Review: Panchajanya by Gajendra Kumar Mitra

Panchajanya by Gajendra Kumar Mitra

A review

Panchajanya is the story of Krishna. It is the story of Mahabharata, told from the perspective of Krishna, the architect of nearly all of what transpires in the great epic. Krishna – the catalyst behind the action, the master strategist, even the schemer. Gajendra Kumar Mitra’s perspective is unique as he does not paint Krishna as a deity but more in the mould of a virtuous, supremely talented man, who dedicated his life to the goal of delivering a better society. In Panchajanya, we see the conniver in the lover, the politician in the friend and the visionary in the charioteer.

Panchajanya turns the focus on the devil residing in the characters, Kauravas and Pandavas alike, and how all their flaws culminate in their ultimate doom. Gajendra Kumar Mitra’s retells critical incidents in the great tale, placing them on the map of Krishna’s master-plan of ridding Bharat-varsha of the tyranny of the then ruling class. The author dives deep into his thoughts and motivations, his brilliant designs and even his moments of weakness. Right from the first act of the book, at Draupadi’s swayamvar, Panchajanya is about Krishna’s devotion towards his goal and a description of how he utilizes every opportunity and situation to move the people around him closer to the final boiling point.

Apart from Krishna, Panchajanya also has magnificent insights into the character and actions of Karna, Arjuna and Draupadi. In a non-linear structure, Gajendra Kumar Mitra does not hold back on the drama which makes this book a delicious read, as one not just shares the emotional upheavals of the actors but is also blown away by the epic scale of action.

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