Book Review – Mai Ashwathama Bol Raha Hoon” by Rachnakar ‘Viral’

Title: Mai Ashwathama Bol Raha Hoon
Author: Rachnakar ‘Viral’
Publisher: Astitva Prakashan 
First Publication: 2022
Language: Hindi

Indian epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata or the Bhagvad Gita have been instrumental in shaping people’s thought processes as well as teaching them values that govern their lives. This has remained true despite times changing and even today, people resort to these epics to find the solutions to their problems. That is also a significant determiner that modern-day writers continue to experiment with in the different forms which have caught people’s attention time and again. The same holds true for “Mai Ashwathama Bol Raha Hoon” by Rachnakar ‘Viral.’ Through the book, the author gives the existing story a new form by writing it in a poetic style that had been untouched so far. In addition, the author strikes a chord with the rhythm he creates through words and fills the readers’ minds with new ideas and different perspectives to see the same book.

“Mai Ashwathama Bol Raha Hoon” explores the epic in a poetic format where the author gives the text proportions of a different level and connects with the readers with the purity of language and clarity of thought. His verses are short, concise, and crisp and convey thoughts of more depth. He strikes the rhythm to keep the readers engrossed throughout the book and makes sure that after having read through it, the readers feel the experience to be beyond the ordinary. Moreover, the book would be of equal interest to readers who have read the epic or even if they have not read the epic. Once they read through it, they are likely to have a solidified form of understanding of the epic and the different ideas it carries.

The author also talks about the epic through the insights he has attained by his close reading of the epic and the understanding he has developed through thorough analysis. The fact that the book is written in Hindi is another attraction of the book. Through the language, the author connects with the readers on a different level and tries to use the effect of language to connect on a deeper level. It is the tool of the language that the author uses which gives the text further depth and makes reading it an enriching experience for the readers. In his short poetry book of fewer than 90 pages, the author takes the readers to a different universe where the existence of kings, kingdoms, and battles for the kingdoms to ensure supremacy is the routine of the day.

“Mai Ashwathama Bol Raha Hoon” avoids crowding the text with all the people of the epic at the same time and gives them individual spaces at different junctures. It is through this skill that the author gives space to all characters, and each stands out individually as people speaking their minds and being vocal about their thoughts and feelings. This individualistic treatment is what distinguishes the book from the other texts that have been written to explore Mahabharata from different perspectives. These are some of the salient features that add to the potential of the book and give weight to the quality of the text.

Through the language, the author gives the book the required touch of Indianness to reach out to Indian readers and take them back to their roots in terms of literature and traditions. These roots are the main factors that evoke different emotions in the readers and make reading the text an unforgettable experience for them. “Mai Ashwathama Bol Raha Hoon” is recommended to all those readers who like to read texts in the Hindi language which have the touch of royalty while they explore aspects of life that can teach multiple lessons to a person. At the same time, this book will also catch the interest of the readers who have already read the Mahabharata and have their own share of insights and thoughts based on their perceptions and understanding. Another factor that will attract younger readers is the rhythmic form that the poet has given to the text which resonates in the readers’ minds even after they have finished the text or left it midway. This ensures that the book is kept at the bedside for reading at different times and also that the readers come back to reading the text even when they have read it earlier. It also opens the book for recommendations to other readers as the proportions to which the book extends are more or less universal and carry the different meanings of life with it.

In that manner, reading “Mai Ashwathama Bol Raha Hoon” can be an experience that can open the readers’ minds to different thoughts and at the same time, teach them about many things they may not know. Therefore, the extent to which the text can teach or one can learn only depends on the individual experience of the readers.

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