‘Bhima – The Man in the Shadows’ by Vikas Singh brings out the best in the character of Bhima. Read and reviewed by our iMelonite Geeta Nair, she enjoyed it thoroughly.
No two siblings are the same. Often the smarter one hogs the limelight while the other prefers staying in the shadow. But that does not mean the latter is inferior to the former in anyway. Both have their merits and demerits. Explore them. Who knows, the one in the shadow may be the better of the two. Well, Vikas Singh’s ‘Bhima’ is one such journey into the life a mighty warrior, one of the ‘panch pandavas’ who has always been overshadowed by his brothers Yudhishtira, also known as ‘Dharmaputra’ and Arjun the great archer and favourite of all, the one for whom Draupadi’s heart beats.
In ‘Bhima’ one gets to see the purely human side of the master of the mace. His unrequited love for Draupadi knows no bounds. Time and again Draupadi hurts him with her insensitive words and deeds. Yet, he cannot come around to hating her. So strong and pure is his love for her. In fact, the book brings out the best in Bhima. Yes, he is not devoid of negative emotions like anger and jealousy. Yet every time these emotions tend to overpower him, he succeeds in crushing them. His love for Ghatotkacha his son and Abhimanyu his nephew, bring to fore the softer side in him. On the other hand his hatred for the Kauravas and those who time and again tend to hurt Draupadi, bring forth the steel in him. Another thing that I found remarkable about Vikas Singh’s ‘Bhima’ is that he has a mind of his own unlike Arjun and is ready to challenge Yudhishtira’s unjust/ wrong decisions.
In short, ‘Bhima’ is the story of an unsung hero. It is not only interesting and enjoyable but is insightful and relatable too. The characters are well-developed with all their imperfections. While on the one hand we get to see the womaniser in Arjun, on the other hand we come into contact with the illogical personality of Yudhishtira which is indeed something new. It brings out the weaker side of these heroes hitherto kept hidden in most of the works based on the epic ‘Mahabharatha’.
The language is simple and easy to understand. No hard nuts to crack or pebbles to take away the taste.The narrative is in first person, hence one feels like one is directly conversing with the protagonist. This helps establish a connect with him and his emotions. This book is recommended for everyone as it’s truly an enjoyable read.