations. Well, let me tell you I made that mistake too. I am a self confessed snob these days who wasn’t expecting a great deal of plot from this book. But it’s amazing how author has used just 44 pages of the book to capture the stories of all the main characters of the book – from Kauravas to Pandavas, Bhishma Pitamah, Kunti, Gandhari, Draupadi and many other characters associated with the main caste.
What’s even better is that their characters are the key focus of the book – their inner turmoil as this great epic is about to end. As their struggle is about to end. If you end up liking this book for just one thing, I am sure it’ll be the way author has explored the characters with just a few conversations.
The writing is easy and can be read by the beginners. However, initial knowledge of basic Mahabharata story is a must to read this book.
Overall, I think The Sixteenth Night would be my recommended read to anyone who likes to read books about Mahabharata and would want to pick any book that captures the story even a little bit differently. If you had been craving for another book written around Mahabharata, pick this up. It’s short and interesting.
I gave it 4/5 stars