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Ajaya by Anand Neelakantan

By Anand Neelakantan

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Example text

He would have a word with the Regent of the Kurus about such blatant violations of the caste rules. ‘No wonder the rain gods are angry and have refused to shower their blessing on this land for the last two years,’ he thought. As the group vanished behind the safety of the fort gates, the little boy perched on the broad shoulders of Guru Kripa, turned back to look at Suyodhana and his siblings, who were counting their haul of mangoes. He smiled at them and Suyodhana grinned back. Neither had any inkling of what life had in store for them.

Pandu dies attempting sexual union with Madri, who then commits sati, leaving Kunti to care for all five boys. Kunti: First wife of Pandu and collective mother to the Pandavas, she also has an illegitimate son. Ambitious, ruthless, and self-righteous, she is determined to ensure Yudhishtra succeeds to the throne of Hastinapura. The Pandavas (five sons of Pandu): Yudhishtra (Dharmaputra): the eldest, was born to Kunti and fathered by Dharma or Yama, the God of Death. His claim to the throne of Hastinapura rests on the fact that he is considered Pandu’s son, has divine lineage, and is older than Crown Prince Suyodhana by a day.

Son of Satyavathi (a fisherwoman) and Parashara, he is the Grand Regent’s step-brother. He is also the biological father of Pandu, Dhritarashtra and Vidhura, and thus the grandfather of all the main protagonists of the Mahabharata. And finally, the most unimportant characters in the book: Jara and his blind dog Dharma: A deformed beggar, Jara lives on the dusty streets of India, accompanied by his blind dog, Dharma. Illiterate, ignorant, frail, and dirt poor, he is one of the many who believe in the divinity of Krishna.

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