Corpokshetra: Mahabharata in the MBA Yug by Deepak Kaul is a commendable attempt to tell the story of Mahabharata in the modern setting of corporate world. In a book of 120 pages, the author has tried his best to capture the world of Mahabharata. Though the story of Mahabharata has been re-created so many times, I think this is the first time someone has attempted to write this epic from corporate point of view. The wars here are fought in the conference rooms. The battles here also include filing suits and involve lawyers. The well-known warriors of the great epic hold bats and golf sticks in their hand rather than swords, spears and bows. Almost all the prominent characters of Mahabharata feature in this book. And, this colourful cast of modern day Mahabharata characters surely brings smile on your face.
Let me give you some more idea of this Corpokshetra. In the book under review, Hastinapur, Indraprastha and Anga are corporate bodies. Yudhisthira loves playing poker. Duryodhana invites Yudhisthira to play a game of poker through ‘Whatsapp’. Arjuna and Karna are some of the celebrated players of Golf. Bhima and Duryodhana play cricket and thrash the bowlers all around the park. Dronacharya and Parshurama are well-known instructors of cricket and golf. Kunti drinks gin and tonic. Krishna is a consultant who charges a hefty amount of sum for his consulting services. The battle is fought not on the field of Kurukshetra but on the grounds of cricket and golf. Karna is denied an opportunity to participate in Draupadi’s swayamvara as he is not a member of the club.
The book is a fast read and does not require a great investment of time. The comic situations keep the readers engaged throughout the book. Most of the scenes are cleverly executed. The writing style is not only fresh and lucid, but also flows smoothly. The characters have been sketched well and readers will be able to relate with these characters easily. The book cover also justifies the contents of the book.
However, while the book was mostly entertaining, it somewhat becomes boring in later parts. Since I hardly know anything about the game of golf, I found it difficult to enjoy some of the scenes in the book. While the author fairly re-creates some of important events of Mahabharata, some of the things like ‘why Draupadi was being married to five men in the modern world?’ was not captured at all. I also find it hard to understand the reasons behind throwing Sanskrit salutations like Pitsshree, Gurudev, and Bhrata, etc. in the story-line. The use of these Sanskrit salutations does not fit well in the plot as the backdrop of the story-line is modern corporate setting. These salutations act as distractions and their use could have been avoided.
In the end, let me say that if you are interested in Mahabharata and know even bits and pieces of the game of golf and corporate world, you should get your hands on this one.