The Revenge of Shakuni

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The Revenge of Shakuni presents the evil incarnate Shakuni as the central protagonist inthe rich pantheon of characters in the epic. Mahabharata was not only a creation of Ved Vyasa, but an outcome of vengeance of Shakuni that engulfed in it the whole of the Kuru clan and wrote the history of ancient India.

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Mahabharata from a perspective you would not have heard about earlier!

The Revenge of Shakuni, written by Kshitiz and compiled by Ruchi Goyal, places Shakuni as the architect of Mahabharata. It is the first poetic autobiography of Shakuni in Hindi literature. Translation in English is done by Jayashree Ramaswamy, and Emily Beyda
(available in the same book).  Art work is contributed by eminent artist, Ekeshwar Hatwal, and sketches created by Ayush, Harsh and Megha

The Revenge of Shakuni

Mahabharata holds a unique stature in world literature. In its thousands of verses, this ancient epic, explores each feeling that men are capable of experiencing, in all its nuances and complexities: valor, lust, pride, enmity, jealousy, revenge, spirituality, affection, sympathy, friendship, sibling-ness, respect, truthfulness, betrayal. But the one fact that puts Mahabharata apart from all other ancient literature, is that in its vast platform of thousands of characters, there is not one who stands completely exonerated, or completely blamed. Each character stands somewhere in between truth and lie --- like ordinary people struggling against the difficulties of life, compromising to situations, forgetting their innate morality bit by bit.  Except Shakuni, the evil maternal uncle of Suyodhana. Or so it has been presented in the mainstream versions of Mahabharata.

The Mahabharata that you probably have not heard of:

  1. The war of eighteen days that rewrote Indian history was the culmination of the revenge of Shakuni against his own nephews, the Kauravas. The biggest enemy of the Kuravas was in fact their own maternal uncle, Shakuni.
  2. Shakuni was one amongst a hundred princes of Gandhara, currently part of Afghanistan. His sister, Gandhari, was the most beautiful princess in South Asia, coveted by the blind Dhritarashtra. 
  3. Dhritarashtra, with his grand uncle, Bheesma’s help, defeated Gandhara and executed the King. He married Gandhari against her wishes and made her the bride of a blind prince, who did not even have a throne.
  4. Dhritarashtra did not kill the 100 princes, but left them dying ni hunger by giving them only a morsel of food each day. The hapless princes facing starvation by death combined their shares to let only the youngest of them, Shakuni to live. To live to take revenge from their sister’s clan.
  5. Shakuni planned the whole war of Mahabharata as a revenge against the Kuru clan, the 100 sons of Dhritarashtra. Ultimately the war engulfed the Kuru clan and rewrote the history of ancient India.
  6. He died on the 16th day of the war, fighting with the Kurus, but after ensuring that all but the oldest of his nephew, Suyodhana remained alive, to his fate, to which he succumbed on the last day of the war.

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Sample Pages

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