Short stories based on the Mahabharata.

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152 comments

  1. Well, hello Eric,

    Generals Satyaki and Kritavarma – Happy to know the awaited Book 3 started. In this episode, while Satyaki came up with an ingenious plan to win the competition, he failed to anticipate the obstruction Kritavarma created. This is the reality of a battle, plans change and people don’t stick to the code of conduct. Kritavarma did not win with full glory but he thwarted and slowed down his enemies, that itself is a battle tactic. I can live with the Vrishni prince’s final decision.

    You are right, Eric. This book opens with a battle. You created the strategy and made them engrossing.

    1. Hello Windy,

      Good to be back πŸ™‚

      This week’s episode helps establish the characters of two generals who will be instrumental in the war to follow and its aftermath – demise of Krishna’s Yadu clans. And, I thought starting the book with a bang, so to speak, would hold readers’ interest.

      Happy to have you with me for the 3rd and final book in the trilogy.

      Cheers!
      Eric

  2. Hi Eric,

    A Needle Point of Land – land; what a precious asset! Given to the right owner; the land can prosper, become illustrious both to nature and human kind, and provide sustainability. In the wrong hands; it can be abused, suffers long term damage and abandon till mother nature is prepared to heal it. From the age old time till this very day, it’s been the same old fight for land. Those without land is a permanent “slave” to the ones who hoard them. Human greed has no boundary.

    You’ve walked us through an exhilarating journey in Book 2 of the Mahabharata. Am sure Book 3 promises no less. Thank you so much, Eric.

    1. Hi Windy,

      As I’ve always said in many of my blog posts – the mode of governance might change BUT there will always be pharaoh and slave. And power comes from he who controls land – a.k.a real estate. And man is the ONLY contributor to climate change and destruction of the environment.

      Very happy you like Book 2. I’m in the midst of writing and revising the Book 3 episodes; it is proving an immense challenge. Much of it is about battles – a topic I do not relish writing. But with perseverance and with help from the Old Guy above, I’ll make it. Wish me luck.

      Thank you very much for having stayed the course with me. Truly appreciate your support and encouragement.

      Cheers!
      Eric

  3. Hi Eric,

    The Pandavas Revealed – I think I enjoy what I call “pal around with” time the Kaurava brothers, Sakuni and Karna had with each other in the river. A time where you see them as ordinary human with no ill intentions or scheming mind at work. This is why I delight in your high tension stories, you find time to insert warmth and simple joy of life, be it from the hero or anti-hero.

    1. Hi Windy πŸ™‚

      In most popular culture (movies, TV series, and even novels) the settings are boring; either in the palace court or parlour. I like to use unique settings – this takes effort to think through and develop – that help propel the plot and/or serve to reveal character attributes. Yes, the players are like us – multi-dimensional. Am glad you like my appraoch.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  4. Hi Eric,

    Uttara Kumara routs the Kuru Elders – I find the part where Kumara on one hand belittles Brihannala and in the same breath holds Arjuna up as his hero, quite amusing. Wonder what went through Arjuna’s mind; was he upset or amused?

    Again, you managed to create a setting to deviate an impending war and loss of lives. Sometimes I felt that you have been through a war event yourself to enact such scenes.

    1. Hi Windy,

      To be candid, at one level, the original scene is predictable and bland. Arjuna single-handedly routs the Kuru elders. He defeats them all – Bhishma, Drona, Kripa and Karna and Duryodhana. Why bother with the Kurukshetra War? But at another level, this clinical approach loses the essence of the Mahabharata which dwells on a lot more. The battles serve as mere backdrops but popular culture – movies, tv series – tend to focus on the fighting to attract eye-balls.

      All good wishes,
      Eric
      P/s. In real life, I’ve avoided conflict whenever possible.

  5. Hi Eric,

    Trigartas invade Matsya 59 – I must confess that I am not much into war but one observation I have is, you always pull a stunt at the fighting ground. Where it appears to be a seemingly undefeated battle, a secret weapon or strategy will foil it and turn the table. I think this is the essence of making the scene exciting.

    1. Hi Windy,

      My greatest challenge in adapting the Mahabharata for the modern reader is: how best to portray the battle scenes in a unique manner – each and every time. This gets increasingly challenging as there are dozens of battle scenes. So far, so good – I reckon.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  6. Hello Eric,

    I appreciate the amount of research, thoughts and novel ideas you put in. As an ardent reader who loves reading your work, the least I can do is to share my thoughts. My small way of recognizing the author’s in-depth effort, time and drive.

    Kichaga the Generalissimo – another nail biting event. In all movies they have scenes where the villain chases the damsel and we are all waiting for the hero’s arrival but at times tragedy happens and you see the candle burn out. This was how I felt but the tactical resolution you pulled was worth all the nail bitten off my fingers, LOL.

    1. Hello, Windy,

      There is a fair bit of research required to write these episodes but I’m enjoying it. And along the way, I’m rediscovering and discovering the Puranas.

      As you know, I’m no fan of raw fight-scenes but prefer instead to dwell on the build-up to the violence. I’m glad to say that so far, I’ve managed to pull it off to my satisfaction. Perhaps not all readers will agree with my assessment.

      Thank you for your unstinting presence and encouragement.

      Cheers!
      Eric

  7. Hello Eric,

    The Stablemaster & the Cowherd 57 – I enjoy this episode greatly. Though the accident was anticipated, the twist of fate had a play in bringing about the pre-matured foal who could not drink milk. I finished the read so fast, anxious to know if the foal could be saved.

    Hope you have a great weekend, Eric.

    1. Hi Windy,

      Thank you for your ever presence and encouragement. The stats show dozens of people visiting and reading my posts but you are the only one consistently commenting. Thank you again πŸ™‚

      After spinning stories to get the 3 elder Pandavas and Panchali into Matsya, I was somewhat stumped for a plotline that will bring Nakula and Sahadeva onboard. Took me a while and several long walks before I derived this version. Happy that it proved a page-turner πŸ™‚

      You have a great week ahead πŸ™‚
      Eric

  8. Hi Eric,

    Arjuna as Brihannala & Panchali as Sairindhri 56 – Sudeshna, like some athletes love the adrenalin of tempting danger. Some people are just made that way. Despite several near escapes, they will not give up.

    I think the scene you created for Brihannala’s appearance and rescue mission was timely and convincing, as I was especially curious how the two will make their way into the service of Virata.

    1. Hi Windy,

      Adrenalin junkies have been with us since time immemorial, I suppose πŸ™‚

      Glad that you like my version of how Arjuna and Panchali ingratiated themselves with the Matsya royal house. The original version is boring with a capital B – they simply approach the king and he accepts them. I’m taking a novelist’s approach and adding some salt & pepper πŸ™‚

      Cheers!
      Eric

  9. Hi Eric,

    Last week I had another “attack” of workload. Some aspect of the business had sudden surge and demands to meet on super critical basis. On our side, the shipping are down with manpower issues. Even with some help from my colleague, both of us had to struggle past midnight. Anyway, work aside now.

    Bheema as Vallabha the Bald 55 – frankly I feel Mararishi Durvasa abused his power in the title of a sage. My idea of a sage is someone with divine power to help those in need, not to drag 16,000 disciples to sponge on others and curse them when they fail to provide. Fortunately Durvasa gave Kunti the power, or she would not have had Bheema and without Bheema his 16,000 disciples will have to go away in hunger. That would have served them right, hahaha.

    1. Hi Windy,

      The pandemic is stressing out systems geared for “normal” times. Your management should prepare for the “new” normal, before the staff burn out. But something tells me, the people upstairs don’t know what to do or simply don’t care. You can gauge this by the number of clichΓ©s and ramblings that go on during the so-called townhall meetings on-line.

      Durvasa, like most learned men, do not suffer fools, I reckon. Acquiring knowledge and gaining wisdom are two different things. Also, I suppose these people have their parts to play in the tragedy that will befall the Bharata lands. With regards to the 16,000 – the number 16 is an auspicious number and we come across it in many instances. Also, the authors of the Mahabharata indulge in hyperbole. Perhaps, we ought to look at the gist of the event – that the Pandavas continue to feed all comers with whatever little they have. Think of Jesus and how he fed his people fish.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  10. Hi Eric,

    Yudhishthira as Kanka the Brahmana – I would have thought that Yudhishthira will wash his hands off any dice game, since it was after all the cause of the Pandavas’ current calamities. Looks like the dice now works in his favour. Life is truly unpredictable.

    That was a snazzy escape plan. You’ve covered all angles.

    1. Hi Windy,

      Yes, the previous episode avoided revealing the details of the escape and left a small cliff hanger. This episode revealed it all πŸ™‚

      Yudhishthira was a renowned gambler and dice games were popular among the royals. He leveraged on that and put it to good use. In the original Mahabharata, Sakuni “tricked” Yudhishthira but the epic provided no details on how the former managed to trick the latter. I took the approach that Sakuni secured divine help – in this case from Lord Yamarajah – but in return he paid a heavy price. The world reviles Sakuni to this day.

      All good wishes,
      Eric
      P/s I hope and trust that you’re having a restful weekend.

  11. Hello Eric,

    Arjuna’s Return – the number of celestial weapons acquired and what power each beholds have me completely lost. I even wonder if the owner remembers what weapons he possessed.

    I find the escape plan very exciting and enjoy that part more.

    1. Hi again, Windy,

      Thank you for your ever presence here πŸ™‚

      Contemporary story plots expect the “hero” to be at a disadvantage; and the “villain” is always the more powerful one. In the Mahabharata, the odds are stacked against Duryodhana and the Kauravas. It is a challenge to level the field, so to speak.

      As usual I questioned myself. How did the Pandavas remain incognito during the 13th year? To do that , how did they slip away at the end of their 12th year in exile. Because, one has to slip away unnoticed by spies and only then can they hope to remain hidden. I worked at possible solutions and came up with the escape plan. Glad you found the plan exciting. Thank you for the encouragement.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  12. Hi Eric,

    Urvashi’s Curse – no one likes to be cursed but it’ll be nice if a curse can work in our favour. Keep cursing then, LOL.

    What draws me more is the teaching of how the combination of the male and female attributes will bring out far superior power and equilibrium.

    1. Hi Windy,

      Many great thinkers and philosophers refuse to acknowledge the potency of the feminine divine but I’m a believer. The teachings of ancient India are enlightening.

      Peace,
      Eric

  13. Hello Eric,

    Manage to catch a short respite. Thought I better catch up on my missing stories before the next onslaught of work comes in.

    Indraloka, the Abode of Gods – you always amaze me with your illustration of a location, in this case of the higher realm, how you visualize it should be and what form of beings are present, how things work. It is a complete new set up. The author’s mind knows no bounds.

    1. Hi, Windy,

      I suppose many of us are working from home (WFH) and that throws up many challenges. One thing I notice is some “bosses” who had been coasting along pretending to be “busy” in the office have had the rug pulled out from under them. Sitting at home in front of a laptop – their lack of “contributions” becomes all too transparent. They cover this up by having endless on-line meetings that exacerbates the problems faced by WFH staffers who are doing real work.

      Re: Abode of Gods – In the original Mahabharata, there is very little scene setting. As I’m taking a novelist’s approach, I steer clear of using the same scene settings and that poses solid changes. Glad that you like my scenes; but it gets tougher as I gobble up one idea after another. It’s a challenge and I welcome it.

      Stay Safe, Be Safe,
      Eric

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