Anand Neelakantan

Anand Neelakantan is an Indian author. He is known for debut novel Asura tale of the Vanquished & AJAYA : Epic of the Kaurava Clan - Roll Of The Dice. Anand's debut work Asura Tale of the Vanquished was a surprise bestseller of 2012, breaking into the top seller charts within a week of its launch. Asura, tale of the Vanquished became the number 1 best seller of 2012 as per Crossword list and CNN IBN. Anand Neelakantan was chosen as one of the six most remarkable writers of 2012 by DNA. Anand Neelakantan has written columns for Deccan chronicle, Asian Age, The New Indian Express, The Wall Street Journal, Speaking Tree etc. His interviews have been published in The Hindu, The Indian Express, Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, The Telegraph, The New Indian Express, Afternoon DC etc.
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BHISHMA, THE NOBLE PATRIACH of Hastinapura, is struggling to maintain the unity of his empire, aided by his able Prime Minister, Vidhura. But beyond the Vindhyas, in the deep South, the enigmatic Guru of the powerful Southern Confederacy, bides his time to take over Hastinapura and impose his dark will upon all of India. On the throne sit Dhritarashtra Ð the blind king, and his foreign-born queen Ð Gandhari. A rival queen Ð Kunti, stands in the shadow of the throne, ambition burning in her heart to see her eldest son become King, aided by his four Pandava brothers. An unscrupulous Priest, and a man who wishes to be king-maker, conspire with the Pandavas to ensure Prince Suyodhana, the rightful heir, is denied his legacy. In the dark forests of India, where poverty alone rules, a revolution is brewing; Ekalavya, a young Nishada, yearns for the knowledge of warriors; Karna, a humble charioteer's son, travels the to the South to become the greatest archer in the land; Aswathama, a Brahmin youth, disobeys Drona, his illustrious father, to stand beside his friend and Prince; and Balarama, charismatic leader of the Yadavas, dreams of building the perfect city by the sea. And a beggar and a blind dog walk the dusty streets of India, witness to those far greater than he, become puppets in the hands of their searing destinies. Amidst the chaos, Prince Suyodhana, heir of Hastinapura, stands tall, determined to claim his birthright and act according to his conscience. Neither God nor Man can stop him from doing what he thinks is right. He is the maker of his own destinyÉor so he believes. But in the shadows of the Court, a foreigner gambles Ð his dream to destroy India. And the dice fallsÉ
The epic tale of victory and defeatÉ The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors, that lives on. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence. But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana had never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed outcastes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. But perhaps the time has come for the dead and the defeated to speak. ÒFor thousands of years, I have been vilified and my death is celebrated year after year in every corner of India. Why? Was it because I challenged the Gods for the sake of my daughter? Was it because I freed a race from the yoke of caste-based Deva rule? You have heard the victorÕs tale, the Ramayana. Now hear the Ravanayana, for I am Ravana, the Asura, and my story is the tale of the vanquished.Ó ÒI am a non-entity Ð invisible, powerless and negligible. No epics will ever be written about me. I have suffered both Ravana and Rama Ð the hero and the villain or the villain and the hero. When the stories of great men are told, my voice maybe too feeble to be heard. Yet, spare me a moment and hear my story, for I am Bhadra, the Asura, and my life is the tale of the loser.Ó The ancient Asura empire lay shattered into many warring petty kingdoms reeling under the heel of the Devas. In desperation, the Asuras look up to a young saviour Ð Ravana. Believing that a better world awaits them under Ravana, common men like Bhadra decide to follow the young leader. With a will of iron and a fiery ambition to succeed, Ravana leads his people from victory to victory and carves out a vast empire from the Devas. But even when Ravana succeeds spectacularly, the poor Asuras find that nothing much has changed for them. It is when that Ravana, by one action, changes the history of the world.
THE MAHABHARATA ENDURES AS THE GREAT EPIC OF INDIA. But while Jaya is the story of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra; Ajaya is the narrative of the ÔunconquerableÕ Kauravas, who were decimated to the last man. At the heart of IndiaÕs most powerful empire, a revolution is brewing. Bhishma, the noble patriarch of Hastinapura, is struggling to maintain the unity of his empire. On the throne sits Dhritarashtra, the blind King, and his foreign-born Queen Ð Gandhari. In the shadow of the throne stands Kunti, the Dowager-Queen, burning with ambition to see her firstborn become the ruler, acknowledged by all. And in the wings: Parashurama, the enigmatic Guru of the powerful Southern Confederate, bides his time to take over and impose his will from mountains to ocean. Ekalavya, a young Nishada, yearns to break free of caste restrictions and become a warrior. Karna, son of a humble charioteer, travels to the South to study under the foremost Guru of the day and become the greatest archer in the land. Balarama, the charismatic leader of the Yadavas, dreams of building the perfect city by the sea and seeing his people prosperous and proud once more. Takshaka, guerilla leader of the Nagas, foments a revolution by the downtrodden as he lies in wait in the jungles of India, where survival is the only dharma. Jara, the beggar, and his blind dog Dharma, walk the dusty streets of India, witness to people and events far greater than they, as the Pandavas and the Kauravas confront their searing destinies. Amidst the chaos, Prince Suyodhana, heir of Hastinapura, stands tall, determined to claim his birthright and act according to his conscience. He is the maker of his own destiny Ð or so he believes. While in the corridors of the Hastinapura palace, a foreign Prince plots to destroy India. And the dice fallsÉ
 "THE MAHABHARATA ENDURES AS THE GREAT EPIC OF INDIA. While Jaya is the story 

of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra, Ajaya is the tale of the 

Kauravas, who were decimated to the last man. From the pen of the author who gave voice to 

Ravana in the national bestseller, ASURA, comes the riveting narrative which compels us to question 

the truth behind the Mahabharata. 


THE DARK AGE OF KALI IS RISING and every man and woman must choose between duty 

and conscience, honour and shame, life and death… 


      o     The Pandavas, banished to the forest following the disastrous games of dice, return 

             to Hastinapura. 

      o     Draupadi has vowed not to bind her hair till she washes it in the blood of the Kauravas. 

      o     Karna must choose between loyalty and gratitude, friend and Guru. 

      o     Aswathama undertakes a perilous mission to the mountains of Gandhara, in search of the 

             Evil One. 

      o     Kunti must decide between her firstborn and her other sons.

      o     Guru Drona has to stand with either his favourite disciple or his beloved son.

      o     Balarama, having failed to convince his brother about the adharma of violence, walks the 

             streets of Bharatavarsha, spreading the message of peace.

      o     Ekalavya is called to make the ultimate sacrifice to uphold a woman’s honour.

      o      Jara, the beggar, sings of Krishna’s love while his blind dog, Dharma, follows.

      o     Shakuni can almost see the realization of his dream to destroy India. 


As the Pandavas stake their claim to the Hastinapura throne, the Kaurava Crown Prince, Suyodhana, 

rises to challenge Krishna. As great minds debate dharma and adharma, power hungry men prepare 

for an apocalyptic war. The women, highborn and humble, helplessly watch the unfolding disaster 

with deep foreboding. And greedy merchants and unscrupulous priests lie in wait like vultures. 

Both sides know that beyond the agony and carnage the winner will take all. But even as gods 

conspire and men’s destinies unfold, a far greater truth awaits.


                                                                         *****


                                  One of the six most remarkable writers of India. DNA

               An Amazing read. The WEEK

                   Unique voice of a rebellious author telling the story from the other side, 

                             a feat a few have dared or managed so well. Bihar Times"

Roll of Dice and Rise of Kali of the Ajaya series now together in this special collector's edition

THE MAHABHARATA ENDURES AS THE GREAT EPIC OF INDIA. Every Indian has grown up conditioned to the view that the Pandavas were virtuous and wronged; and the Kauravas were manipulative and evil. On a visit to Malanada Temple, Kerala, national bestselling author of ASURA, Anand Neelakantan, discovered the temple deity to be none other than Duryodhanan, the ostensible 'villain' of the Mahabharata. This astonishing discovery prompted him to delve deep into the narrative of the defeated Crown Prince of Hastinapura, and the Kaurava clan. Ajaya challenges established views and compels us to think again. The book is all about the power of perception. It retells with compelling credibility, the epic events from Duryodhan's (given name: Suryodhana), point of view. While Jaya is the story of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra; Ajaya is the narrative of the 'unconquerable' Kauravas, who were decimated to the last man. At the heart of India's most powerful empire, a revolution is brewing. Bhishma, the noble patriarch of Hastinapura, is struggling to maintain the unity of his empire. On the throne sits Dhritarashtra, the blind King, and his foreign-born Queen – Gandhari. In the shadow of the throne stands Kunti, the Dowager-Queen, burning with ambition to see her firstborn become the ruler, acknowledged by all. Amidst the chaos, Prince Suyodhana, heir of Hastinapura, stands tall, determined to claim his birthright and act according to his conscience. He is the maker of his own destiny – or so he believes. While in the corridors of the Hastinapura palace, a foreign Prince plots to destroy India. 

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