Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shri Mahabharat Katha - FAQ

Given our expertise on the subject, it is not surprising that our mailbox has been flooded by people wanting to understand the Kahani of Mahabharat. So we thought it better to answer the most common questions here instead of in private e-mails.

After all, answering questions is beneficial to your fame.

In episode one, etna andhera kyoon hai bhai? (Why so dark?)

First off, it is night. Secondly, they are sitting in a courtyard, thereby diffusing the available light even further.

And they have just proved our theories about ancient lighting systems. How? If you see closely, there is hardly anybody who is wearing full reflective golden jewellery.

In episode two, why did the Mushaka kept flying through the forest? Especially when he knew that he could fly just above or just to the right and avoid the trees altogether?

Any pilot worth his tail(fin) knows that the “nape of the earth” approach means that you fly almost at treetop level, and not below the tree line.

Now by this time the Mushaka should have enough practise to judge the correct flight path for the weight on his back, and avoid flying through the same forest twice. Also, looking at how irritated Ganesh looked trying to get all the branches and leaves out of his face, this is one giant mouse who is due for a major dressing down, if not for a pink slip.

Are we about to see 360 degree shots starting from multiple angles with the name of the character said over and over again every time a new character is introduced? And even later whenever the character is on the screen? (Who knew Ganga had so many names, or rather, adjectives)

Well, at least 50% of the viewers (the men who watch saas-bahu serials balancing the numbers for the women who don't) see most of the actors as completely unrelated, and in many cases, completely opposite characters if they just change the channel. So, it is understandable that they want to make sure everybody recognizes a character from every possible angle (kind of like when you get 360 degree views of cellphones or cars on websites).

And they have to hammer name in our heads enough times for the same reason. So many times in fact, that you are almost forced to ask like Raabert, "etane saare naam? baaki log kidhar hain?" (So many names? Where are other people?)

Plus, it helps in keeping the plot of an episode within two lines. And have you forgotten the 90-10 rule of mythological serials?

Since Ganesh, being a God of Knowledge, is omniscient, why didn't he just know what Vyasa was going to tell him? In short, why didn't he write the story himself?

This particular question deserves a whole chapter in our upcoming book on Mahabharata. But in short, Vyasa is known as “Adya Kavi” (the First Poet). Given modern poetry, do you think it is so surprising that even the God of Knowledge, in his infinite wisdom, does not understand poetry?

What kind of wolf did Devavrata kill?

Aah... contrary to popular belief, it was a Himalayan Wolf, and not Gray Wolf (a species commonly found near Greece till it was endangered by the Spartans).

Keep them coming folks. We live but to serve...

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

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