Indian mythology constantly attracts Indian readers. Well! I do not know about the others but it always attracted me. I will always pick up a book based on Indian mythology if you ask me to choose between a book based on Indian mythology and any other book. Nonetheless, at the same time, there are a few characters in Indian mythology that don’t make any kind of energy in my brain. And, Bhima, one of the well-known characters from Mahabharata, is one such character. The explanations behind this are hard to clarify. Actually, I myself don’t have the foggiest idea about the reason. However, I couldn’t stop myself when I received an offer to read and review a book based on Bhima. My reasons for accepting this book for review were clear. I truly wanted to change my perception of Bhima. And, I believed this book will change my point of view on Bhima.
Bhima: The Man in the Shadows by Vikas Singh puts Bhima on the focal stage with all other noteworthy characters from Mahabharata playing around. An awesome measure of data related to the character of Bhima that you won’t know about is exhibited in this book. The book demonstrates Bhima’s acts of valour, his jealousy towards Arjuna, and his unconditional love towards Draupadi. The book also brings into focus the character of Draupadi. She utilised Bhima’s adoration and love towards her as a tool to complete her works. The book also uncovers a few lesser-known characters. We become acquainted with Bhima’s other wives. As a result, the readers get a chance to hear an interesting story which was somehow hidden in original quiet spaces of the Mahabharata. I must say that this book has been successful in bringing out the story of Bhima with some remarkable force. We come to know Bhima as an inquisitive child, a sacrificial sibling, an enthusiastic and caring spouse and a most protective father and uncle. The book even throws light on various faults of this great warrior.
Now, let us turn our attention to some other aspects. Does this book give a chance to pause and lead towards level headed discussion? Or, does this book toss a light on any philosophical point of view because Mahabharata is full of philosophies? To be completely forthright, in those aspects, the book under review does not satisfy you. However, as I already told, this book is not by any stretch of the imagination a point of view book. It is a re-telling where Bhima lies at the core of it. It is a quick reading and worth an excursion down the world of fond memories of your most loved epic.
The language in the book flows smoothly and the construction of the dialogues has also been done well. Pace of the storyline is good. Emotional scenes also evoke emotions in you. However, the author has used sexual scenes at a number of places in the book. While sex sells whether it is in a book or in a movie, its utilization ought to be minimized while recreating mythology-based books.
At last, I would simply say that it is certainly an exciting read. And, yes, this book did change my perception about Bhima.