Thursday, 15 October 2015

Book Review: Karna’s Alter Ego by Surendra Nath


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Book Name: Karna’s Alter Ego

Author’s Name: Surendra Nath

Publisher: Dream House Publications

Price: Rs. 175


Karna, the ill-fated hero of Mahabharata. Many feel he deserved to win. If only luck had favoured him…

5000 years later, we have a man named Vasu, who is much like Karna- born illegitimate, very talented but denied all credits in life, rejected in love, misses a medal in the Asian games, gets caught for telling an innocent lie, overlooked for promotion. He begins to identify himself with Karna, and interestingly Karna appears to him after every debacle to assuage and encourage him.

It seems Vasu is Karma’s alter ego.

My take:

When anybody tells me their life story, about their struggles, their achievements on their own, it makes me feel special and priviledged. A similar kind of experience I had with Karna’s Alter Ego. I felt as if somebody is narrating to me Vasu’s story, somebody is conversing with me about his life.

Vasu, a young 12 year old, is born in to a poor family. He calls himself ill-fated as nothing seems to work in his favour. On one such fateful night, he learns from his mother that he was born out of wedlock and that she conceived him when she was sexually assaulted at her work place. He takes time to digest the reality. Over time, he begins to compare himself to Karna as Karna too had a fateful life like Vasu! He prays to Karna and his Lord appears before him.

Vasu’s struggle does not end with his schooling. Bad luck haunts him throughout his college and work until the age of 46. Many incidents occur when Vasu finds himself a step behind the success and fate ruins it for him. He always has moral support from his guru, Karna who gives him lessons in order to cope up with his problems and failures.

What incident occurs when Vasu turns 46 which completely re-define his luck? Does Vasu emerge successful?

I usually do not mention any quotations from the book in my review. But these are the ones I couldn’t help sharing.

  • What you believe you rightfully deserve may not ne meant for you at all.
  • A lie is a falsehood intentionally done, but an untruth is not a lie; it is merely uttered by someone who is, of the truth, unaware. Every lie is an untruth, but not every untruth a lie.
  • What is given away out of your surplus is merely charity, but what we give away through personal deprivation is above charity, it is sacrifice.
  • Grow up! Let not little setbacks hold you down.

The narration style is good. The author has said in the preface that every chapter is a story in itself and it is true! Every chapter is a short story and gives you a message / lesson for life. The flow of the chapters is quite good. The ‘Brief Narrative of Related Incidents’ serve as cherry on the cake. Any person having zero knowledge about Mahabharata will be able to absorb this story.

I must mention that this novel has changed my outlook on failures and life!

I rate:
Cover: 3/5
Story: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5

My overall rating for Karna’s Alter Ego is 4/5 stars.

Karna's Alter Ego can be bought here!


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