Jaya – Devdutt Pattanaik

If you are looking for a book on Mahabharata, told in simple short stories, then Jaya is the one to read.

Birth, Castaway, Marriage, Gambling, Exile, War, Aftermath, Reconstruction and Renunciation are some of the sections in the book. The book is divided into 18 sections. Each section is a collection of interrelated stories. It starts with the Snake sacrifice performed by Janamejaya and delves into the stories of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The best aspect is the illustration of family lines. This is a great way to depict all the ancestors and descendants, make it easy to follow the story.

The stories are conveyed in a short and concise way avoiding elaborate descriptions but at the same time, not missing out on the important details to keep the story going. This is not a very conventional way of how Mahabharata is usually written. This is the most distinguishable factor of this book that keeps the reader’s interest intact. It also makes the book less bulky!!

There is also a small block/section in the end of each story, that contains alternate narrations in different parts of the country or cultures. Some related incidents to the story are also reserved for this section. You can also find the author’s views and comments on the characters and incidents in this block.

This is a very well organized book with a lot of emphasis on illustration, family trees and bringing different perspectives of the same story to the audience in a single book. It does stand out among other similar books on the stories of Mahabharata.

I will leave you with an Illustration from the book which is one of my personal favorites. This is from the story of Abhimanyu’s battle at Kurukshetra.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9864913-jaya

Amazon: Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata 


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