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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review : Evading the Shadows by Rajesh M. Iyer

Title: Evading The Shadows 

Author: Rajesh M. Iyer

Publisher: Kriscendo Media LLP

Genre: Fiction

Date:  2016

Price: Rs. 192 / Free on Kindle Unlimited

Pages: 342

The Mahabharata is the greatest epic of all times, in terms of magnanimity of characters, story, twists and dharma so much so that the holy of the Hindu's, Gita is just one part of it. The author begins brilliantly giving this essence in beautifully chosen words imbibing the reader immediately though the story is about just one year, minuscule in comparison but the most interesting one. After loosing the game of dice the Pandavs were sent into thirteen year exile with the condition being that the last year will be a phase where they have to remain hidden or in disguise from the Kauravas. If found, the price was heavy - repetition of the thirteen year exile phase again. 

Having always faced hardship throughout their lives, courtesy their parents and later themselves each one now wanted it a to end for once! More so of for Draupadi, the queen with five husbands and yet helpless and humiliated the most. In her simmered the vengeance to make people who insulted her pay with their blood. Therefore this phase was the key to salvation from sufferings for them and they had to ensure they dont get caught. Meanwhile Duryodhan's job powered by Shakuni was to ensure they get caught and no matter what he doesn't have to do away with the smallest part of his kingdom to his step brothers. He therefore does his best in catching them. The greatest challenge for them was to hide their peculiarities and qualities which would easily give them away which was a huge scoring point for the Kauravas. 

To begin with the book cover should have been better. It does not give one the essence of the era it is set in or the plot. The author does a convincing job in making you time travel into the story.  Each character is etched like you know it, like a carving that you understand it's moves, sentiments and thoughts intuitively. The writer also beautifully merges spirits, nature and signs to create a complete canvas of unfolding events. The book especially Draupadi's character and thoughts seemed inspired by The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and pleasantly so for nobody has described the queen's sentiments better. 

Above all the plot which is a close chase keeping a reader on toes as to what next. Best part not always the best man wins and an extremely close chase and run that keeps the story alive. I loved that the story had flashbacks into the past which made it so real for a reader to feel the vivid picture of the emotions each of them went through during this phase for one cannot live in the present of a horrendous past.  

All in all the story is a good, light, entertaining read.

Rating : 3/5

About the Author:

Rajesh M. Iyer is a media professional for over two decades. He has been an editor of magazines and books. He has been writer, creative director an creative producer for many TV serials and films, prominent among them being ‘Colgate Top Ten’ (Zee TV), ‘O’Maria’ (Sony TV), ‘Mujhe Chand Chahiye’ (Zee TV) and ‘KhabdooBigdoo’ (Hungama TV). He has also been with many media companies like Magna (Head of Books Division), Macmillan (Creative Head of Corporate Division) and Amar Chitra Katha (Vice President - Creative). He is also the author of 'NanhaNatkhat: Tales of Little Krishna' and 'Valiant Warriors', books for children. Evading the Shadows is his debut novel. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, son and father.

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