The Pregnant King

The Pregnant King I Am Not Sure That I Am A Man, Said Yuvanashva I Have Created Life Outside Me As Men Do But I Have Also Created Life Inside Me, As Women Do What Does That Make Me Will A Body Such As Mine Fetter Or Free Me Among The Many Hundreds Of Characters Who Inhabit The Mahabharata, Perhaps The World S Greatest Epic And Certainly One Of The Oldest, Is Yuvanashva, A Childless King, Who Accidentally Drinks A Magic Potion Meant To Make His Queens Pregnant And Gives Birth To A Son This Extraordinary Novel Is His Story It Is Also The Story Of His Mother Shilavati, Who Cannot Be King Because She Is A Woman Of Young Somvat, Who Surrenders His Genitals To Become A Wife Of Shikhandi, A Daughter Brought Up As A Son, Who Fathers A Child With A Borrowed Penis Of Arjuna, The Great Warrior With Many Wives, Who Is Forced To Masquerade As A Woman After Being Castrated By A Nymph Of Ileshwara, A God On Full Moon Days And A Goddess On New Moon Nights And Of Adi Natha, The Teacher Of Teachers, Worshipped As A Hermit By Some And As An Enchantress By Others Building On Hinduism S Rich And Complex Mythology But Driven By A Very Contemporary Sensibility Devdutt Pattanaik Creates A Lush And Fecund Work Of Fiction In Which The Lines Are Continually Blurred Between Men And Women, Sons And Daughters, Husbands And Wives, Fathers And Mothers Confronted With Such Fluidity The Reader Is Drawn Into Yuvanashva S Struggle To Be Fair To All Those Here, Those There And All Those In Between

Dr Devdutt Pattanaik born December 11, 1970 is an Indian physician turned leadership consultant, mythologist and author whose works focus largely on the areas of myth, mythology, and also management He has written a number of books related to Hindu mythology, including Myth Mithya A Handbook of Hindu Mythology, a novel, The Pregnant King, and Jaya An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharat

[BOOKS] ✮ The Pregnant King By Devdutt Pattanaik –
  • B
  • 360 pages
  • The Pregnant King
  • Devdutt Pattanaik
  • English
  • 13 July 2019
  • 9781430634720

10 thoughts on “The Pregnant King

  1. says:

    UTTERLY TASTELESS, TIRING PIECE OF CRAP. This book shows the lack of imagination in Mr Devdutt Pattanaik and puts Indian Authors in a bad light As much I hope that this was not trueit is Author has nothing to offer to the readerabsolutely NOTHING So he comes up with a planHe takes some of the most famous stories from the MAHABHARATA and contorts them till there is nothing left but Tastelessness His contorted version of the stories have no moral background and nothing to learn from He wrote this book I guess because..well because he COULD Well guess what Mr Pattanaikif I want to read mahabharta stories I ll pick up and read the MAHABHARTAatleast it wont leave a sour taste in my mouth and maybe I ll learn a thing or two from that great epic of a book.These are the kind of books that make you want to never read an Indian Author again It gives a bad name and bad market to all those who have something worth writing.

  2. says:

    I can be a broken record at times in my repeated fawning over The Mahabharata The stories never end and I never grow tired of the retellings from various authors I had this strange thought the other day that if Georges Perec s choice of name for his book Life A user s manual would have fitted this epic like a glove I am yet to see a human epic and I doubt if I shall ever come across one This could also be the one reason why stories drawn from the epic always seem to have the magnetic pull on me So that is the story of the inspiration to read the book India s image as painted in the pages of this book is from the timeline of the Mahabharata one where a woman is not given value than being a field to sow the seeds of her man The author does an interesting flip here by smudging a lot of lines that distinguish the two genders Two principal characters that the author plays with told me volumes of the freshness in Pattanaik s narrative style One of these is Shilavati, a Machiavellian figure in the royal political arena who has always wanted to hold the royal staff like a man but can never in her lifetime reach that pedestal The other character is the pregnant king himself, Yuvashnava who ends up giving birth to a child and yearns to be a nursing mother but can never be In essence it is a story of men and women who are oppressed by a society founded on an unbending code of ethics The focus is almost entirely on the characters for whom gender is a truth that changes its facial make up each time they look at it There is Arjuna as Brihanalla and his story which form a vital link Then there is also Shikhandi, the man who was always mocked as an eununch but ended up being the one who brought down the legendary Kaurava general Bhishma Such anecdotes serve to strengthen the colors used to paint this portrait and make for a lot of delightful reading There is however, another reason why I tremendously enjoyed the book Not even once does this tale of the kingdom of Vallabhi get overshadowed by the story of the five pandavas who are but a few kingdoms away We only hear of the family feuds and the great war through royal spies, bards and general grapevine The finest scene was when a commoner comes running to the town square shouting that the battle of Kurukshetra had begun to which the public listens and then goes back to their chores To them, it was just another occurence happening in another corner of the planet Just as it is in real life After reading the book, I did a little bit of reading on the author too and came to know that he is a mythology enthusiast This is very evident in the way the symbols of mythology from all over India s geography are mixed and mashed to form a kaleidoscope of mythical icons.

  3. says:

    I am not sure that I am a man, said Yuvanashva I have created life outside me as men do But I have also created life inside me, as women do What does that make me Will a body such as mine fetter or free me First, Double kudos to Devdutta Pattanaik, for writing such an interesting, yet an intriguing story Let me start from the tip The title The pregnant King , isn t it bizarre I guess it is So I picked up this book for it s eccentric title After reading, my GUESS is turned into SURE Yes, the story is bizarre read the blurb , unconventional only few know it s conventional , intriguing story longs in your mind even after reading for several days , entertaining I hooked up till I get the end , interesting the story is based on Indian myths about which, I know nothing , out of the path the concept on which story based and the questions, the story is imposing.To read the whole review, click the link belowhttp 20

  4. says:

    A magician once beheaded a newly wed couple.He then put the man s head on the woman s body and the woman s head on the man s body.Who is the husband now and who is the wife What is an aberration and what isn t.Just because a human mind cant comprehend certain things,does it mean that it is unnatural Who decides what is dharma and what isn t.Why is it that a woman,even if she is the rightful queen not allowed to rule and merely considered a figurehead just because she is a woman Is the affection that the mother lavish on a child sweeter than that shown by the father.So many esoteric questions Devdutt Pattanaik s The Pregnant King raises Devdutt has used Hinduism s complex mythology to to weave this tale about Yuvanashva,the king who gave birth to a son.Yuvanashva,Prince of Vallabhi who is blocked from becoming a king by his mother,Shilavati because he is unable to become a father.3 wives later,the king still doesnt have heirs.Ancestors in the form of crows torture Shilavati and the king urging the procreation of their lineage.When nothing else works, the king turns to other means like yagnas for getting children.The King,then accidentally drinks a potion meant for his wives and ends up getting pregnant himself Yuvanashva s confusion about his maternal feelings for his son and gender identities form the rest of this extraordinary story.Devdutt,however doesn t just stop with Yuvanashva s tale.He tells us about Shikhandi,the woman who was brought up as a man ,so that her father King Draupada could have a son to avenge his humiliation at the hands of the Kurus.Shikhandi later became a man and fathered a child with borrowed male genitals Then there is the story of Somvat,who gives up his manhood to become the wife of his best friend and of Arjuna as enuch in the 13th year of his exile and Krishna as the wife of a man.Lines between men and women father and mother husbands and wives are blurred and starts wondering about the strange manifestations of nature.Devdutt finally talks about how neither is the man or the woman superior and there is both Shiva and Shakthi in everyone.And that is the universal truth most people find it difficult to grapple with.The book is sensual,potent and absolutely un putdownable.One issue i found with the book is that the love making scenes were too drawn out and the descriptions seemed excessive after a point Maybe this subject warranted this treatment It is a treat for people who love Indian mythology, eventhough Devdutt has taken a few liberties in tweaking the time periods and has made Yuvansahva the contemprorary of the Kuru clan.4 5 for this awesome book.

  5. says:

    The Pregnant King the book is a fictional sketch of our mythological characters. some of them so unbelievable but interesting than they feature in other scriptures. They are humans bound by dilemmas of social vs personal needs, evil vs good, man vs woman, mother vs father, stages of life, desire vs death, stability vs momentum, death afterlife, heaven vs hell, Brahmin vs Kshatriya Devdutt has a knack of creating a vibrant stories with all curves twists of an engaging plot The characters raise questions, and then they give answers, then there are questions on those answers and further answers. it s a vicious circle where everyone is confused and only gets temporary answers to their problems which become bigger every time the answers are found.To read

  6. says:

    I was like a kid listening to exotic, improbable tales I have read the Mahabharatha a couple of times, and its offshoot stories quite often, but have never come across the man who became a mother In addition to the story of this unfortunate king, this book was chocful of minor stories which I never knew of Lots of discussions on dharma and way of living, which is moot As any other old treatise women are considered far beneath men, and the way they are spoken of is something to be ashamed of , as also, the unminced way of describing human anatomy and physical relationship.All in all, an engrossing, eye popping read All the characters in this book have been minutely described and seem real and human, rather than far off in time and space mythological figures.This would be a treasure trove for any mythology lover.

  7. says:

    I ve read 3 other books of Devdutt Pattanaik until now 7 secrets of Vishnu, Shikhandi Other Stories They Don t Tell You, and Jaya While I liked all of them, I was not happy with his guide book sort of narrative, lacking poetic ness and being preachy in parts But this one was the best of all What a blending of narratives, what a wonderful way of looking at the world and its imperfections This is a tale of acceptance and rejection, of social versus personal truth, of ignorance and enlightenment Until the first 40% of the book, I was pissed I was sick of reading about ripe wombs, barren and fertile fields, sprouting seeds and fresh crops in reference to getting pregnant and having a child I was outraged at practically everything Kidnapping of women as wives, sale of women to the highest bidder, marriages solely for heirs Vesting the honour of a family, of an entire dynasty, of duties towards a whole range of men, of gods and asuras, on women so that they can never have a will or wish of their own, and can be controlled as the men and lawmakers wish But as the story progressed, just like Yuvanashva, I started thinking beyond the words of the text I got engrossed in the tale, in the tales within the story, the philosophical questions it kindled By the end of it I finished reading in 2 days , I loved every word in the book Well done, Pattanaik

  8. says:

    After reading the shorter stories by Pattanaik, I set out to read the larger volumes starting of course with Sita An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana Where Sita disappoints as a book is precisely where The Pregnant King scores.The story captures the lives of the central characters along with their fears, struggles and strifes without getting distracted with anything else Shilavati and Yuvanashva are at the core and the focus never shifts This unflinching spotlight helps us to understand the author s thoughts on gender lines and the expectations from royalty.However beyond a point the book does get boring. kind of predictable because of the redundant expressions and it has nothing new to look forward to I had to persist to complete reading the book.

  9. says:

    This marvelous book by Devdutt Pattanaik is about a king who accidentally drinks a magic potion that was meant for his wives, and ends up becoming pregnant What does that make him A father Or a mother This story so beautifully intersperses the tales of Shikhandi, Arjuna and many others from the Mahabharata I particularly loved how much detail Pattanaik puts into character outline, and how effortlessly he connects the dots for the reader to appreciate A fine tale of power, love, identity or the lack of it.

  10. says:

    Read my detailed review of this book on

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