RashmiRathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar

Author: Ramdhari Singh Dinkar


Publisher: Lokbharti Paperbacks

Price: 95/-

Though I have labeled this post in the category of reviews, I don’t think it is a review.  Why? For a simple reason that I don’t think I am eligible enough to review work of the great author. But the post is being featured here just to make sure all my book loving readers know about this one and the reasons why I think they should read this book.

So basically the author of this book is not your normal author, he is a winner of Sahitya Academy Award, Padma Bhushan, and also the central hall of the Indian parliament adorns his portrait as a mark of respect. Coming back to Rashmirathi, as a composition it has two things which have caught imagination, my fantasy and my delight the first being poetry and the second being the epic tale of the Mahabharata.

The elegance or the uniqueness of the poem lies the way the old tale of Mahabharata has been captured. In most of the illustrations, the Mahabharata always gives the perception through a third person’s eye or the victors’ (Pandavas) eyes. Rashmirathi provides an insight into the battle through the eyes of Karna, one of the most influential yet ignored and unlucky character in the tale.

The literary value of Rashmirathi is simply brilliant, the poetry never ceases catching your attention and delves you inside the mind of Karana and presents his side of things and his view of the Dharma. However, in the current age where Hindi as a literary language has taken a lot of backseat readers might find understanding of some words difficult use of a hind dictionary or internet might be required.

Summary: Overall a brilliant read, totally mind boggling and makes you think and capture multiple perspectives and the ethics of right and wrong. However, if a long Hindi poetry which spans across 176 pages is not your forte then this might not be the book for you.

Rating: 5 / 5

Ps. I have tried my hands on translating some poems of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s Rashmirathi here and here. Should make a good impression on what the book has in store for you.


11 comments on “RashmiRathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar”

  1. Ramesh Reply

    Remember reading Dinakar’s poems in school and college and so lovely they were. But as you rightly say, literary Hindi is a challenge, especially for a non native speaker.

  2. Vipul Reply

    Sounds to be an interesting one. I too remember reading Dinakar’s poem in school, it was too good. Like to pick it up soon to give a kick for reading a Hindi genre.

  3. Ruchira Reply

    RashmiRathi is an incomparable piece of literature. Too bad hindi literature has taken a back seat. Long back I decided to do a post on Bacchans poems – may be now I will. I had read your translations long back – and had loved them !

    • Prats Reply

      @Ruchira: I feel very strongly about how Hindi literature has taken a back seat. I mean there should be a basic level of promotion for the culture and the legacy of what the literature has been, but it seems like nobody wants to take up the cause of Hindi Literature.

  4. bharat Reply

    ive read dis complete poetry…..it was just ossom….
    one of the best parts were when lord krishna brings a proposal of friendship for duryodhan and he tries to capture lord….

    and another was when parshuram says brahmin never tolerates pain waali lines after which he curses karna

  5. Kishoore Khanna Reply

    Dinkar’s RASHMIRATHI – full life story on Karna’s life portrays a masterpiece. I was looking for this book, for how many years I donot know, as I forgot its title from my high school curriculum. My search, narrowed by many probabled, landed me to RASHMIRATHI yesterday night around 1130. And I was ecstatic. Have ordered it already and going to enjoy all over again.

  6. Rahul Sharma Reply

    Since some time I had been feeling strongly to read a good poetry in Hindi. And I decided to start with this, as had heard a lot about it from some hindi scholars. And It over-delivered on my expectations. This being my first serious-reading (a poetry), I’ve already fallen in love with this creation. Dinkar Ji hs made this story even more beautiful by his words.
    I was in chapter 4, when his description of the conversation between Karn and Indra brought tears in my eyes. The words were simple yet beautiful and very moving.

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