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Author: Pavan K Varma
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143064633
A long poem in rhymed sonnets based on one of the most important episodes in the Mahabharata.
During their years of exile, the Pandavas happen upon a pool in the Dvaitvana forest. They thirst for the water, but its guardian will not allow them to drink until they have answered his questions. Four of the brothers die at the hands of the Yaksha after failing to solve the riddles, and then it is Yudhishtar's turn.
The narrative of Yudhishtar and Draupadi begins with the eldest Pandava facing the Yaksha. Determined to bring his brothers back to life, and protect the beautiful Draupadi, the eldest Pandava draws upon his fabled diplomacy and wisdom to answer every one of the Yaksha's questions faultlessly. As he does so, the given rare and beautifully couched insights into some of the most fundamental questions of life, love, death and benediction.
The author also uses the episode to look into the uneasy relationship between Yudhishtar, and the alluring Draupadi. His austerity and straightforwardness come in the way of his passion for Draupadi, who loves Arjun above everyone else. The complex interplay between the two gives the poet the opportunity to meditate on key aspects of men and women in love.