R enowned author Vasant Kallola whose book ‘‘It’s okay to fail, my son’ has achieved a status of National Best Seller, is ready to take readers to the postMahabharata era with his latest book Chiranjivi - The Beginning. Set in the backdrop of War of Mahabharata, ‘Chiranjivi’ tells an interesting story of a sage, Ashwatthama who had been living through the curse of Shri Krishna. He was living a miserable life with a permanent wound on his forehead that constantly oozed blood and pus. The only solace was fresh butter, when put in his wounds gave all the relief to him. Butter became more important than food for Ashwatthama. He was being forced to beg butter, every day, for the last 1000 years. Life was a hell for him. Walkers would change their paths if they saw sage coming their way. The pain and the sufferings were unbearable for Ashwatthama.
But, still, he was living with it somehow. One day, the leash on his patience broke when the people of Vrindavan refused to give him butter to fill his wounds and he felt insulted which gave way to his suppressed pain and agony. The rage was so high that he decided to annihilate the earth. Govind, an innocent boy in his late teens came to know of Ashwatthama’s disastrous intentions. But, on confrontation, Govind realised that Ashwatthama was too powerful, so much so that, in a fight, he could not even touch him once. In his fight for saving millions of lives on the earth, Govind loses his beloved father and a dear friend at the hands of Ashwatthama. Despite hard attempts, the solution was not visible to Govind to defeat Ashwatthama on his chosen path. Meanwhile, Ashwatthama determined to annihilate the earth, sought help of Shukracharya, the Asura (Rakshasa) Guru and started the preparation for the destructions. They set up huge furnaces for making the weapons. Surrounding jungles were cut and deserted to keep the furnaces running, day in and day out. The reign of terror was unleashed by the Asuras across the country, which went on a rampage of killing children and women, enslaving the male members, burning crops and cutting the jungles. In short earth’s environment was put at risk.
The book Chiranjivi will give new reading experience to the readers. It highlights the power of a resolve of a common man against the might of a powerful sage. It leads today’s youth towards the belief that, if a man decides to fight the odd, no one can stop him even the death. The character Govind is depicted as humane as he goes through a gamut of emotions in his fight against a powerful sage. He learns and unlearns things as he goes along. In one section of the book, Govind is made to understand the concept of death and how our soul is eternal.
The story idea of the fight of a common man, Govind with a mighty sage, who cannot even be touched by human beings, would leave you with a lot of curiosity about how Govind would overcome such a big limitation. How did Govind manage to find a way to tame and control super powerful and seemingly invincible Ashwatthama? What were the challenges Govind came across in his journey? Could he save himself from the wrath of mighty Ashwatthama? The treatment of the story is very unique with the story weaved into ‘scenes’. With all interesting questions, author Vasant Kallola will entice readers to turn the page for more.