Short stories based on the Mahabharata.

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150 comments

  1. Hello Eric,

    Arjuna Obtains Celestial Weapons – when all sorts of calamities befall us with thunder and lightning strikes everywhere, the gods must be in total disagreements, LOL.

    You brought out your imaginations with vividness on the process of how Arjuna was endowed with the weapons. I felt drawn in to the scene.

    1. Hi, Windy,

      Ancients looked to the skies. When the elements burst and boil, they say the gods are unhappy.

      I’m glad you liked this week’s episode.

      Thank you for your ever presence here, and encouraging comments.

      I remain indebted,
      Eric

  2. Hi Eric,

    Krishna visits the Pandavas – I’ve missed quite a number of chapters and it is so interesting to see how the plot moves along as schemed by the puppet master. Arjuna seems to be Krishna’s henchman more than the other brothers. Shall wait to see how he acquires the weapons.

    Hope you have a good week ahead.

    1. Hi Windy,

      Pardon me, but “henchman” is a harsh word, I reckon. Arjuna’s is god’s instrument. In one sense, all of us are doing “our god’s” work.

      Have a great week ahead 🙂
      Eric

  3. Hi Eric,

    Life in Exile – perhaps it is not such a bad thing. When people lose all their riches, then they seek joy and contentment in the simple things in life, after meeting the fundamental physiological needs.

    1. Hi, Windy,

      The truth is, we can do with very little. But we live in a material world; and wants are portrayed as needs. Oh, well.

      Peace,
      Eric

  4. Hi Eric,

    Panchali’s Humiliation – we often hear of how people gambled away their wife, children and their own life, I wonder what demon possessed them at that moment to bet all they have. Where has rationale gone to?

    I find the quick exchanges here very exciting – everyone ready and equipped to bring out the skeleton in the closet of the other person.

    1. Hello, Windy,

      I’m glad you like the dialogue. People say, bring out the closet writer. I say, to write good dialogue, the author must get into character – bring out the closet actor 🙂

      Cheers!
      Eric

  5. Hi Eric,

    The Dice Game – this vice is certainly a well concealed weapon that wins the war without shedding blood. Have to applaud Sakuni for his calculated plan.

    Unfortunately quite often gambling draws people into a black hole even before they know it. The urge to recover your loss is higher than walking away to cut your losses.

    1. Hi, Windy,

      As mentioned in my earlier reply, instead of introducing Sakuni as a master gambler, I made Yuddhishthira the expert who was drawn into a trap. Hopefully, this approach rendered the plot more plausible than the straight-jacket approach in the original.

      Cheers!
      Eric

  6. Hello Eric,

    It’s been quite a busy month end chasing figures with reports to submit whether your sales numbers are red, green or amber, LOL. Few weekends burnt and sort of caught up.

    Sakuni’s Sacrifice and Plot 45 – I’ve always wondered if our dreams were part of our past or future, whether it is real or did we astral travel, especially when the dreams are quite similar. Maybe the more evolved being like Sakuni can recognize and use it to help manipulate the future of the Kauravas.

    To have a gambling vice these days are dangerous as you will lose your hands, or worse your life, if you perpetually go on a winning streak.

    1. Hello, Windy,

      From what I understand, with the lockdown and work from home (WFH), managers have gone onto overdrive – demanding endless reports. I suppose they have to look busy for their bosses.

      It is interesting to develop the Sakuni character. And as you might have guessed, I’m maximizing the white canvas, so to speak. The epic assumes that Sakuni is a master gambler. I simply turned it on the head and made him the underdog – and took it from there. Look out for the subsequent episodes 🙂

      Cheers!
      Eric

  7. Hello Eric,

    Jaya and Vijaya – just as depicted here the bond between Lord Maha Vishnu and the brothers Jaya and Vijaya, sometimes we look at the people around us and begin to wonder why the person chose to stay on and continue to support the other, despite receiving substandard treatment or they could be in constant squabbles that a third party would think they are better off away from each other. Perhaps the pair were somewhat linked in a life before this.

    I think how you described the transformation of the events viewed by different persons according to their level of evolution gave the insightful perspective.

    1. Hello Windy,

      When we witness an incident or event, we each take away something different, I reckon. I believe what we take away depends on our life experiences and values.

      I’m happy that you like the different-perspectives approach.

      Cheers!
      Eric

  8. Hello Eric,

    Rajasuya Yagna – if the police interrogation room is built like the rajya sabha, I reckon the criminal will display their true colors very quickly, no need lengthy and exhausting tactics to extract a confession, LOL.

    The consistency you instill in your story throughout on the strong bond of the Pandava brothers brings warmth and light-hearted moments even in this antagonistic climate brought upon by a cruel twist of fate.

    1. Hi, Windy,

      Yes, it’ll make the policeman’s job a lot easier. But then, how many of us would want to walk around with our thoughts and feelings displayed to all as an open book.

      Mahabharata is a tragedy and all the people are serious and sombre. I gave the Pandavas some “colour” – showed them as fully rounded people. Glad that you liked the character traits of the five brothers.

      Have a great week ahead,
      Eric

  9. Hi Eric,

    Sisupala of Chedi – your story is heavily interwoven with the “unseen” and “seen,” by mortal and gods. The mortal enlightenment only comes when he meets his end or creator. The concept depicted on every encounter between a mortal and his god is so convincing that you can make us a believer.

    Have a good weekend, my friend.

    1. Thank you, Windy, for reading and commenting.

      In the original version, everyone in the assembly witnesses Sisupala’s death. And Krishna is seen as an invincible personality. If we took this route, then, the consequences of anyone going against Krishna is a foregone conclusion. That would deflate any anticipation regarding the outcomes of the conflicts to follow. If we keep Krishna’s true identity and power a secret, it lends credibility to the behaviour of the people who oppose him. Hence, I took the approach that not everyone is privy to Krishna’s machinations.

      All the best ahead,
      Eric

  10. Hi Eric,

    Jarasandha, King of Magadha 41 – “He smiles in death” said Bheema. How many people had the benefit of knowing they have completed their task and it is time to leave. Death is a release instead of fear to the unknown, will we receive such enlightenment at the end of the journey, I wonder.

    Hope you had a great weekend, Eric.

    1. Hi, Windy,

      Thank you for your unstinting presence.

      Some believe with greater knowledge/wisdom, one will embrace the inevitable rather than fearing it. I suppose, it’s not so much the fear of death but rather, fear of the manner of death. Whichever the case, it’s obvious that humans are wired to fear the end. One line of thought: if we knew how much better the hereafter was, many would jump the gun and do themselves in. And that will negate the reason we are here – to learn from experience and grow in wisdom/spirituality.

      I’d a great weekend.

      Wishing you all the best ahead for the week,
      Eric

  11. Hello Eric,

    Krishna and Sakuni as One – nothing more dangerous that having puppet masters of opposite sides agreeing on the same mission. Much to anticipate on.

    Statecraft is far more formidable than war itself and you have built many rifts as the story develops. The one-upmanship depict the brain behind the manipulation. For me, it is statecraft that creates the tension and momentous result.

    1. I’m with you on this, Windy.
      I prefer reading about internecine warfare than the actual fighting.
      Happy that you like how I weaved in the statecraft, as you put it 🙂
      Thank you for reading and keeping me company in this Mahabharata journey 🙂
      Cheers,
      Eric

  12. Hello Eric,

    Arjuna’s Third and Fourth wives – if tirtha-yatra is so eventful and fruitful, many will readily volunteer, LOL.

    It is rather sad though where Arjuna had to leave Madhu and his son, Babru. The same thing he did with Ulupika. No difference from a divorce or abandonment. Perhaps Krishna is a bit better that he brings along all 16,000+ wives. Fate and destiny has a way of playing with human lives.

    1. Hi, again, Windy,
      Well, it does give insights into the mores of the times. Absentee fathers were common then, it seems.
      We’ve come a long way but not enough, I reckon.
      Fate and destiny – yes – two convenient scapegoats. It’s almost as if no one takes responsibilities.
      Oh, well.
      Have a great week ahead,
      Eric

  13. Hi Eric,

    I love how the story develops and even the side events.

    Arjuna’s Pilgrimage – a queer encounter no doubt, but beneficial to both Arjuna’s future and perhaps resolved an otherwise hatred for annihilating a clan.

    Many still find it difficult to accept intermarriages, but I have always view it with interest and pleasure on how two people from vast different backgrounds can find similarities and love.

    Have a good weekend, Eric.

    1. Hi Windy,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I’m in a interracial marriage and must say it was not easy-going. In the early days (1980s) some family members on both sides ostracized us. But we didn’t give a hoot.
      Cross cultural marriages are quite common in Singapore now. In this regards, as a nation, we are evolving for the better.
      Cheers!
      Eric
      P/s. Glad you like the story arc 🙂

  14. Hi Eric,

    Everything for Everyone – indeed it is. What a marvel created by the architect.

    I have a cheeky thought if the marriage officiant can cast a “till death to this spell ends”  where the husband and wife will forever see what they want to see of their spouse, then marriage can last forever and children need not suffer in broken homes.  Admittedly, after the initial courtship, honeymoon, a couple of years of happy living together, then the mundane and responsibilities take over, that’s when you start seeing some cracks. 

    1. Hi Windy.

      I’ve been kinda busy and hence the delayed reply.

      You suggestion sounds great. We should all live in a world of illusion and bliss 🙂

      But assuming the greats are right – that we’re here to learn and grow… Hmmm. I wonder how Blissland will help us.

      I hope my cheeky reply sits well 🙂

      Cheers!
      Eric

  15. Hello Eric,

    Mayasura the Builder – you have cleverly used the child to discern the ‘brute’ as in the emperor’s new clothes.

    To build a palace that is everything for everyone, sounds like an impossible feat, but at the same time raise my curiosity. Have to wait for the next episode.

    1. Hi, Windy,

      Thank you for the thumbs up. I was stumped for a while; went for a long walk and came back with the idea to use a child (as the storytelling device). I agree, even if I say so myself, the child worked out well.

      I hope the next episode – Everything for Everyone – does not disappoint.

      Cheers!
      Eric

  16. Hi Eric,

    I had been above my eyeballs with new work assignments. There’s more to do but I’m seeing some progress, which is good.

    Forest of Illusions – I enjoy how you mix the astral and reality for the Pandavas to accomplish their task.

    At the back of my mind, I was just visualizing what colors will emanate from our political arena, must be the colors of greed and selfishness, LOL.

    1. Hi, Windy,

      I know you have a game plan and working through it. Feel free to shout out – email me – if you need anything.

      Our Singapore politicians – DEFINITELY a dirty green. Except for Tharman, I can’t think of one cabinet minister who deserves respect. Sad.

      BTW, hope this week gets better for you.

      Luv and hugz,
      Eric

  17. Hi Eric,

    Demons in Khandava – I just receive my first episode of season 2, and I could sense more things brewing up already. Looks like wherever the Pandavas go, they bring discord and peace to the place. LOL.

    The naga king seems to be a decent chap, a devoted husband of one wife, quite unlike the demons that they are branded. It is almost human nature to weave the darkest story and instill fear in themselves for the unknown, whether it is a place or people. Living in their own make belief gave them an excuse to behave in such manner. We do it too as young children when we try to frighten other kids not to go the backyard or a specific toilet, loom with ghosts and ghouls.

    Anyway, enjoy your weekend, Eric.

    1. Hi Windy,

      Yes, after a 2-month break, I managed to get going with the Mahabharata series. The amount of research is daunting but doing okay.

      The characters in the original versions (plural, as there are several versions and some backstories are found in the Puranas) are stiff and black/white cardboards. I’m trying to inject some depth without losing the plot, so to speak. Am happy that you like the stories.

      Thank you for your presence and encouragement 🙂
      Cheers!
      Eric

  18. Hello Eric,

    Wish you and your family a healthy, happy and a blessed New Year!

    I guess 2020 is memorable indeed. The year ended but all has not ended yet. We can only pray and hope that things will improve and many will remember the lesson.

    The Kuru Kingdom Splits – Panchali got more than what she asked for, a wife to five brothers, it is so unheard of these days but an accepted practice then. So which generation is far liberal in their thinking. You ended it beautifully with a peek of a new beginning for the Pandavas.

    Felt like a TV series and we have just completed last episode of the first season. Am sure you have more of Mahabharata in store for us, Eric. Really look forward to it.

    1. Hi Windy,

      Yes, 2020 has been a tumultuous year for many and we’re not out of the woods yet. God willing, life will improve.

      Polyandry, where a woman takes two or more husbands, is rare in most societies. In the Mahabharata, the authors go to great lengths to explain/justify such a union. Polygyny, a man taking two or more wives, was common in many ancient societies, I reckon.

      I’m glad and flattered that you compared the short stories to a TV series. The “new season” starts in February. Hopefully, it lives up to expectations.

      Wishing you and your loved ones all the best of health, happiness and home, and health,
      Eric

  19. Hi Eric,

    Panchali’s Swayamvara – as usual only the rich has the luxury to choose and flaunt their wealth on such events. I think that when they hold such competition, there must be a moderator so as not to create unnecessary displeasure. Yes, applaud the winner but the loser should be encouraged too. At least, they have the courage to step up and take the challenge.

    Wish you a great upcoming weekend soon!

    1. Hi Windy,

      Yes, I often wonder why have such a bridal-selection contest when the losers are wont to react badly. It gets worse because quite often, the winners do not behave in a gracious manner. They speak of chivalry and dharma but seldom do we witness these traits in a swayamvara.

      Hope you’re doing well, too,
      Eric

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