Dharmecha arthecha kaamecha mokshecha bharatarshaba Yadhihasthi tadanyatra yannehasti na tadkvachit
Meaning, ‘What is found here may be found elsewhere. What is not found here will not be found elsewhere’. And this exactly is what ‘Corpokshetra’, based on the Mahabharata does – conveys and gives a glimpse of everything that is happening around us but in a corporate set-up.
Book Review of Corpokshetra
Heavyweights become Lighter
The book ‘Corpokshetra’ by ‘Deepak Kaul’ makes for a hilarious read from the word ‘go’. One look at the book cover and as a reader, I could imagine all the characters I have met a decade back while I was part of the corporate world and of course had the images of my cousins who are a bunch of crazy people! And one cannot miss the corporate avatar of the sutradhar (Krishna) of the ‘War at Kurukshetra’ aka ‘Corpokshetra’.
The story intelligently starts with the return of the Pandavas after their 13 years of exile as stated in the blurb and if I am not wrong, this is the start of the ‘Udyoga Parva’ in the ‘Mahabharata’ which comprises of the Leadership sutras.
“The Pandavas have returned home after 13 years of exile. And they are demanding their stake in Hastinapur Inc. But the Kauravas, led by the haughty Duryodhana, aren’t ready to give them a penny. The battle lines are drawn, only this war is in the present-day Kurukshetra – the corporate boardroom.
As the Kauravas and the Pandavas don their sharpest suits, Krishna – the wily Consultant – strategies for peace. This is a humorous, modern take on the Mahabharata (with due apologies to Rishi Ved Vyas).
An epic story retold for the MBA generation.”
Story-wise, the book has twisted the ‘Mahabharata’ into a modern-day saga with a business backdrop. So, the ancient Hastinapur gets a face-lift as ‘Hastinapur Enterprises’, Krishna becomes the modern-day strategist and consultant, Dhritarashtra becomes the Chairman, the Tunnel of Varanavat becomes the Panic Room of a Holiday Home and the whole battle is fought so as to become equity holders in a company! Doesn’t this sound like any other modern-day business family battle over property and companies? It does and so do many instances and mentions throughout the story. So, what makes this book stand out? Well, it is the narration.
To retell the great epic ‘Mahabharata’ and convince the Indian readers is an epic task in itself. This task has been successfully achieved by Deepak through his humorous story narration.I could do so relate to corporate scenes and the jargon used. At a certain juncture, while reading, I felt that maybe ‘Mahabharata’ could also have been written in this perspective. Deepak has not only retold the epic with this book but has also regaled his readers in an epic way!
The beauty of the narration lies in the fact that the writer has cleverly imbibed real-life incidents and commentary on certain societal truths and mocks at them by veiling them under the storyline.
Poking fun at how business families make sure that outsiders don’t take the top-slot in companies and this is conveyed through Dushasana’s character-“He had been appointed by the Board as the Chief Operating Officer of the company.’Appointed’ may have been a misnomer.Duryodhana had basically used his father’s clout and threatened to resign……The board had wearily agreed’
‘But everyone was acutely wrong, just like weather Apps fail to predict hurricanes’
‘Every cricketer goes through a bad patch. Just get a fat fee to promote a shampoo or cola or both, and you will start hitting centuries again’
‘I could have been a shining star celebrity son with assured roles and acting awards. Life could have been so easy.’
There are such instances galore throughout the book and one has to pick this book to have a hearty laugh that can end in a tummy-ache. But somehow I could not accept the lines used for Draupadi in the poker-game episode, though!
In conclusion, it could be said that this book is a satire on ‘modern-day business establishments, practices and entrepreneurs’ and presents the heavyweights -Kauravas, Krushna and the Pandavas, in a lighter way till they hang their boots!
Do grab a copy of this hilarious book to have lots of ROFL moments over cups of steaming coffee and also to know-why Krishna made Arjuna browse through the Apple website while he was giving the once-in-a-lifetime performance of the ‘Bhagavadgita’?!
I give this book a rating of 4 / 5!
Author – Deepak Kaul
Publisher – Westland
Pages – 124
Price – Rs. 200
“I received a free copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.”