Mathura is in turmoil. Prince Kansa has deposed King Ugrasen in a palace coup and imprisoned his cousin Devaki and her husband Vasudeva on the basis of a prophesy. He has set off the three Yadava clans-the Andhakas, the Vrishnis and the Bhojas against one another in order to cling to power. But, unknown to Kansa, his minister Chanur plots to keep the tyrant King in check and establish a tribal homeland. Elsewhere, Hastinapur and Magadh are embroiled in a race for supremacy.
In this era of conflicts, Kanha grows up in Gokul as a cowherd. But bigger things are in store for him and he soon gets sucked into the vortex of conspiracies against Kansa. What is Kanha's true identity? How does a mere cowherd dethrone a tyrant? How does he overcome caste and color prejudices and gain acceptance as Krishna, the avatar of Lord Vishnu?
The journey to divinity from Kanha to Krishna is not without its costs. A saga of treachery and betrayals unfolds as Kanha's personal life is sacrificed at the altar of a predetermined strategy.
Kanha to Krishna is a unique retelling of the story of Krishna with an intensely realistic and political narrative.
Pranab Kumar Mullick was born on 5th November, 1966 in Kolkata. His family shifted to Delhi in 1971 where he completed his education.
A topper all through school, he received Junior Science Talent and NTSE scholarships. In 1984 he got the national second rank in the CBSE Class XII exams in Commerce stream. The same year he enrolled in B. Com (Hons) in Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi and passed out in 1987 as First Class First Gold Medallist. Thereafter he did LL.B from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi and stood First Class First Gold Medallist in the University in 1990.
From 1990 he has been practising as Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and High Court of Delhi. In 1996 he became an Advocate on record in Supreme Court. As an advocate, he has been involved in several historic litigations.
His love for writing was imbibed from his grandfather Dr Raghunath Mullick who was a freedom fighter, a batchmate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and also a scholar in Sanskrit and an authority on Kalidasa. His books Stories from Kalidasa, Kalidaser Galpo (with preface written by Rabindranath Tagore) and Kalidasa Pratibha are critically acclaimed. His father Late Kali Sankar Mullick also authored several compelling short stories and a book of poems on mythological themes entitled Pouranik.
Pranab has written short stories in both English and Bengali. His Bengali short stories have been published in reputed magazines like Nabakallol and Katha Sahitya amongst others. Kanha to Krishna-The Journey to Divinity is his debut novel.
Sri Krishna is different from other gods in the Hindu pantheon in that he is not confined to the pedestal but is regarded as family. Mothers see His image in their children while comely maidens seek Him in their lovers. A major part of India's religion, literature, music, dance, art, culture revolves around the theme of Krishna.
Maybe that is one reason why books have been written trying to explain his supernatural powers and treating him rather as an extraordinarily talented, multifaceted but adorable human being- someone whom we can readily identify with. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay did it in his Krishna Charitra and has been followed by innumerable other authors. I have merely attempted to follow their footprints.
I should however, hasten to clarify at the outset that Krishna is as much a part of my existence as anyone else's and I worship Him as everyone else. The book is only a mythological fiction, intended to be read as a mere story and there is no intent whatsoever to cause any disrespect to anybody's religious belief.
The theme of the book is that when God takes avatar on Earth, He follows all the laws of nature. Otherwise there would be no necessity for Him to take birth as He could have killed the enemies with a flash of lightning from the sky, so to say. In my humble opinion, God takes avatar to set an example of what we humans can achieve through hard work, intelligence, focus and dedication. We, the lesser beings, being unable to emulate such feats either due to laziness or lack of dedication, take the easy way out and ascribe the feats to supernatural powers.
Applying this theme to the popular story of Krishna's life, which we have heard since childhood, I tried to build a fiction that gives a realistic and rational explanation of his birth, his leelas and how he achieved his goals. It is a journey of a cowherd boy Kanha to that of Vishnu's avatar Krishna in which he is forced to toil, encounter caste and colour prejudices, cross obstacles and face betrayals from those he trusted. The transition to avtarhood was aided in no small measure by the politics of the time and the inter se rivalry amongst Kansa's own advisers. The novel explores what Krishna gained and what he lost in the process of his transition.
In writing this book, I must acknowledge the contribution of my family comprising of my mother Mrs Dolly Mullick, my wife Soma, my daughter Ananya and my son Arnab who not only encouraged my writing but also patiently suffered my absence through the hours I wrote. They are all integral to my very existence and of this book.
The book would not have been the same but for the suggestions given by my great friend Mr C. Mohan Rao, Advocate. I must thank Google and Wikipedia for facilitating instant research. What would we do without them?
I thank my publisher Readomania and Mr Dipankar Mukherjee for putting their faith in my book and publishing it. My editor Ms Indrani Ganguly did a yeoman's job in editing it. My special thanks also go to my Literary Agent M/s Book Bakers and Mr Suhail Mathur.
And finally, the question that may dog all readers: Did it actually happen this way as described in this book?
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