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Book Review – Krishna Series: The Beginning by Kapil Dabur

Before we move ahead with the review, let’s understand Kapil Dabur’s new novel’s title. ‘The Beginning’ is the first book in Krishna Series. There have been many retellings from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The market has seen the upward trend from Amish Tripathi to Kavita Kane to now Kapil Dabur.

This novel is exquisitely built…from narration to pace to placing of characters. You will love the gradual divulgence of characters and their idiosyncrasies. Majorly, this novel covers the events and time period before the birth of Krishna in Mahajanpad. More or less, the story stages the backdrop for Krishna and Kansa.

The underlying fact is that in Mahajanpad, states are divided on the creed of Bhairavs vs. Vaishnavs. The former clan is cunning and outwardly devoted to Lord Rudra, who orients the karmic law of the world. However, Vaishnavs are true devote of Vishnu i.e. lord Rama. Both have clashing ideologies. However, to get benefit from trade and commerce, they have worked on a truce as not to indulge in any sort of war. But the inside information is that both strive hard to place their superiority over each other. In this case, if the new avatar of Krishna is born and takes side of anyone, it means they will be a clear winner in Mahajanpad. It summarizes the crux of the novel, as why all are keen to know who has broken the karmic law of Rudra.

This Krishna child is most sought after by many, especially by Bhairavs and their king Kansa. Though Krishna is an influence in the novel and there is hardly any attention-grabbing performance by him, the novel is dedicated to making of Kansa.

Yes, you heard it right. You might not have heard about Kansa’s good deeds before this novel. He was a kind-hearted man but his uncle Jarasandh’s greed and Vishvamitra’s enmity to Vashisth turns him into a monstrous villain. He turned quite a rogue king after death of his love Rati, and sister Putna. May be the next book in the series could highlight who was behind their killing. It would be fun if Kansa comes to know about his own people plotting against him?

Another aspect of the novel that might arrest your attention is inciting Kansa against Gokul community, where Krishna will be groomed up. In fact, this community plays the central role between Bhairavs and Vaishnavs. The former looks to decimate it while the latter wants to save it from injustice. Kingdoms are flawed, conspiracies are in the air, the next avatar of Vishnu will shake the fake lineage of Mahajanpad, Gokul community will gets its justice…for sure Krishna is right there at your door step!

The novel is more than what it looks. It’s a terrific tornado if you bundle up all of its conflicting aspects into one. Kapil leveraged simple language and lucid narration so that it neither looks a redundant retelling nor a heavy mythological fiction. He blends it with what people are looking nowadays. Undoubtedly, it puts a fresh cap on the mythological retelling genre. Easy to read and remember, this novel should be watched out for more updates. Highly recommended!

Buy your copy from Amazon/Kindle.


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