Kanha, Krishna, Murlimanohar, Radhyeshyam, Gopal, Madhav…..many names and many forms. One can never get tired of his stories in various forms that he took to deliver his followers from the cruel Kansa. Children and grownups are equally fond of leelas of Krishna.
The debut novel by Pranab Mullick is yet another attempt to retell the story of “Kansa Vadh” (killing Kansa) to liberate the people of Mathura from his tyrannous rule, albeit in a different way. In this mythological fiction, the author has woven a unique tale on the background of a commonly known legend from a part of Krishna’s life. Some parts are well-known and well-accepted while some imaginary characters and instances are added to create a new compelling storyline.
Mathura, Krishna’s birthday place, has three tribes that follow a democratic process to elect their king. Kansa, however, forcefully and deceitfully, elects himself as the king by deposing his father Ugrasen. He also imprisons Vasudev and Devaki after a sage predicts that their eighth child will be the cause of Kansa’s death. A fearful Kansa orders drastic measures to avoid this. And thus begins the reign of tyranny over the land of Mathura.
Chanur, a tribal minister and a trusted advisor of Kansa, has a hidden political agenda as he goes about doing his duties for the King Kansa. Blinded by power and fear, Kansa fails to see the vested interests of Chanur and falls into his traps time and again. The other tribal ministers and people fall prey in the scheme of things planned by Chanur who has the ability to run the show single-handedly although remaining in the background at all times.
Parallelly, Kanha is being raised as the beloved child of the leader of Gop community who lives peacefully in close proximity to the cauldron of activities on the kingdom. He and everyone else are unaware of the fact that Kanha is avatar of Vishnu who will kill Kansa. When Guru Sandipani realizes this, he convinces and trains Krishna along with Balaram and many other Gops to take upon the army of Kansa and kill him.
The story itself is captivating and the narrative is smooth and enthralling. The fictional characters add interesting layers to the original story and make it an interesting read. Although one has to keep in mind that this is a fictional depiction and thus some parts may seem different from what we know about the conventional story. The reader is compelled to turn one page after the other. For mythofiction lovers, this is a definite recommendation.
This is an honest and unbiased review in exchange for a free copy of the book from Blogchatter.