- Author: J. Rajasekharan Nair
- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: Fingerprint! Publishing (3 June 2019)
- Language: English
BLURB as on Goodreads
Its thirty-six years after the Great War of Kurukshetra. The curse of a bereaved mother has deprived Krishna of everything, except his life. And so he journeys to Vrindavan, the village of his innocence, to spend the concluding hours of his life with his childhood friend and lover, Radha. In her presence, Krishna peels off the layers of myth that portrayed him as the incarnation of God. And at her request, he retells the story of the Mahabharata, like you have never heard before. All lies, says Krishna is an emotional journey into the tortured inner universe of its central characters, focussing more on their flailings than on their heroism. A charismatic retelling of the Mahabharata, this compellingly told narrative has a distinctive voice which sets it apart from anything you have ever read.
“We are our pyre. We only lit to cool our soul in flames. Dear Radha, we are our dreams drowned in our pyre. Neti Neti Neti”.
Mahabharata is one of the grandest epic tales of Indian culture. It is the magnificent account of enmity, hatred, and thirst for power culminating into bloodshed thereby resulting in the wiping out of an entire clan. All Lies, Says Krishna by J. Rajasekharan Nair is a fresh take on Mahabharata retelling the deep-rooted myths and then busting them with new perspectives.
I was delighted to read this book that kickstarts with Krishna visiting Radha after 50 years and narrating his life ridden with guilt, pain, and lies to her. It was beautiful to read their intimate conversations which reflect only pure love and ecstasy of meeting your beloved.
I have never read such an interesting and unique retelling of Mahabharata. The best part of this book was that the author has told the stories of lesser-known characters such as Kunti and Shakuni. How Kunti was violated at a tender age that resulted in her becoming a fiery and cold woman, how Shakuni had to breathe the death of his loved ones to keep the fire of revenge in him intact! Why Draupadi became the object of utter humiliation, why Bheeshma didn’t object to it, why no elder in the courtroom raised their voice. How did the game of dice become the means of destruction? How Draupadi became the shared wife of five rapists? Aah! Her abject sadness and ignominy saddened me the most. Her silent whispers and muffled tears disturbed me the most.
I wouldn’t be giving away a lot of details because I want all the readers to read this brilliant narration of Mahabharata. Through the POV of Krishna, the story comes alive as the author puts life in his characters. A beautiful writing style coupled with wonderful narration totally kept me reading it. The meticulous choice of words, the seamless flow of the narrative, the breezy vibe of the plot – everything summed up for an enriching reading experience. The depth with which the author has taken us on a tour of Krishna’s insides was terrific. I am still in awe of this book and I would definitely reread it. I am a sucker of beautifully articulated words and this book satisfied me immensely. For the first time, I realized what it takes to make a human wrong and how terrible the deeds of humans could be in the disguise of morals.
MY RATING: 5/ 5
Buy your copy: All lies, says Krishna