Book: Ajaya: Epic of the Kaurava Clan -Roll of the Dice: Book 1

Front_ Ajaya_cover_final_4-10-2013 (1)After falling in love with RAVANA and BADRA, I think now it’s time to add few more people in the list. Trends are not just in movies, It is catching up with Novels too.. Didn’t get it, antagonist are more smarter than the protagonist like  Amir Khan, Sonu Sood etc etc.  isn’t it such a coincidence that Starplus is also screening Mahabharata and you see so much of difference in perceptive of looking at characters from this book and the Serial.

Like many others, I was waiting for the release of  ‘Ajaya, Roll of the Dice’. The book is worth the wait. Now waiting for the part II.

Book Details

Title: Ajaya – Epic Of The Kaurava Clan: Roll Of The Dice
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Author: Anand Neelakantan
Edition: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN: 9381576033
EAN: 9789381576038
No. of Pages: 456

About the Book: Ajaya: Epic of the Kaurava Clan -Roll of the Dice: Book 1

THE MAHABHARATA ENDURES AS THE GREAT EPIC OF INDIA. But while Jaya is the story of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra; Ajaya is the narrative of the ‘unconquerable’ Kauravas, who were decimated to the last man.

At the heart of India’s most powerful empire, a revolution is brewing. Bhishma, the noble patriarch of Hastinapura, is struggling to maintain the unity of his empire. On the throne sits Dhritarashtra, the blind King, and his foreign-born Queen – Gandhari. In the shadow of the throne stands Kunti, the Dowager-Queen, burning with ambition to see her firstborn become the ruler, acknowledged by all.

And in the wings:

* Parashurama, the enigmatic Guru of the powerful Southern Confederate, bides his time to take over and impose his will from mountains to ocean.

* Ekalavya, a young Nishada, yearns to break free of caste restrictions and become a warrior.

* Karna, son of a humble charioteer, travels to the South to study under the foremost Guru of the day and become the greatest archer in the land.

* Balarama, the charismatic leader of the Yadavas, dreams of building the perfect city by the sea and seeing his people prosperous and proud once more.

* Takshaka, guerilla leader of the Nagas, foments a revolution by the downtrodden as he lies in wait in the jungles of India, where survival is the only dharma.

* Jara, the beggar, and his blind dog Dharma, walk the dusty streets of India, witness to people and events far greater than they, as the Pandavas and the Kauravas confront their searing destinies.

Amidst the chaos, Prince Suyodhana, heir of Hastinapura, stands tall, determined to claim his birthright and act according to his conscience. He is the maker of his own destiny – or so he believes. While in the corridors of the Hastinapura palace, a foreign Prince plots to destroy India. And the dice falls…

My Review:

The book begins with introduction of Suyodhana.  He we can see how the real name has been changed and popularized as Duryodhana , that how we know the Kauravas as. temple built for him in Kerala.  Each character is listed and relationship with other character are explained. I liked this idea, It takes out lots of confusions and makes it clear for new readers too.  Like in Asura, here too Kauravas fight for equality, against caste system etc etc. I think for the Benefit of making Kauravas the heros, the main Sin committed by them, Disrobing  Draupadi is Omitted by the author.  I am not going into details of each episode written, as We all know most of it, and if i tell out, then most of the interesting parts of the story would be out.

Otherwise, the book is simple and yet another try of Anand to portray an Antagonist as Protagonist.  several incidents are created to show the same. and of course few of the original are omitted to justify . Over all a first-rate try.  A good book for epic fans, as it has a different perspective to the told and re-told epic.

About the Author: Anand Neelakantan

I Was Born in a Quaint little village called Thripoonithura, on the outskirts of Cochin, Kerala. Located east of mainland Ernakulam, across Vembanad Lake, this village had the distinction of being the seat of the Cochin royal family. However, it was more famous for its 100-odd temples, the various classical artists it produced, and its school of music. I remember many an evening listening to the faint rhythm of the chendas coming from the temples, and the notes of the flute escaping over the rugged walls of the music school. However, Gulf money and the rapidly expanding city of Cochin, have wiped away all remaining vestiges of that old-world charm. The village has evolved into the usual, unremarkable, suburban hellhole-clones of which dot India. Growing up in a village with more temples than was necessary, it was little wonder that mythology fascinated me. Ironically, I was drawn to the anti-heroes. My own life went on? I became an engineer, joined the Indian Oil Corporation, moved to Bangalore, married Aparna, and welcomed my daughter Ananya, and son, Abhinav. However, the voices of yore refused to be silenced in my mind. I felt impelled to narrate the stories of the vanquished and the damned; and give life to those silent heroes who have been overlooked in our uncritical acceptance of conventional renderings of our epics. This is Anands second book and follows the outstanding success of his national #1 bestseller, ASURA Tale of the Vanquished (Platinum Press 2012). Ajaya Book II, Rise of Kali, is due for release later in 2014. Anand can be reached at:

AJAYA : Epic of the KAURAVA Clan



Author ’s Note

Select Cast of Characters


Prelude ~ GANDHARA









9      THE BEAST

10    NAGAS





15    DHARMA


17    WANTED









26    THE FALL



Short Notes Glossary Acknowledgements


Want To Read More? Play the Ajaya Contest here

note: stay tuned for more info on this.. 

Never Mind Yaar- Book review.


Paperback: 242 pages

Publisher: Southbac Publishers Limited (22 October 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0473174790

ISBN-13: 978-0473174798

Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 20 x 12.5 cm

This book is written in 90’s time frame, when there were series of blast and communal riots in Mumbai.The book is more about diversity. It talks about culture, religion, politics. Three girls, from different cultural background come together to study in Gyaan Sakthi college, Mumbai. The main Characters are Shalini, Bhagu,Binaifer and Louella.

Binaifer and louella are school friends, who come together to the college and meet the third girl Shalini Dyal. Shalini start liking her classmate Bhagu. other two girls try to unite them like another friends. should i call it as three idiots female version??

Bhagu fights against the canteen-wala who malpractices by mixing water to milk and compromises the food quality and quantity to make money. little does he know that canteen-wala is a goonda. he gets beaten up by them, and when he recovers, new heroism is born in him. ( like how Rajinikanth become rich in just a song) .

Meanwhile Shalini’s grandma Mem, a traditional controlling person, finds a perfect match for Shalini. Shalini tries to convince Bhagu to elope as her parents would never let her marry a jobless Student. Shalini moves back to Jaipur. Bhagu gets involved in a upcoming political party. later they get united in perfect Bollywood style. 

I liked the way in which the story gradually shifts from the college fun , romance to communal riots to Bhagu getting involved in politics.

I found the book to be slow paced. Somewhere  or the other, there is a connectivity problem with readers. I wishes the author had detailed more on what these people did in college other than spending time in canteen. thought their emotions, confusion which are depicted it lacked clarity. All in all, the book is mixed bag of emotions. 

About the author:

Born and brought up in Mumbai, K. Mathur lives with her family in New Zealand.

Mathur showcases her unique perspective into her city’s psyche in Never Mind Yaar.

“I’ve always enjoyed my city except when violence has erupted between communities. On the whole people seem to get along fine. We are proud of our own community but accept that others are proud of theirs. The food we eat, the clothes we wear and the languages and dialects we converse in are diverse and most of us say vive la difference. But there’s a handful in every community who are extremely suspicious of those differences.”

“Why is secularism or a different way of doing things such a threat to these people? This issue has disturbed me since the 1980s when I witnessed communal riots in Mumbai. I felt compelled to talk about it in Never Mind Yaar. But first and foremost, the book is a love story and a story of friendship and fun between three young girls from different backgrounds – Hindu, Parsi and Christian – who meet at college.”

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! 




Shoes of the Dead


Rupa Publication


Kota Neelima









No. of Pages:


The Main Characters-

Sudhakar Bhadra- if not him, then this story is not there. he is a farmer, who commits suicide as he is not able to pay debts.

Gangiri- Sudhakar’s [ he is the brother of Sudhakar, a school teacher settled in urban town. he fights for the justice and his brother, in long run for the farmers.

Keyur Kashinath son of Vaishnav Kashinath who is a party’s general secretary and politician.

Videhi, wife of a rich industrialist and assistant director of the Centre for Contemporary Societies who comes up with a bizarre solution to combat farmer suicides by withdrawing all the subsides proved to them.

it begins with a suicide of a farmer at Mityalay in south central india. Unfortunately, the Mityala community fakes out the news of suicide committed by several such farmers and cancels out on the compensation to their families .his brother, a city dweller, educated and working as a school teacher gets affected by this and takes the case seriously and fights for rights. in the process of finding justice, he quits his job, and he fights for all other farmers justice, and doesnt want anyone else to commit suicide. he tries to figure out the core reason for his brother’s death. when he tries to reason, he finds out that, there were deceitful money lenders, bank mangers with targets, local MPs with elections coming , district collector, agriculture officer etc. with so much of expense to borne and no job, he delivers justice to the widows of the farmers. he is assisted by a journalist throughout the book.

the book gives insight of  working of Indian political and democratic system of India. it also tells about how Politian’s behave for the sake of votes.

the best part of the book is characterization. how the story is built to support each character. you feel like you have heard this story from your grandmother who is into farming or read it in news paper.

a very different book from the kind i have read in recent times. touching. this book gives inspiration to fight for a true cause. though slow, proves to be worth the wait to finish. language is simple, straightforward.

Kota Neelima is a political editor with The Sunday Guardian    and    a    Research    Fellow    for    South     Asia Studies at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC. Her previously published work includes the novels Riverstones and Death of a Moneylender. Neelima lives in New Delhi and Washington, DC.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Toke by Jugal Mody: book review

Title: Toke
Author: Jugal Mody
Publisher: Harper Collins India
ISBN: 978-9350293409
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 224
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5/5


This book is going to make you laugh aloud, unless you have inhabitations to THE SWEAR WORDS. This book is about Nikhil. He spends a normal life with protective parents, he works under a supervisor who constantly finds faults with him, a pretty girl who doesn’t acknowledge his crush, until Lord Vishnu appears to him in a dream and gives him a purpose to live, to save the world. He is given 72 hours to save the world. And everything changes around him.

Nikhil and his two friends join together to save the world. Then slowly two Japanese’s girls who are martial arts specialist join them. Nikhil’s crush too joins their group with yet another colleague. Mean while lost Vishnu goes out for vacation as he is no mood to take the 10th avatar. He gives them the rescue button which would take them to the happy land. GOD keeps in touch with the group by having video conference when required.

I found it to be A simple book, with more of swear words and comedy. It gives an atmosphere of a software company. It’s kind of “read and move on” book. Nothing to take from it, nothing to get hurt about, it gives complete entertainment. I felt it was novel idea of bring in the god, the concept where an individual takes it up on him to save the world from becoming zombies. Breaking the monotony and making the GOD smoke with Nikhil and his friends, God going on a vacation. Fast paced book, you never know, but you have reached the last page of the book soon.

 This bookReview done for HarperCollins and indibloggers.