Completed Mrutyunjay today. This was the first Marathi Audio book that read / listened to on Storytel and man it was fantastic. I fell in love with it so much, that I have decided to write my thoughts about every book I read.

Mrutyunjay is a large book. It consisted of 9 parts, and each part was presented by one character from the epic, Mahabharat. It revolves around the fascinating life of Karna – so four parts of the book are from the point of view of Karna, in different stages of his life and one part each of Kunti – Karna’s biological mother, Vrushali – Karna’s first wife, Dooryodhan – Karna’s friend and the eldest Kaurav (from whose side Karna fought in the Mahabharat), Shon – Karna’s younger brother and Krishna – who Karna worshipped as friend and philisopher, but who fought on the opposite side.

When I started listening to the book, I did not expect much. But, man, was I surprised! It took me about 20 days to complete this large book (over 24 hours). I, normally listen for about 80 minutes daily, but I did overtime while listening to this book because of the traffic and because I loved it so much. I felt happy when there was traffic, because traffic meant I got to listen to this book more.

The book gives a deep insight into Karna’s life, his upbringing, struggles, triumphs, decisions, and so on. It closely resembles life, where most people are not ‘bad’ by nature but are forced to do ‘bad things’ because of the circumstances. Karna, was a victim to such ‘bad things’ that happened due to circumstances. It may not be an unbiased account of Karna, but the book covers everything that shaped the great character of Karna. Hats off to the ingenuity of the author, Shivaji Sawant, for successfully depicting in words, this complex Mahabharata character.

My takeaways : The astounding thing about Mrutyunjay was that it so closely resembles life. You get into situations because of your decisions (or indecisions). Every man has a positive and a negative side and tries to do everything that he can to save his life. In wars, both sides are fighting for justice. In George R R Martin’s words, ’The villian is the hero of the other side’.

This book opened my eyes to the perspectives of the other side – in battles, in business, in life.