Karna's Wife: The Outcast's Queen Paperback – 11 August 2013
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Conversation with Kavita Kane
It was that man again. That man, with his thick mane, brooding eyes and twinkling earrings, walked towards her, his gold armour glittering so fiercely under the blazing sun that it was blinding. His intense radiance threw tormented shadows, the wind suddenly whirling away the figure made spectral by the shadows, and snuffing it abruptly while she stood there, her arms extended, against the vast emptiness of sand…
She woke up with a start, shivering slightly, her eyes wide, her breathing turning to quick gasps. She had seen the same dream. Again. Over and over again. And each time the persistently vivid dream spawned a haunted restlessness, pushing her into uneasy wakefulness.
The night was quiet, the marbled bedroom quieter still, but Uruvi could almost hear the raging turmoil within her. She looked down at her arms—stretched and trembling, as if trying to grasp the intangible. As intangible as the elusive man in her dreams.
‘Karna,’ she uttered the name softly, and whispered it several times over, convinced that this was the man she had loved since the day she had first seen him.
She recollected her first sight of him—striding into the arena of the archery tournament in Hastinapur. The contest had been arranged by the royal patriarch, Bhishma Pitamaha of Hastinapur, to highlight the archery skills of his great-grandnephews, the hundred Kauravas and the five Pandavas.
Against the flaming halo of the dipping sun, the young man had immediately attracted the attention of everyone present. The bustling arena went abruptly still and hundreds of eyes fell on the youth. He looked serenely divine, swathed in an almost ethereal glow, his back straight, his head held high, his strangely golden armour gleaming as radiantly as his handsome face, while his earrings sparkled in the rays of the setting sun.
He was tall—taller than Arjuna, the Pandava prince, but did not loom large like Bhima, the second Pandava and the strongest man in the kingdom. Lithe but muscular with broad shoulders and a trim waist, the young stranger with his thick golden brown hair appeared almost God-like to Uruvi. Saluting Guru Dronacharya, the royal teacher of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, and Kripacharya, the royal priest, he walked straight up to a plainly astonished Arjuna to announce grandly, ‘I, Karna, shall perform every feat with the bow and arrow that have just been shown now, but with greater skill.’ He then proceeded to do so with contemptuous ease.
As the Princess of Pukeya, Uruvi had a vantage view from the gold-leafed royal enclave perched majestically above the swarming crowd. Sitting amongst the regal entourage of the blind King Dhritrashtra and Queen Gandhari,
Uruvi knew she had fallen in love with the stranger then and there—utterly and irrevocably. Mesmerized, she continued to stare at the handsome young man who was flaunting his phenomenal skills with more flamboyance than Arjuna. Uruvi was sitting next to Queen Kunti, the imperial widow of King Pandu of Hastinapur and the mother of the Pandavas.
As her mother’s childhood friend, Kunti was Uruvi’s self-appointed foster mother.
‘Who’s he?’ Uruvi excitedly turned to the Pandava queen, who looked unexpectedly ashen and seemed to stiffen at her question. ‘Ma, are you not feeling well?’
There was no reply and Uruvi saw to her growing horror that Kunti had crumpled into a quiet faint. Thoroughly alarmed, and the stranger forgotten for the moment, Uruvi knelt over the prostrate figure, calling anxiously for help just as Vidura, the youngest brother and chief counsellor of King Dhritrashtra, took charge of the situation. Soon Uruvi was relieved to see her foster mother swiftly regaining consciousness. ‘It must have been the heat,’ murmured Kunti through parched lips, gathering her silken folds and her dignity quickly.
Reassured, Princess Uruvi peered down the gallery to watch what was happening below. The show was supposed to be a display of skills by the two groups of cousins—the Kauravas and the Pandavas. But this stranger, who called himself Karna, seemed to have stolen the glory from the Kuru princes, particularly Arjuna.
Uruvi watched Karna bow carelessly to the royal audience each time he strung his bow and effortlessly repeated the feats of Arjuna.
Prince Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kaurava brothers, looked visibly delighted, his swarthy face wreathed in a huge smile. For a man who rarely smiled, he looked unusually euphoric. He rushed to the young archer and embraced him like a long-lost brother,
‘Whoever you are, fortune has sent you to me. My brothers and I are at your command,’ he announced. Events seemed to be happening too fast and decidedly not in his favour, realized an irate Arjuna. A promising and versatile warrior, he was the best Kuru archer. He blazed with an impetuous temper. ‘Whoever you are, you are an intruder! You have entered uninvited and yet you dare compete with us! You shall sorely regret your arrogance the moment you taste defeat. I shall trounce you in a challenge.’
Karna gave a mirthless smile and replied evenly, ‘What is the use of a competition if one cannot be compared with others? Talk is the weapon of the weak; release your arrows instead of hollow words.’
‘This young man is a great warrior!’ declared Bhishma Pitamaha in his deep baritone. ‘He has surpassed each of Arjuna’s feats.’ Arjuna looked almost apoplectic. Glancing at his mottled face, Princess Uruvi could not suppress a giggle. ‘Spoilsport!’ she dimpled. ‘Can’t face competition, can he?’ The mood of the tournament had radically changed; the air seemed to thicken rapidly with palpable tension. Having surpassed Arjuna’s feats, the stranger, encouraged by Bhishma’s pronouncement, was now challenging Arjuna to a duel. Arjuna bristled angrily. He hurriedly bowed to his teachers, hugged his brothers and with his face flushed, stood ready for combat as Karna faced him. Pick up the book to know what happens next….
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- Publisher : Rupa Publications India; 1st edition (11 August 2013)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 318 pages
- ISBN-10 : 8129120852
- ISBN-13 : 978-8129120854
- Item Weight : 313 g
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 2.03 x 19.69 cm
- Country of Origin : India
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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While there is no official record of it, many legends hold that despite Karna's second marriage, Vrushali & Karna were in fact soulmates & loved each other deeply as spouses unlike the message conveyed here. Neither did she commit suicide, she decided to end her life as Karna's sati. A detail omit in this book.
Author : @Kavitakane
Karna’s wife is the first book for my #madeinindiareadathon, covering prompts 3rd, 8th & 11th.
And I would like to encourage more people to join this #readathon and let’s read together.
I must tell you, this book was on my #TBR from long back, and ever since I’ve read #MenakasChoice, I had decided, I’ll read each book from this author, because they are simply amazing. She focuses on the women characters from the stories of Mahabharata, and other epics, which I’ve never heard of.
Her books focus on the women’s life, their struggles and portrays whole story through their view.
When we watched Mahabharata, we have never seen the roles Uruvi, Karna’s Wife played. This is the most fascinating thing about Kavita Kane’s books. When i read this book, I felt each and every feeling and emotions Uruvi must have went through.
When I first read Menaka’s Choice, I fell in love with Menaka and now it’s Uruvi. I’m even looking forward to read all of her books, yes, and that day will come soon.
The story begins with Uruvi, daughter of King Pukeya, had a dream about Karna since the first time she saw him at the archery tournament in Hastinapur. And from that day she fell in love with him.
One day, Uruvi’s mother, Queen Shubra decides to have a Swayamvara for her daughter. But Uruvi wanted to marry Karna. Being a kshatriya girl, she can’t marry a sutaputra, yet she desires to be his wife.
Uruvi is shown as a strong women who stands for herself in every circumstances. The father-daughter relationship is described so well, I related it to my relations with my dad.
Reading Kavita kane’s books, I feel very connected to the characters and get more involved in the book.
The end was really unexpected and emotional.
I recommend to all mythology readers.
I will give it 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5
I would love to know your thoughts on this book. Have you read it?
Those who like historical fiction, better give this book a miss. It only adds writers confused understanding about Mahabharata.