Another extraordinary battle recounted by India’s mythology man, writes Pradyot Lal in Tehelka
He is a veritable one-man industry. Ashok K Banker, generously considered one of the most seasoned and experienced hands at peddling mythology to readers, has published at a furious pace for the past two decades and more — often making you wonder whether he is for real. Just short of 50, a prolific writer on almost everything, he has already traversed the epic Ramayana route to now turn his attention to the heroism of a determined tribal chief pitted against a huge invading force comprising 10 kings from neighbouring countries. The battle lasts but one day and results in a brutal massacre of the invaders. Banker unlocks the secret behind the success of King Sudas in this impossible battle in the style of a historical novel, which should interest and absorb readers of all age groups.
His ability to write seamless tales with panache makes Banker a formidable name in a genre where he has several competitors but few peers. Mythological stories are the stuff of every culture’s folklore and have a special place and significance in introducing, especially, the younger generation to the intriguing world of their ancients. The Rigveda, among several other tracts, provides the indefatigable author his staple and true to his wont of staying as close to the original as possible, Banker here takes few chances and pulls it off with aplomb.