When I received the book the Mahabharata code, the sci-fi look of the cover did seem interesting.
The book based on Mahabharata narrated in first person, by the protagonist NR or rather Narayan Rao, an astronomer with NASA based originally from Bangalore. He and few other members are part of a NASA mission to visit a mysterious planet from where they receive signals. On reaching there instead of Jadoo like creäture they meet a man with long flowing beard called vyasa his vision is to recreate the Mahabharata over again, to gain the faith of the primitive civilization of the planet.
The recreation is verbatim, and NR realizes his son Krishna was to be Lord Krishna.
The narrative stays true to the original, though intercepted with cricket and technology, with foot notes in italic to give an impression of hallucinations of a comatose man. there are some intrusion allusions used like, NR’s wife is a computer engineer who channelized her skill to create technology to transform their son to Lord Krishna.
At a point there is a suggestion that Krishna is 2 people and not one. the episode of Yashoda seeing the universe in Krishna’s mouth was because Krishna had cholate in his mouth , Yashoda the mother from the primitive planet mistook it for mud. The winning of Draupadi happens through biometric and of course the wonder of Karna clearing the biometrics arises. In the Kunti- Pandu story Pandu is given “Nirbaya Shots” to make him impotence, which is the way of the primitive planet to prevent rape,. The author does need to do research her.
The polyandry of Draupadi was planned by Vyasa. Somewhere there is a passage of being Hindu, which I have forgotten. The Ganga-Shantanu episode is presented as a prenuptial agreement, I wonder why the Shantanu-Sathyavati prenuptial were not brought up.
Out of the blue the book shifts to modern India, Leh area, the protagonist falls sick, then the army steps in with medical care… at the end of the reading I am still confused and the loose ends are many.
By the way the mysterious planet is in the coffeeway galaxy…
Maybe I am old school and I prefer Krishna Udayashankara’s, Shashi Tharoor, Sharat Komarraju, and DevduttPattnaik’s rendering of the Mahabharat, in the exact order of the authors listed.
The book would be potent as an audio book with right vocal variety for many of the writings lends itself to subtext or the meta-story than the visible story line. Again this is a very personal take.
People who are into reading as they travel should pick this book up, it will give them enough to visualize, and ponder. This is not skim in an hour book.
pick your book here The Mahabharata code
Author: Karthik K.B.Rao