the forest of stories (MBA#1) by Ashok Banker

The Forest of Stories, Book One in Ashok Banker's long-awaited 'MBA' Series, takes us deep into the haunted jungle of Naimishavan. Here, at the ashram of Kulapati Shaunaka, a dustry traveller arrives with sad tidings: Maharishi Krishna Dweipayana Vyasa has passed on. Yet the great collator of the Vedas has left behind a fabulous legacy, the epic narrative poem called Maha Bharata. At the urging of the ashramites, the traveller Suta begins to recite the great composition, starting with the incredible creation myths and tales of god and giants, snake-mothers and gargantuan eagles. And as the night wears on and the tale grows darker, he senses the presence of countless ghostly beings in the shadows beyond the flickering oil-lamps, the restless souls of the many millions butchered in the climactic war that ended the great tale itself, gathering now to hear the epic saga that led eventually to their destruction and the decimation of the Kuru Bharata race

My interest in Mahabharata as a source of stories , wisdom and a sketch of society at any time began with reading 'Palace of Illusion" . A bit of the side events and tales were covered in "the Pregnant King' . and thus began a search for more books on Mahabharata. I had heard and read here too a lot about Banker's Ramayan series so when I saw this book at a friend's place , I could not resist borrowing. 

I had always wondered , why Mahabharata came to happen ? Most religious tales have a straight forward plot ans limited characters. This epic though is completely opposite or say different from any thing I ever heard of. And Banker proves it all the more here. From the very birth of any one remotely appearing or related to the tale has been mentioned and always with an interesting life history of him/her. Its amusing how even the dead or their words pave way to the future - this war of right and wrong. 

There is so much of magic woven in each tale - a moral , a beginning of the end , an end of some other story. Curses are boons in disguise , Devas take different forms and means to help mother earth , the asuras trying to have amrit , meditations and prayers to fulfill desires ,   promises to protect and help , tales of betrayal and love , of mothers and son , of heaven and hell , of trapped souls , of means of salvation , of places and importance , of lost , of preserved history. This book is no fiction my dear friends. Its a beautifully penned research work by Banker.

the narration is fast , the stories enchanting and the feeling so great to be reading of our rich mythology. This book makes you relish the very human - like traits of every one written about. The story-teller in the book has d destiny to narrate this epic to both living and dead alike. Ashok Banker looks like that story teller. He has woven the tapestry of our lives living off the older one. Of a war that marked the beginning of kalayug . Of friends and foes . of discipline , restraint and punishments.

you would not have heard many of these stories, and if you have , are you really sure why or how of it ?

Its time we discovered our roots

Enter the chakravyuh of the tales and hope they deliver you peace and pleasure both.


Rating : 5/5

Other details :

ISBN:  9381626375
ISBN-13:  9789381626375  ,  978-9381626375
Binding: Paperback
Number of Pages: 376
Price : 220

PS : E books are available on Ashok banker's site for next part too. Or on amazon kindle.


  1. On Immediate "To Buy" list now!!
    a brilliant review. Very personalized :)

  2. yeah , this is one of the boosk I felt so strong about. Have to buy the kindle for second book since the pprint version would take soem time .

  3. How does this guy manages to write so awesome? I want this book!!! *goes to flipkart*

  4. right said FL .. his work is absolutely top class ! every book i hear about or read , is amazing !


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