Jeyamohan’s Yayati and Fellow Indians’ Shah Jahan

While we are debating about Taj Mahal and Shah Jahan like never before, I came across an interesting novel Maamalar by Jeyamohan. This fiction work, based on Indian epic Mahabharata, portrays the character of coward Chandravamsa King, Yayati.

We all know about Yayati’s story in our childhood days. He is son of King Nahusha and an angel Asoka sundari.

About Yayati’s Lust

Although he was a kshatriya, he has been personified as a coward and lusty person in Indian puranic stories. Though he was married already, he accepts to marry Asura princes Sharmistha. Later, He marries Devyani, daughter of Shukracharya, the guru of Asuras. Devyani brings Sharmistha as her maid, with whom Yayati fall in ‘love’ and got Druhyu, Anu and Puru as sons.

When Devyani realized that he deceived her, she went back to her father’s ashram. This is an mind-blowing episode in Maamalar. As per this feminism fiction of Jeyamohan –  Yayati accepts his fault by saying, he went behind his lust of his uncontrolled senses. Neither he deny as if he is an ideal man, Nor he justify as a kshatriya king. He became totally submissive and accepts being cursed by Shukracharya.

Though he was cursed to be a old man, he gave his curse to his son Puru and gets his adolescence to enjoy more women. His love or lust or whatever it is, is fulfilled with Asrubintumati, another lady, before he took back his curse and died.

Shah Jahan’s love!

Shah Jahan is a great lover – thats what I’ve been taught in Indian schools and stories. His love on his wife Mumtaz is not something we can explain easily. We need to write as beautiful as Taj Mahal, don’t we?

Only when he has enormous love on his wife, he can build such a beautiful monument for his dead wife. Though he was jailed by his son later, he spent his last days by looking at the monument until his soul departed.

shah jahan mumtaz (c)

But you may know this earlier, as many hinduva guys used to say this. But it was written by some Dr Irfan Zafar in his article It was never Love.

Leave our bed time stories and badly written Indian history text books apart, It is interesting to know that Mumtaz was Shah Jahan’s 4th wife out of his 7 wives. So he was married before he marry Mumtaz, He married even after Mumtaz.

Mumtaz was not Shah Jahan’s bride. He was wife of someone else. Jahan killed him to marry her!

In other words, he was dating Mumtaz for a long time and finally murdered the poor husband to satisfy his hunger (Lust). Ever heard the word morality? Making babies, as we all know, is our favorite sport.

Mumtaz live through the pain for fifteen years, until she died in her 14th delivery. Interestingly Dr Irfan makes a wit by saying, Shah Jahan married Mumtaz’s sister, as a final ending of his wife with Mumtaz!

Love 💕

It is not scarce to hear love stories in our youthful India. We have pairs from Ambikapathi-Amarapathi to Elavarasan-Divya. The number of unaccomplished romantic missions are increasing everyday. Right or wrong – is a different question, but we see people, even commit suicide for their love.

While all these political discussions make a debate cloud all over, I recall about one of our Tamil women of Muthollayiram, who says the following about his lover.

My dear elders, with a garland of blooms in hand!
You are saying, ‘It’s morning already. Open your eyes’

Even if I loose my soul, I won’t open my eyes. Maran made my bangles to fall off from my hands. Such a ruthless man, he came in black elephant and entered in my eyes last night. He is inside my eyes. If I open, he will run away. No dears, I won’t open my eyes.

Please bear with my poor translation. Have a good weekend. See you in another interesting post.


Kratham | Jeyamohan

Kratham is the 12nd novel in the Venmurasu series, the modern rewriting effort of ancient epic Mahabharata by Tamil writer Jeyamohan. This portrays the spiritual journey of Arjuna, to get mighty weapons and  from the directional forces.

This journey has connection with the previous novel Kandeepam. After he lost his one-to-one fight with Krishna, the king of Dwaraka, Arjuna scared to taste the bitter of defeat and vengeance concealed in their invaluable friendship. So he starts his journey to search and equip himself with mighty arms and spiritual wisdom to win Krishna.

The entire novel talks about Arjuna alone. Journey of Arjuna is not new to Venmurasu readers. He had his journey earlier to north eastern states of Modern India. He loved and married Ulupi and Chitrangkatha during the same.


But this journey is of a different kind, as Arjuna is much more matured now. It has been delineated as a journey of wisdom, truth and spiritual thoughts.

The storytellers are few travellers, those who are searching for their own way of spiritual life. Their conversations and controversies are endless – The wit, philosophy, vision are enjoyable, though I couldn’t understand many! Arjuna’s journeys were told as flashbacks, performances of traditional poets. Jymini, Sandan, Vysambayanan and Ukran – every one of these travelers are spinning this novel as a tasteful philosophical feast.

Arjuna tries to win the Gods of all directions to get their mighty arms. He approaches Gupera of the north, Yama of south, Varuna of west and Indra of east. Though it looks simple, Jeyamohan’s fiction brings spectacular visuals in our mind.

Arjuna’s meeting with Gupera is such a tasty laughter for the reader. I was literally smiling during my morning commute.

Varuna is hidden inside a dead sea (salt lake of Jordan?). Arjuna’s travel is so hectic in this desert. While reading this episode, you would be thirsty and long for a rain.

His meeting with Indra is like a dream on top of Indrakila mountain. Indran’s vengeance on Krishnan and his Narayana veda, Bali’s connection with Ramayana are interesting branches of Mahabharata epid, has come out well with Jeyamohan’s fantasy writing.

Volare Digital Camera

After getting the weapons and mantra from all directional drivers, Arjuna lost again to Kinnara God aka Krishna in the land of Kinnara Janya. He felt depressed, as all his efforts did not get him what he wanted. As directed by Kinnara Janya priest, he was directed towards Kailaya to get Pasupada.

Arjuna recognises Shiva and surrenders to him. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma, 19th century.

Arjuna recognises Shiva and surrenders to him. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma, 19th century.

Again, another interesting fiction – Arjuna’s meeting with Kaalan (Lord Shiva) and Kaali (mother parvathi) of Jeyamohan’s fiction. This dalliant and charming episode portrays the love between them, their parenthood towards Arjuna, Komban (Ganapathi) and Kumaran (Murugan). Kailaya episode was so charming. It was beautifully narrated in all it’s kind.

I am helpless to understand the philosophical conversations fully. But that doesn’t force a lazy reader like me to get away from this.