Book Review

Book Review of Ajaya: Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan

We have heard and seen that there are 2 sides of a coin. When Asura was released, it was seen as the other side of the coin of Ramayana. After hearing about Ajaya I confess spending restless days waiting for the book after hearing that this was going to be another counter story. Giving us Duryodhana, I mean Suyodhana’s point of view sounded exciting. And I am not disappointed with this book at all.

Going back to the coin aspect, I wish to share a new perspective. While there are 2 sides of a coin, what happens when we toss the same coin? It undergoes a simultaneous shift in the vertical plane along with multiple 360 degree circular motions and finally comes down the same height. You can always act smart and argue that with more force the coin moves through greater height. Let us keep things simple for the moment. I believe each position in the journey of the toss gives 2 sides of the same coin. Each set of ‘2 sides’ is distinct from some other position in the coin’s upward or downward journey. Mathematical equations aside, this translates to infinite positions. With this as the base background, fact is that between truth and counter truth, there are infinite shades of truth. The infinite shades are nothing but infinite perspectives. If we take 100 people and make them watch Chennai Express, for example, each person will comment differently. Ask 100 people about Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi. The diversity in perspective will be enormous and each perspective or opinion is a position of the coin and from where the individual is looking at the coin. If this is clear, we can appreciate Ajaya and marvel at what Anand has done. He has managed to position himself in a co-ordinate where nobody has been to and told us a story with impressive conviction. When the story is the grandest story of them all, The Mahabharata, the enormity of his achievement gets significantly multiplied. Since childhood, I have believed that certain grey areas in Ramayana and especially, the Mahabharata will need to be explained better. And Anand has done justice to all the characters – the book surely needs to be read with an open mind because Krishna, for example is portrayed as a shrewd strategist and like in Asura, here too blasphemy has to be overlooked.

Go ahead and read the book. I found it very good but Asura had sketches that Ajaya doesn’t. That was a big negative for me. The gyan sessions sometimes get a little too long but overall I will give it 4 / 5 stars. We definitely have an amazing author here and I am looking forward to a signed copy of Part II.

Didn’t want to write a summary of the book and wondering what is next after Part II of Ajaya for Anand.


3 thoughts on “Book Review of Ajaya: Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan

  1. I found this review very enlightening – can you by any chance, send this book through mom when she is travelling?

    On the other hand, read this:

    Interesting no?!

    Ranga: Sure Archi, will send it across. I am a big fan of Devdutt Pattanaik but Sita is way down the to be read list. Secrets of Shiva, Calendar Art are above in the list. If you finish reading Sita, let me know. Of course, Sita is Ravan’s daughter 😉 as per Asura and I loved that perspective

  2. Hi Ranga…
    Thanks for the wonderful review of this book…the author has such deep insights into some of the lesser known aspects and characters of Mahabharata that he blurs the line between mythology and fiction! That said, the book is a thorough read even if is for the simple reason of knowing the ‘human’ aspects of the various divine characters!
    My take here:

    Ranga: Thanks Anand … will read and revert asap.

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