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Book Review: On Philosophising, Philosophers, Philosophy and New Vistas in Applied Philosophy, by Dr. Sharmila Jayant Virkar

A little bit of context before you begin reading this book review. I have recently enrolled for an MA in Philosophy at the University of Mumbai. Philosophy is something I have been getting interested in, over the past few years, as those of you who have been reading my blogs and Instagram posts would know. During the pandemic, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, and this is what I eventually came up with. It has been a challenge, getting back into academics as a student at this age, especially in a subject I have no academic background in. However, it has also been very exciting, especially thanks to my wonderful classmates (who, surprisingly, are of all age-groups, including some quite near my own) and my teachers, who have been very supportive and understanding. How well I will do is something that remains to be seen, but so far, I am enjoying this new journey and look forward to where it leads. Now that you know the background , you probably get an idea of how

Book Review: Arjuna by Anuja Chandramouli

Arjuna, in the Mahabharata, is described as the Nara to Krishna’s Narayana. In the entire epic, if Krishna is the one who wields the strings, albeit behind the scenes, it is Arjuna who is in the forefront of the story. It is he who is the most loved among the Pandavas, and it is his story Anuja Chandramouli seeks to relate, in her book by the same name.


She begins her story at the same place Veda Vyasa did – with Janamejaya’s sacrifice, and his quest to know more about his ancestors. However, instead of the epic in its entirety, she chooses to focus on Arjuna alone. However, Arjuna, for all his heroism and stature, cannot be separated from the Mahabharata. 

Therefore, Anuja has no choice but to relate events happening around him, which makes it into yet another rendition of one of the greatest of Indian epics.

On the positive side, the author manages to hold on to her narrative, through the book, though she frequently delves into the past, or peeks into the future, to explain events in the present. In fact, her narrative is what carries the book through, since it’s a story most of us know well. That she manages to introduce some surprises, in the form of less known events and happenings, simply adds to her credit.

The writing is good, as is the language, but on the downside, the book reads like an essay, a simple retelling of the story, especially in the beginning. It took me quite a while to get past the first few chapters, and a spelling or proofing error I found didn’t help matters either. It took the story of Uloopi and Babhruvahana to get me interested in the book, and read through to the end.

To clarify, I found only one spelling or proofing error on Pg.70, but sometimes, even one can be one too many.


The best thing I can say about the book is that Anuja Chandramouli brings us a story we know well, adding some details many might not know. It is this which makes the book worth a read. 

This book was sent to me for review by Leadstart Publishing. The views expressed are my own. 


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