Remembering Mahabharat- by BR Chopra

The TV series made a great impression on me when I first saw it. Its beauty (to me) lies in the fact that it shows a realistic world fuelled by desire for power, crooked uncles (Shakuni is a great character, played effortlessly by Gufi Paintal), casteism, idealism (Bhishma) gone wrong, the good, the bad and the in-between, indecisiveness, a mother's power over sons (in asking them to share a wife), and so much more.

I particularly liked the way Krishna was portrayed by Nitish Bharadwaj- I still remember the smiling visage, as a friend of the Pandavas, and his exasperation at some of their oaths. He asks them to think before they utter some of the more consequential ones, at one point.

Mahendra Kapoor's soulful song which rounded off each episode also was memorable. Draupadi played by Roopa Ganguly was also a powerful character. Mukesh Khanna had a role of a lifetime, and so did many of the Pandavas, and Duryodhana and Karna. Later, I read Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, which tells the story from Draupadi's point of view. That was great too.


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