Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Most Thankful For

On this Thanksgiving Weekend, Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves has posed the question as to which book one is most thankful for.

The Mahabharat is my all-time favourite book. Passion, Romance, Friendship, Courage, Chivalry, Envy, Arrogance, Cowardice, Sacrifice, Suffering...: It contains the kernels of all the literary plots of the world. However, most translations don't do justice to this Sanskrit epic, turning the charcaters one-dimensional and presenting the story as a simplistic one of the victory of good over evil.

Kamala Subramaniam's translation is a notable exception that presents the grandeur of the epic in its varied hues and brings out the inherent tragedy of this magnum-opus. I still remember the thrill when I picked it up from the shelf of my school library and the nights spent narrating the text to my (sleepy!) sister.


  1. I haven't heard of The Mahabharat before but I will see if my library has Subramaniam's translation.

  2. Thanks Vasilly for being interested in the book. The Mahabharat along with the Ramayan are the two grand epics of India written much before CE. We, in India, grow up hearing tales from it. Do read Subramaniam's translation. It brings alive the magnificence and the tragedy.