Leadstart Publishing 2014
But what make the book really worth your while are the character sketches. Arjuna's heroism and the ability to tackle each adversity head on; Krishna's brilliance and guile during the war, as well as some of his less realised and perhaps questionable tactics such as retreating from battle - that earned him the epithet ranchchod (one who left the battle) - and the bending of the rules of dharma during the epic war itself; Draupadi's suffering and subsequent emergence as a strong character, and Yudhishthira's progression in the spiritual path and moral sphere. It is this last achievement by Yudhishthira, which earns him Basu's admiration, who declares that he is the true hero of the epic; not only is he only one to ascend to heaven in his bodily form, but also the only one to learn from each calamity, each error, and progress to a higher plane of spiritual existence.
One tends to agree with Basu's conclusion, although the epic remains elusive in terms of any single understanding of its narrative, characterisation, or message. This is an apt, but different tribute to the timeless, peerless, most complicated and beloved epic of ours. As a result, this is highly recommended reading.