|Anand Neelakantan's First Book celebrating |
its first Anniversary
The same fragrance of intact writing style and touch of mind gripping storyline, that is what happens when we read Anand Neelakantan – be it his year old Asura – Tale of theVanquished – the Story of Ravana and his People; or his upcoming book about to be released on December 1, 2013, Ajaya – Epic of Kaurava Clan Book 1 – Roll of the Dice (cover release). Anand has a great classical art of sensitizing about his subject right in the beginning so as to get his readers engrossed the moment they start reading his work that is based on mythological epics but presented in an entirely different manner. Ajaya is the story of infamous, notorious, anti-hero of Mahabharata, Duryodhana.
This book will present entirely a new picture of Duryodhana, his human side, his hero side, his softer side, his nobler side. Duryodhana’s name was Suyodhana actually, and Su was replaced with Dur by Pandavas. According to Neelakantan if Duryodhana was not rightful in his deeds then how come the great warriors like Karna, Krishna’s army, Dronacharya, Bheeshma, and others would have supported him. Other meanings of his name are ‘one who can’t be conquered’ or Ajaya as the title says.
Anand’s Author’s note in Ajaya is quite interesting where he explains why he chose Duryodhana and the reasoning behind it. It was a small incident and a small conversation that happened years back when he visited a small village named Poruvazhy village in Kerala. He found a temple with deity as Duryodhana. Around an ensemble of over a lac of persons there in and around that temple for worshipping the lord of that temple, Duryodhana, on a special occasion, was there. The author wondered if there was any such temple in the name of the main villain of Mahabharata existed and tried to know about the reason for the same.
What he got to know was quite interesting.
Once Duryodhana reached that place while searching for Pandavas and felt very thirsty, and demanded some water from an old woman passing through. The lady gave her the water but immediately realized that the person to whom she gave water belongs to some royal Kshatriya family and she herself belonged to a very low caste. She got afraid that this royal person would kill her if he comes to know about it but her heart did not allow her to hide the truth. When she told this to Duryodhana – he humbly replied - “Mother,” he said, “there is no caste for hunger and thirst. Blessed are you for putting the interest of a thirsty man before your own safety.”
Thus he made a temple there and told there will be no idol placed in that temple and the upkeep of that temple would be handled by someone among the low caste untouchable community. The temple, thus, became a place of getting inner strength for this low caste untouchable community and its popularity kept increasing every year.
Anand Neelakantan returned and did a good amount research for writing about the positive side of this prominent but anti character of Mahabharata and thus Ajaya – Epic of Kaurava Clan Book 1 – Roll of the Dice got conceived and came into shape.