The Panchatheertha Part 1 – Book Review

  • Author: Rajiv Mittal
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

BLURB as on Goodreads

The Panchatheertha (five pilgrimages) is an outrageously funny, satirical revision of sections 1 & 2 of The Panchatantra, the masterpiece Vishnu Sharma wrote between 1200 BCE to 300 CE. The stories are primarily about statecraft and full of wisdom and morals. Despite that, youngsters found them very entertaining. In the tales, animals act and speak on behalf of human beings. The series begins with a parent story that unfolds story after story; each string to the other by a narrator.

My Review

You look at the cover and something catches your attention instantly, a tiger and two jackals and you would wonder what the heck is this all about. You read the title and that closely resembles your famous ‘Panchatantra’. ‘Panchatheertha’ literally means five pilgrimage destinations. And so is this book, a journey to one such pilgrimage place. It is interesting to get an overview of the book with this.

The book kickstarts with the story of a King who is worried about his three dumb and less efficient sons. He calls the illustrious Shiva Varma to educate his offsprings and that’s where the whole book revolves around. The further story is told through the conversations between jackals – Damanaka and Kartaka.

The book though is pretty lengthy succeeds in luring us to stay with it till the end. The character development and execution of their actions has been done really well. The stories are well scripted and the exchanges between different characters are amazing. What I loved the most about this book is the author’s command over the language. It is worth praising and delightful to walk through a narrative meticulously crafted by the author. A lot of research and brainstorming has been put into bringing out the characters and the stories lingering around them. Also, the vivid description of each story has a different lesson and different reason for the reader to hold onto the book. The vital life lessons presented in the book serve as a refreshing experience.

It was hard for me to get to a point but I feel that the crux of the book lies in the fact that through animals as characters and relating them to the classic Panchatantra, the author wants to penetrate in the psychology of humans.  Why do they commit certain actions, their peculiar habits, their lifestyle, points towards ‘us’. It’s like through Panchatantra, he desires to highlight the flaws in modern humans and direct them towards the path of righteousness. So, I would say that the book has gripped its readers with its novel approach and engaging content. Overall, the wonderful narrative coupled with equally impeccable language has made up for a joyful reading experience.

MY RATING: 4/ 5


BUY YOUR COPY HERE  The Panchatheertha Part 1

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