“Karna’s wife” by Kavita Kané is the story of Karna through the eyes of his wife, Princess Uruvi. Uruvi is a creation of the author and there is no such character in the Mahabharatha. I do wish Vyasa would include her in the original, though.
One of the few books that brought a lump in my throat, when Karna marched off to meet his glorious end in the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
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- Though this is a story of Uruvi, Karna’s wife, I thought the main character was Karna, through the eyes of Uruvi. Uruvi comes across as an independent voice in the story.
- Karna – evokes in my mind the word Sthitapragnya, who, according to Krishna, was the ultimate human being that the Gita was purported to create. His evolution from a person who is angry with Draupadi for the insult during her Swayamvara to a person who says “I know I will be killed tomorrow, but I am willing to meet my fate” and goes smiling to the battlefield and fights hard even though he knows that he is doomed is to me what a Sthitapragnya is all about.
- Karna comes across as a person with many shades of grey, nevertheless a true human – his childhood, his angst about being a Sutaputra (charioteer’s son), his passion for archery, his loyalty towards Dhuryodhana – a true human.
- Karna does not give any excuse to his wife, when she chides him for his participation in disrobing Draupadi. He says clearly “I have no excuses. I should not have done it. I did and (now) I cannot undo it.”
- Draupadi forgives him more readily than she does her husbands for this act. She equates it with the public humiliation that she had put Karna through during her Swayamvar.
- Even Dhuryodhana got my sympathy when Karna tells Uruvi, how he was neglected by his parents as a child – a father could not see him and mother would not see him though she had a choice.
Thank you Kavita Kané for this beautiful book.