Abhimanyu is touching, epic, and emotive tragic timeless story of the bravest warrior of Indian mythology.
Abhimanyu by Anuja Chandramouli
Publication Date : August 22, 2022
Publisher : Leadstart
Read Date :
Genre : September 28, 2022
Pages : 380
Tea for this book :
Disclaimer – Many thanks to author for review copy.
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ABHIMANYU, beloved son of Arjuna is one of the most endearing figures of Indian mythology. The Golden Prince, blazed across the realm of myth like an effervescent comet that lit up the heavens, yet was extinguished far too soon. In the killing field that was Kurukshetra, where countless evil deeds were perpetrated in the name of righteousness, Abhimanyu was a shining beacon of valour. All are aware of the legend but how many can claim to really know the young man, who was the best among the best?
Anuja Chandramouli, bestselling author of Arjuna, takes apart a familiar narrative and puts it back together with originality and flair, delivering a profoundly moving take on a classic text. Narrated with deep intensity, Abhimanyu’s saga unfolds, shedding light on unexplored aspects of his remarkable life and extraordinary persona. The story casts a spell over the reader, who is left to agonize over the tragic fate of one of the most luminous heroes of the ancient Indian epic – the Mahabharata.
Abhimanyu is a touching and epic life journey of one of the bravest hero of the timeless saga of Indian mythology who died very young but heroically. The story is about great war, fate, fulfilling destiny, moral duty, tragedy, bravery, and courage.
Writing is vivid, mesmerizing, and beautiful told in omniscient third person narrative that kept me hooked to story from the beginning. I have read almost all books by the author and some of them had more exquisite writing and yet I loved this one most.
I have seen Mahabharata shows, heard the tales of this great mythical war from my grandparents but i never read or heard story that exclusively focused on Abhimanyu. Usually when Mahabharata is mentioned two characters most precedent, Arjun and Lord Krishna. They overshadow everything else but in this book author managed to give Abhimanyu, son of Arjun and nephew of Lord Krishna equal importance and the presence of Arjun and Krishna didn’t overshadow his character. In fact, throughout the book Abhimanyu managed to shine the brightest.
This story takes us through the adventurous, moving, and emotional life journey of Abhimanyu from love story of his parents Arjun and Subhadra (Lord Krishna’s sister) to his birth, his childhood, his relationships with his stepmother, half brothers, cousins, friends, and short marital life with his wife, to his valours and achievements, and at the end, the death.
The fate and destiny of Abhimanyu’s life was decided even before his birth, everyone knew he would be a great hero, so brilliant and shining that he would outshine his father, and he made it come true. It was amazing to see how he had the best of everyone– high moral values like his uncle, Yudhistra; strong and fearless like his second uncle, Bhima; best archer like his father, Arjun; loved animals like his fourth uncle, Nakul; logical, reticent, skilled swordsman like youngest uncle Sahadev; amazing leadership, loving, caring, foresighted yet lived in present like his maternal uncle Krishna. He was loved by everyone, called The Golden Prince, was given everything from wealth and prosperity to lessons in everything and yet he didn’t have an ounce of vanity or arrogance.
He was perfect and yet everyone and he himself deep down knew no matter how much training he would acquire, he wouldn’t be able to outrun his fate, there will be one thing missing that became the reason of his death, thing he didn’t learn nor was given time- learning how to break vyuha (complicated battle formation). It kept popping up in the story. We could see at many points how the opportunity of learning to break vyuha came very close and at the last moment something happened and that moment of learning slipped. It made me sad and anxious, I so wanted to shake Arjun, Krishna, and Pradyumana, who were the only experts with vyuha, so they could teach him even though I knew the end. It just hurt to read those slipped moments.
I loved the way Abhimanyu’s relationships with all characters, friends, family and foes was represented. It was one of the best parts of the story and it showed his true nature, and characteristics, and made me love him even more. His training sessions are amazing to read. I loved his emotional, and philosophical views, and I admired him for his respect for women who in those times were just treated like a tool to strengthen the kingdom and discarded when they outlive their purpose. The way he helped Shashi says it all.
The banters between brothers and cousins, and lovely moments between Abhimanyu and his wife made the story light and bright. it was much needed breather from this sad, tragic and poignant saga of the great war.
There are so many moments that not just highlight Abhimanyu’s character and life but also show the culture, customs, and social stigma. There is mention of many other characters and tales associated with them who played part in the great war that was interesting to read.
As the war is the most important part of every characters’ lives, especially Abhimanyu’s, the highlights on it, how and what started the war is also included but the details on it didn’t overshadow Abhimanyu’s story which is very commendable and I liked that most. There are many big or small details that give a different perspective to events.
The climax is amazing with the beginning of the great war. It was interesting to read its effects on characters and how Abhimanyu fought with courage, bravery and also followed moral code and the battle rules even though his enemies and opponents were vile and cruel who never followed the rules. That whole scene of vyuha in the end, Abhimanyu entering it and fighting the enemy single-handedly, and dying because of the unfair fight and treachery of enemies was filled with strong and raw emotions. Even though I knew the end, author prepared readers from the beginning, the death of Abhimanyu, in the end, made me shed tears.
Overall, Abhimanyu is inspiring, emotive, and touching tragic timeless story of bravest warrior of Indian mythology.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Tales of Mahabharata
Theme of destiny, moral duty, bravery
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