We all know the story. Two clans, or rather two branches of the same clan, fight an epic war amongst each other for dominion over an empire established by their ancestors, after decades of underlying rivalries. Pretty much the crux of all gangster movies, isn’t it?
But what we love about the Mahabharata is the fact that within the rich layers of this complex saga of war, family, politics and betrayal, there are hundreds (that we know of) of complex characters who deserve to have biopics of their own. Some of them even do, like Maharathi Karna.
In terms of the number of fucked up characters, we feel that Mahabharata is actually the baap of both Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings.
Today, we reanalyze some of the most interesting characters of the Mahabharata…who knows, you may even shift your perspective on these characters.
Sahadev is known in the annals of history as the skilled swordfighter, who was considered the most intelligent and wise amongst warriors. The epic even states that Sahadev was actually an astrologer, and even knew that the war would be fought in the future.
We know, you’re probably like… ”if he knew about it, why didn’t he just stop the war?” right? Well, we may never know…
Apart from that, Sahadev was a pretty honorable dude too. Due to his knowledge of the stars and future, Shakuni advised Duryodhan to ask Sahadev to find an auspicious time to begin the war. Despite being on the enemy side, Sahadev gave them an auspicious moment when the war should be fought.
It saddens us to think that for the present generation, Sahadev is like Arvind Kejriwal….everyone knows who he is, what he is famous for, everyone knows how important he is, but no one is interested in learning about his life.
But we think, the age of information, the intelligent Sahadev would probably have been Narendra Modi. Throw in his swordfighting skills, and he’d be no less than Wolf of Wall Street.
Talk about badass females from mythology, like queen Cersei or Daenerys Targaryen. You’d think that there were far too less in Indian context. Well, think again, cause in ancient India there was one woman who apart from being a fierce warrior, was actually chosen from childhood to become queen. Sounds impossible for even Kalyug right?
Most people know Chitrangada as the beautiful warrior wife of Arjuna. But actually, she had a pretty impressive backstory of her own.
Chitrangada was the warrior princess of Manipur, and she was being groomed right from her childhood to become the queen of Manipur. Yes, you heard it right, a woman, was being groomed to become the queen.
The legend goes that Chitrangada was a fierce warrior and was in line to become the queen. In the forest, she meets Arjuna, who was in exile with his wife, brothers and mother. She takes one look at him and immediately falls in love. But since she was a warrior, she had lost touch with her femininity and had the demeanour of a man, which means that the handsome Arjuna was reluctant in marrying her. On learning this, she started embracing her femininity, she became more lady-like and finally, Arjuna started liking her. Typical man, right?
As feminists we don’t hate her, because unlike popular Bollywood stereotypes, she did not abandon her warrior persona completely. Even though she started dressing like a woman and embraced her womanhood, she still became the queen and kept fighting in battlefields. Pretty neat, huh?
Honestly, we’ve always found the character of Draupadi very dicey. It is clear that Draupadi’s humiliation was the last straw in the war being a certainty. But Draupadi herself seems to be a very calculating character. Not only was she partial towards Arjuna, but also apparently had a crush on Karna. The same Karna whom she herself had refused to marry at her Swayamwara. When the army general of King Virata, Kichaka, had tried to molest her, she exacted revenge on him with a diabolical plan of luring him into the dance hall, under the pretense of falling for him, and then murdering him.
Not saying that we oppose her thought process. She was a gangsta’ woman, all right. But we’re not sure whether she really remained a sane person after everything that happened to her. Her story and her character arc give a very NH10 vibe.
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