18 days, 18 ways

At his feet lie the bodies of his brothers — in front of him stretches an inscrutable talking lake that asks questions he must answer if he is to avoid the common fate. Remember the episode of Dharma questioning Yudhishtira? Here, in Peter Brook’s stunningly original version of the Mahabharat [I had first stumbled on this at the now defunct 22nd Street-6th Avenue Barnes & Noble outlet, I’ve in the intervening years had to buy four copies, each one to replace the predecessor some friend borrowed and never returned]:

And here, the curtain raiser to war: Krishna’s advice to Arjuna:

And now, there’s this — a different kind of creativity brought to the epic by Grant Morrison. I’ll leave you with an image:

Grant Morrison's conception

Grant Morrison's Bhim

11 thoughts on “18 days, 18 ways

  1. Pingback: Yaksha Yudhishthira Samvada « Random Keystrokes

  2. Yes Peter Brook’s is a wonderful version of the great epic. First saw on TV as a teen. Rented it out from the local lib again. Been looking for a copy but couldnt find. Is it available anywhere? If I look on amazon only external folks sell and they are like upwards of $500🙂

  3. Grant Morrison can be a genius… 52, “Seven Soldiers of Victory” and he can be obtuse and meandering… “Final Crisis”, “The Filth”. I hope he doesn’t mess this one up.

  4. BTW, the “18 Days” thing takes place around 15-9 BC, in Pangaea. The only reason I am looking forward to it is because Virgin’s India Authentic and Ramayana was good, and the characters look manga good.

  5. Hi Prem,

    I was expecting that you would cover the “Yudishtira, lake” episode. When I didn’t see it, I convinced myself that is not much of a Bhim’s story. I would still liked to read your depiction. Also, I have read that Bhima gets to meet Hanuman when he goes to the lake of Kubera. It is a myth, but any specific reason you did not cover it?



    • I have been avoiding the more fantastical elements of the *conventional* narrative — talking lakes, epic characters like Hanuman and Parasuram who leap frog across yugas, and all the rest of it. There is enough of that in the narrative you are familiar with, why carry coals? In any case, this was always intended as a *human* narrative.

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