The genre popularly known as mythological fiction in India is adorned with magical stories on the various characters of Ramayana, Mahābhārata written by the likes of Amish Tripathi, Saiswaroopa Iyer, Ashwin Sanghi and Kavita Kane amongst others.
They have all brought to life the mystical stories of Lord Ram, Sita, Arjun, Shri Krishna, Karan, Draupadi and many more for their readers. Often allowing them to get lost in the transcendental world of stories from our itihās. With each reader deciphering the characters, narration and description to suit their fancy.
Amidst this Ami Ganatra, a new author on the block has come up with her much-awaited soon-to-be-released book ‘Mahābhārata Unravelled.’
About Mahābhārata Unravelled:
With very few amendments made to the characters and stories from the epics of Ramayana and Mahābhārata, books in the mythological fiction genre still carry a bit of fiction to engage the audience better. While the setting, the narration, the dialogue tend to the fantasies of the readers, they are often left with curiosity to know more. To seek the truth.
This is where Ami Ganatra’s Mahābhārata Unravelled comes in where she represents the itihās- which means ‘it thus happened’ stories from the epic. With no additional mysticism, Ami narrates the happenings ‘as it is’, as shared by her during an online interview.
Epics that we heard as bedtime stories, started to feel so passionate about and characters which we began to consider as our own, however, as readers we still have a million questions unanswered.
And to answer questions such as: “What is Dharma? Did Drona actually refuse to take on Karna as his disciple? What were Draupadi’s responsibilities as the queen of Indraprastha? Did she ever mock Duryodhana? Were the women in the time of the Mahābhārata meek and submissive? What were the names of the war formations during the time? What role did the sons of the Pandavas play? Does the south of India feature at all in the Mahābhārata? Days post-war is Hastinapur,” Ami Ganatra has penned down incidents as is to quench our thirst to know our itihās better.
Ami Ganatra debunks myths, quashes popular notions and offers insights into such aspects not commonly known or erroneously known, based solely on facts as narrated in Vyasa’s Mahabharata from generally accepted authentic sources.
Mahābhārata Unravelled is a collection of incidents from the epic translated from the original text with no fancy fiction.
What nudged Ami Ganatra into writing this book?
Ami’s journey to becoming an author was quite an unplanned one, as revealed by the author herself. Her injury got her to practice yoga, her curiosity to understand yoga better got her to read scriptures, her desire to understand the scriptures better got her to learning Sanskrit and that’s how her journey began.
Ami by 2019 was not just well-read and well-versed with the epics but had discovered her penchant for writing that nudged her to author a book.
She said that when she read various books on Maharabharata, and she found many inconsitencies in them. She says there are many books that claim to tell the story of Mahabharata from the point of view of various characters, like Karna, Draupadi etc, and they end up giving contrasting narrations. To know the truth, she started reading the original Mahabharata in the original Sanskrit published by the Gita Press. After reading that, she found that the different books are just the imagination of authors, but as they are very well written, people think they are from the original Mahabharata. Therefore, she has come up with this book with original stories, with no alternation made to them.
About Ami Ganatra
Ami Ganatra is an alumna of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), Mumbai. She has over fourteen years of experience in business strategy and consulting, living across four continents and working across a multitude of sectors.
In her personal life, she is a devout yoga practitioner and a certified yoga instructor. She is also a student of Sanskrit and Indian knowledge systems. Driven by a deep desire to encourage people to delve into the original shastras, Ami runs weekend reading sessions wherein the participants read and discuss texts on itihās and ādhyātma.
An avid traveller, she loves to explore places and cultures and chronicles her travel experiences and musings related to Indic wisdom on ‘dharmorakshtirakshitah’ her personal blog.
So as Ami suggests, “pick this book up, sit back and unveil the lesser-known facts and truths about the great epic.”