Read ययाति by Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar Online

Title : ययाति
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788171615889
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

ययाति Reviews

  • Srividya
    2019-07-20 20:25

    I grew up, like most kids in India, on a steady diet of tales from Ramayana and Mahabharata and their allied tales. I still remember going up to my grandfather once he had finished listening to the news at 9 and asking him to continue with these tales. He must have told them to me innumerable times and yet I never got tired of listening to his soft melodic voice reciting it, so much so that even today when I read a tale from either of these two mythological stories, I remember him and miss him a lot. However, despite him telling me all about these two mythological sagas, I don’t remember the name Yayati. Of course, having read the book now when I am older, it is possible that he would have thought that I was too young for it, especially as I was pretty naïve in those days. I first heard the name of this book some 14 years ago when my father started talking to one of my husband’s uncles about it. He was waxing poetic about this book and I was naturally curious. Apparently, my father had read the Tamil translation of this book, which used to appear like a series in one of the Tamil magazines that he used to subscribe to. He loved it so much that he wanted to read the original Marathi version of the book. Seeing his enthusiasm, my husband’s uncle gifted him with a copy of the book in Marathi about the same time as my marriage. That copy is still at my father’s and I hope that one day I would find time to read the original soon.Recently, when I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, one of the first books to garner my interest was this same book, albeit an English translation this time. I got it immediately and started reading it as well. However, as all of you know, I am someone who gets distracted by newer and shinier books and it was the same with this book. I abandoned it in favour of others, only to have it silently remind me of its presence. This New Year, I promised myself that I would first finish all the pending books before starting something new and so I began this one and I have to say that I was amazed by it.In a nutshell, this is a story of Yayati, the King of Hastinapur, and his insatiable lust for women. However, like most tales in the Maharabharata, this too cannot be isolated and reviewed under a single theme. Yayati’s saga has myriad motifs, several hidden nuggets of philosophy and wonderful caricature of the psychology of men and women of those times, be it as a princess or a maid or a king or an ascetic, which can be easily discerned in this wonderfully translated version. The tapestry created by the words of the author and the translator is spectacular and brings forth the beauty of the tale in its resplendent form.Who was Yayati? Was he a prince, a son, a friend, a husband or a king? What were his motivations for living? What kind of life did he live or rather what kind of lives did people in those times live? All this and more can be sought from this short book. Yayati’s character is as simple as a gentle stream whilst also being as mighty as the ocean itself. Having made a promise to his mother that he won’t become a sage, Yayati turns his life into one of insatiable demands of lust, which is both his redemption as well as his fall. Yayati’s character as brought out by the author shows that a man cannot be or rather should not be identified by a single virtue or vice. Human beings are complicated, they are as different as different personalities exist and yet there is a core that connects them to each other. It could be pride, love, lust, ego, faith or just about anything and this is what Yayati’s story talks about. It talks about the depths to which mankind can fall and yet when humans repent, the heights that they achieve through it, despite having fallen into an abyss. Don’t get me wrong, this repentance is not necessarily religious but more of a spiritual kind, where you accept the rights and wrongs that humans as themselves have committed to both their own person as well as others and when this repentance is strong then according to the tale of Yayati, there is no stopping you from living life in a healthy and happy manner.Friendship is another motif that is strongly present in this narrative. Be it the friendship between Kacha and Yayati or between Madhav and Yayati or even that between Kacha and Sharmishta. Beautiful words are used to show the love one had for the other. These friendships bring to light the basic need of human beings for a shoulder, even if it is one that is not present at that time. Friendship, good ones, guide the person into attempting to lead a better life and this has been beautifully highlighted by the author throughout this tale. Women in this story are depicted mostly as objects of lust, especially when seen through the eyes of Yayati. However, there is an innate strength in them which shines through despite his attempt to classify them otherwise. Whether it is his wife Devyani, or his lover, Sharmishta, or his first crush or even his mother; women play a very important role in creating Yayati’s image, such as it is. These are not women who will simply crawl at the first sign of danger but these are women who will stand straight and face it. What lends more beauty to this book is the caricatures of the different women, whether it is the self centred and capricious Devyani, or the splendidly serene Sharmishta or the nubile Alaka or the servient Mukulika; women have shaped Yayati in different ways with their own charms and vile but they are not to blame for what becomes of Yayati. V. S. Khandekar beautifully sums up this eternal and unappeasable hunger for lust in Yayati in these few words;”The senses are never satisfied by indulgence. As the fire blazes with an offering, so do the senses get incensed the more by indulgence.”I think this quote also serves to teach us that while a little indulgence is good, anything in extreme can and will be harmful. This is the best takeaway that I have from this book and it is a lesson I feel that all of us should learn and practice. Closing this book, I felt as if it were my grandfather who was narrating the tale to me and who took me through this various motifs and learnings in this book. This feeling made the book more precious than it would have otherwise been. While I go and get the Marathi version of this book from my father and read it in the original, why don’t you give this small book that packs a punch in terms of learning? I will definitely say that this is worth all the effort one puts to read it and it will definitely not be time wasted. Happy reading!

  • Gorab Jain
    2019-07-15 19:06

    This has been a book seeking my attention for almost a couple of years due to its title and mythological connection.And how I loved unwrapping this sub-story from Mahaharata - even as a stand alone tale.Lots of food for thought. Especially in Kacha's wise words about controlling youre senses and abstaining from materialistic desires... Which was in contrast to Mandar's hedonist philosophy of indulging in all kinds of pleasures as you have only one life.The underplaying dilemma on Yayati's mind about duty & family vs lust & pleasure was very enjoyable.Other things I liked: Improvisation to create focus on the story by omitting Yayati's other brothers and sons.Shifting first person narratives of Yayati, Sharmishta and Devyani giving deeper insights into these characters.All of Kacha's conversations.Still pondering: Why is it always someone else taking a major decision and putting a person's life at stake? [What Sharmishtha's father does here in this tale... What Yudhishthir did in that infamous gambling episode..... Dashrath to Rama... etc etc ] There are countless examples of this which is quite understandable. But what I don't understand is the lack of a counter-example wherein someone stood up against this!

  • Manasi Shiledar
    2019-06-26 12:09

    This is the sad part about reading "Mrutyunjay"! you just don't seem to like any other Marathi kadambari as much.! :(

  • Girish
    2019-07-20 17:25

    Tales from Mahabharatha are an unending source for philosophers for a reason. They feature faulty humans in an imperfect world which is much closer to real world. So when I picked this book, I had high hopes and maybe an expectation of characters with hues of moral conflicts. It turns out it was much ado about nothing. Yayati was a book I almost shelved at 25% after it pulled me down almost a year ago. I picked it up again after reading a blog of Devdutt Patnaik that talked of Yayati complex. Unfortunately the book was too monochromatic. The author has modified the story a bit but somehow I found the book not compelling. Yayati the king who lusts for sensory pleasures, whose actions are based on anger or indulgence is not a typical hero. Devayani is a character you start disliking due to almost no redeeming qualities - the spoiled daughter of Sukracharya who is spiteful and impulsive is no victim. Sharmishta who just doesn't put up any fight to the events in her life, is more defeatist than a beacon of sacrifice. The only sane character Kachcha whom almost all the 3 characters seem to love is almost the essence of everything good. He too talks in long sentences that are too preachy.As it turns out, I could not feel sorry for any of the characters. And then after all the years of sufferings, they just seem to fall-out of the character and turn a new leaf. Somehow didn't work for me.Came across many rave reviews on GR. Just did not work for me and found it boring.

  • Shweta
    2019-07-05 18:21

    Yayati is a sparkling jewel in Marathi's crown. मराठीतला अत्यंत अमुल्य ठेवा . प्रत्येकाने एकदा तरी वाचावी अशी सुंदर कादंबरी. कचाचे संवाद आणि विचार मन मोहवून टाकतात त्याच वेळी अंतर्मुख सुद्धा करतात. प्रेम म्हणजे नक्की काय हे याचे नितांत सुंदर वर्णन आहे. शर्मिष्ठेचे निष्पाप प्रेम अप्रतिम आहे. मानवाच्या मनातील भौतिक सुखांच्या ओढीचे प्रतिक म्हणजेच ययाती. An excellent pick to satisfy the devouring quench for classics.

  • Nivedita
    2019-06-25 20:27

    Yayati....a different type of loves described so beautifully!!! Yayati's selfish love,Devayani's ego filled love n Sharnishtha's unconditional love.Three different people's lives n views.Most beautifully potraited complicated relations.Every character will carry bad n good qualities,there is space for each character that is what i liked most.

  • Hiran Venugopalan
    2019-06-28 18:18

    ജീവനുള്ള പുസ്തകം. ഒരു പക്ഷെ മലയാളത്തിലെ എറ്റവും മികച്ച തർജ്ജമ. ഇത് മലയാളം പുസ്തകമല്ല എന്ന് വിശ്വസിക്കാൻ പ്രയാസം! It's a magical book. Recommended to everyone who loves to read sensible fictions. Special appreciation to P Madhavan Pillai, who translated to Malayalam. Without any doubt, this is THE finest translation work Malayalam had ever seen.

  • Supritha
    2019-06-26 14:06

    This was my summer-holiday read, & oh gosh, did it take up a lot of time! I'm sure I missed out a lot by reading the English translation instead of the original Marathi version, hence my review is solely based on the book I read. Khandekar informs the average Indian reader about the myth of Yayati, & then embarks upon his re-telling of the same. His chapter divisions are based upon the psychological make-up of each character. One is made to understand the viewpoint of all the pieces on the chessboard; Khandekar ensures that there are no good or bad characters created, but instils upon us the understanding that, as humans we all are slaves to our passions. Any feminist though, would find Yayati's monologues a bit too masochistic in nature. Khandekar appeases the women readers by contrasting Yayati with Kacha. The language is very basic with the raw emotions being addressed as they are. The thoughts and emotions of each character make for quite complex reading, with one having to re-read a chapter several times. Final comment- A-; beautiful prose, but intended for heavy-reading.

  • Sandeep Bhat
    2019-06-24 18:27

    Lust, which is a no-spoken word today giving examples of our culture. mythologies and sculptures are filled with references and this book has taken an open approach to address them. King Yayati, Devayani, Sharmishtha and Kacha have played their roles well with the writer doing justice to the prelude of the great epic. Indians are good in story telling and there should be more bold attempts to view our culture the way it is. An engrossing read.

  • Deepak
    2019-06-27 20:18

    Indian Mythology is full of great stories. Yayati is one such tale-very interesting and thoroughly absorbing. Each character has shades and depth and that's what makes the story very profound. This book has been told by its characters in the first person. This is one of those books that keeps you thinking even after the book gets over.

  • Shivdas Avhad
    2019-06-28 16:20

    अभीमान वाटावा अशिच ....

  • Priti
    2019-06-27 18:16

    I read this book by reading many reviews on net about it. But when I finished it, I found it not upto the mark as that of Mrityunjaya and Panipat.

  • Lakshmi Venkataraman
    2019-07-01 20:12

    A classic tale of Lust - how potent a title. I'm not sure why its called a tale of lust. Perhaps because the 18 years of cup brimming with "happiness". To me its a tale of domestic. It's a tale of shades of love. Its a tale which without cliché royalty aspect would be a tale that is very common now a days! The different voices gives depth to varied emotions. How jealousy and anger can disrupt life; how being selfless gives strength to walk through difficult paths; how one's life depends their hands. But what struck me most was the color of the characters, everyone were either too good or too bad; Yayati was grey, to be fair he was light grey! On the whole a decent read. I hoped for a tidier conclusion and

  • Swati Agrawal
    2019-07-18 20:16

    It is a bit hard to decide how I feel about this book. I like books on Indian mythology, but this does not fall in that genre. Only the characters have been picked from there, and the storyline has been modified.It took me a while to understand the purpose of this book (for me). The author wants to share his views on spirituality, life, happiness, duties, ego, and so many things. And to strengthen his point, he picked a story from mythology that covers and portrays all these aspects beautifully.The storytelling is superb, with characters you can totally relate to. However. can't give it five stars as the story is quite different from the mythological version, especially the intent behind the actions and events.PS: I would have loved reading a Hindi translation of this book.

  • Ashish Jaituni
    2019-07-11 14:11

    A superb book! I loved reading every page of it! A very balanced book with respect to all the characters in the story! The story of Yayati has always intrigued me and this one even though a fiction answers a whole lot of questions I had about it.

  • Ishani
    2019-06-26 14:06

    I would say that it's a fresh read rather than a nice or good read.Fresh because we get a whole new perspective of some real characters from someone else' point of view in a fictional way.Many thanks to Mr. Khandekar for mentioning this upfront.Also, my review might be biased by the fact that I have read the translated English version of the novel which could have been different had I read the actual Marathi version.The views about all the confusions and complicacies of life as described, even though from the mouth of different characters of the story, are in actual the author's words and one would get completely absorbed in this. The literary content of all these & the story structure are absolutely delightful though; I can't duplicate on this. And if I say this even after a 3star rating on an English version, I just can't imagine what would have been the literature of the Marathi version. :)Specially, the way of writing each phases of the story from 3 different person's perspective is the one thing which I liked a lot in this book.I am no one to judge/provide my novice reviews on such a reputed and highly acclaimed writing but the book sometimes gave me the feeling of the characters being highly confused and over entangled in life. I would be happy to be wrong and ignored on this point of mine.I was totally with the book 3/4th way through it but the last quarter of the story kind of throws repeated annoyance with the depiction of the characters and largely on the the-then society. But may be that was the real essence of the imagination of the writer.Getting age old facts from the traditional stories of our great epics is not enough. But it always takes a lot and provides a lot to deviate from this and to make a fresh of a few things from our epics. This is the second of such kind of books that I came across so far.Whatever is there in our epic that's there and still holds good but this sort of perspectives are something which still keeps our great epics alive and ever green.And with those above words, I dedicate all those stars to this.

  • Tanmay Verma
    2019-07-18 20:01

    Though not accustomed to reading Hindi novels, this book caught my interest once I started reading, on my mother's recommendation. This is book is fairly old piece as it was written 7 decades ago(I reckon), and yet, it could be related by every man and his life. The story is a vicarious account of what a young man(King Yayati) feels about life, of his endless desire of pleasure, his unrequited love, his insular might, of how he treads into indulgence and how he wonders if his life has any purpose other than to pacify his libido. The end of the story is rather abrupt and feels like the author was tired by the time he reached the last chapter. But overall this book is a page turner and not boring at all.

  • Anshu Raj Singh
    2019-07-23 13:24

    A tale of love and lust. Great work of fiction. Although the author has departed from the original story of Yayati as given in Mahabharata and Puranas, but he makes it clear at the outset that it is a work of fiction and only the names of characters have been taken from Mahabharata.Through this enchanting book, the author gives his perspective on various philosophical things like love and lust, life and death, good and evil etc. He finally concludes that the best way to live happily and satisfactorily is that to follow the medium way and not to go to the extremes i.e. neither the extreme detachment as preached by the Hindi philosophy nor the epicurean approach as followed in the west.

  • Mohit Dholi
    2019-07-10 11:59

    The book revolves around the King of Hastinapur whose lust drives his life. Suffering from the curse that his father, King Nahusha, got from a sage. Yayati meets Alaka, Mukulika, Devayani & Sharamistha in his life. Always yearning for more physical pleasures he forgets his duties and lets the world suffer.I would recommend it as a read.

  • Vrushali
    2019-07-06 13:15

    Since childhood, the epic Mahabharata, has very much interested me.For its characters, if they say its an imagination, then its indeed unbeatable, match less.Each of them is a story by itself, reflecting vivid human colors. The best part of it is, none of them, I feel, is a philosophy.They are so true and will persist forever."Yayati" is a great tale. A worth read !!!

  • Meetu
    2019-07-03 19:17

    Story - First half of the novel is much better than the second half. I kept hoping that the main character will rise to the call of his duty, but he doesn't. He keeps taking one foolish decision after another.Writing style is really good. Some lines were worth pondering upon!

  • Reshma Etame
    2019-06-24 16:02

    Yayati by V. S. Khandekar is a masterpiece. One of the best Marathi novel i've ever read! Beautifully narrated. It presents unconquerable and greatest power of love wins the battle of life. Realised significance of Dnyanpeeth after reading this book.

  • Neeraj
    2019-07-10 15:18

    I read the original in Marathi and this is a mind blowing book with extra superb use of the language.

    2019-07-17 19:26

    Ranked to top of my list... now got meaning of Jnyanpith... n will read it again n again....

  • Anuradha Goyal
    2019-07-06 17:00

    Detailed Review here

  • Vijay Akhade
    2019-07-19 17:18

    Worth 7 *******

  • Jitendra
    2019-06-24 12:14

    One of the classic Marathi novel. Yayati is the first Marathi novel to win 'Dyanpith Purskar', India's highest literary award.

  • Anish Kumar
    2019-07-04 14:08

    This is such an amazing book that you will finish it in one reading. The lesson which this leaves you with is very motivating & inspiring. This is a MUST read for the young age.

  • Phani
    2019-07-08 12:58

    Momentary pleasure cannot bring us true happiness. Get it? No? Well, let me repeatedly beat it over your head with 250 pages of bad writing, flat characters and cliched philosophy.

  • Manisha
    2019-07-08 17:10

    Too philosophical.