Book review: Re-imagining dharma

  • Henna Rakheja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 13, 2016 20:38 IST
Tunnel of Varanavat is written by Gautam Chikermane.

The epic Mahabharata has been a source of inspiration for many stories. Gautam Chikermane’s book too takes its cue from one of the incidents of the Mahabharata – where the Pandavas are trapped in a palace of wax in the city of Varanavat.

To cut the long story short, in this case too the Kauravas, especially Duryodhana, try their best to ensure the Pandavas don’t return to Hastinapur to claim the throne. But who narrates this tale is neither someone from Kauravas nor from Pandavas or Krishna (as in the usual cases). The narrator is Badri – the man who devises the plan to revive and reconstruct the tunnels, to save the life of five Pandavas and Kunti.

At times author delves into such convoluted details that one thinks that he is just writing it for himself. Yet, the effort to not to read any further is marred by the intriguing instance left at the end of every chapter.

Read: Cursed Child won’t be JK Rowling’s only new Harry Potter book this year

The glossary is surprisingly at the end of the book and it is only after figuring out two plus two is four, during the entire book, that one feels elated to find the meaning of repeated used words at the end.

Whenever a twig cracks, it sends a signal to the reader’s mind about something impending, and not necessarily good! To build the required anxiety in the climax, the sentences are shortened, but the technique fails to fasten the pace of the narrative to the required measure.

The metaphor of tunnel, however, continues. Almost every character from Kunti to Badri get acquainted with the tunnels within them, during the course of the book.

Title: Tunnel of Varanavat

Author: Gautam Chikermane

Publisher: Rupa Publications India

Price: Rs 395

also read

Pick, hoard, read: Books for Rs. 25 at Harper Collins Faridabad sale
Show comments