Yayati: The award winning Marathi novel translated to English

by - 5/01/2024

 Indian literature is immensely rich and so are Indian writers. But for English readers like us, we are highly dependent on translated versions to savour our well endowed heritage. Yayati is one such book written by VS Khandekar in Marathi which was published in 1959. It was translated by Y.P Kulkarni and published in English in 1978. 

This book has won several prestigious awards including the Sahitya Akademi award and Jnanapitha Award. It is one of Khandekar's best works and should be read by historical book lovers like me.

Yayati is based on the historical character of the same name as in Mahabharata. He was the king of Hastinapur and was the son of King Nahusha. The main characters of the novel, apart from the father and son are Devayani, his wife, who is the daughter of Shukracharya, her maid Sharmistha , Puru (his illegitimate child with the maid) , Kacha (Devayani' love) and other complicated characters. It's basically a tale of lust and immorality. 

Modern day critics correlate the character of Yayati with the modern man. Someone who craves more and more, has a lot but still not satisfied, resulting in immoral practices.

This book was definitely a brave take on human desires based on the mythological characters of our Magnum opus.

I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘BookishCafeBloghop2024’ hosted by Rakhi Jayashankar and Samata Dey Bose

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  1. "Yayati," an award-winning Marathi novel by V.S. Khandekar, stands as a beacon of Marathi literature, captivating readers with its profound narrative and rich characters. The novel delves into the complexities of human desires, ambitions, and the eternal struggle between duty and personal gratification. Set against the backdrop of ancient India.

  2. How strange it is when we look into history not to learn from it but to put up the blame on some event that may justify our actions. In fiction specially historic fiction and mythology sometimes I feel that we give more justifications than solutions. How strange, yet we love these stories and this one surely piqued my interest.

  3. I find it so interesting that reginal literature focusses a lot on Indian mythology. Yayati seems as relevant today, as then. It surely makes for an interesting read, besides being an award-winning book.