Title: Bhima, The Man in the Shadows Author: Vikas Singh Genre: Mythology Publisher: Westland
When you are little, it is but natural that your grandparents will tell you the stories of Mahabharata. Like the others, I also was made to know about these stories and to be honest, I got totally hooked with them. I always loved the manipulation of Krishna, the sweetness of Subhadra, mighty warrior Arjuna and the great Karna. But, in these characters, another mighty hero who got sidelined was the second son of King Pandu, Bhima. This book is about Bhima who was indeed the man in the shadows.
“There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Confidence is good, arrogance can prove fatal.“
Bhima, The Man in the Shadows, is only focused on the second son of King Pandu, Bhima. He being the sole narrator has talked about how he was born till how he died. This book talks about his jealousy and love for Arjuna, his wit and humor, the caring nature and most importantly, his undying love for Draupadi. This book talks about Hidimba and his other wives, which are interesting characters as well. The most important part I think, is the way it describes Draupadi’s attitude towards Bhima. Since she knew that he was the only one who ‘loved’ her, she took him for granted. Like, when Arjuna got Subhadra to Indraprastha, Draupadi was enraged and the only person who could calm her down was Bhima by advising her.
“We can’t force someone else to feel particular way about us… You can choose to be resentful…Or be grateful that the person is a part of your life”
Bhima to Draupadi
The book has been written very smoothly and the language is very simple making it easier to understand. The storyline, I’ll say has been chosen very wisely giving it a different theme. A smooth book which one can read is that person is interested about Mahabharata.
I like the way the author has incorporated life lessons with the help of Bhima meeting his step-brother, Hanuman. This book revolves a lot around Bhima’s jealousy towards Arjuna and his love for Draupadi. If a person who hasn’t read about Bhima previously and reads this book, they might have a different idea about him. It in a way portrays him as a low-esteem, jealous, daddy-issue kinda character whereas he wasn’t beside the jealous part. He has always been a mighty warrior and his stories are well known. I liked the book, the emotional situations does rise up your emotions, a connection is surely created with his character. This book tells us how Bhima was an inquisitive child, a sacrificial sibling, an enthusiastic and caring spouse and a most protective father and uncle. I enjoyed reading this book, give it a shot!