Karna is the theme of my second published novel. But is he the protagonist?
The character of Karna is so complex as described in Maha Bharath of Ved Vyas that a single book cannot explain or get near his mysteries. He appears out of nowhere in the bosom of a river. It so happens that Kunti had also floated a child down a river. It further happens that the two rivers were the same.
Given the circumstances it would appear that Karna is the son of Kunti. If he is, then the guilt of Kunti increases several fold. Karna spent his formative years as a warrior trainee in the Gurukul of Drona, along with the princes. He must have wandered around the streets of Hastinapura, decked in his kavach and kundal. They were so special, the gifts from his father Surya, resplendent on the body of the son. Even if the boy was not noticed in Hastinapura, the unusual skin and the shining Kundala cannot escape the gaze of the people on the street.
With kingdoms in precarious state, the news about the strange boy must have reached the King, Dhrithrashtra and the palace. It is also hard to believe that nobody noticed the strange kavach and kundal of the new recruit in Drona’s school of martial arts. The Pandavas must have talked about the boy, and bits of this discussion must have reached Kunti. Would a mother who first gazed upon this wonder have forgotten them so easily.
Would so astute a warrior as Drona fail to notice the kavach and kundal? Would he fail to notice the extraordinary skill of the charioteers son? And yet he did.
I am forced to believe that the kavach and kundal. mentioned with such frequency in the Mahabharath were not as striking as Vyas would have as believe. He must have been fond of the princes who were of his lineage anyway.
How about the mother, the queen Kunti. How could she fail to notice the strange apparel and ornament of Kara, who came from such a poor family. How could a mother not recognize such a distinguished son.
These and some other points about the boy and the scintillating character of Karna, have made me wonder about the strange character for a long while.These questions form the background of the novel, The Conflict of Karna. (available on Amazon, Flipkart)