Maha Varta : Decoding Mahabharata in Modern Day

What do you do when you grow up in an India where there are different views about each and everything under the sun. People do not just tend to disagree and argue but love doing so. And then what do you do when the topic is about the greatest epic ever written, yes the Mahabharata? You don’t fight it, you give in and talk about it with everyone. This isn’t about some Hindu cultist propaganda march, it is in fact one of the many odd groups of Delhi. Odd because they meet and talk about the Mahabharata.

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The group is called Maha Varta, started by Saumya Kulshreshtha back in 2015 because there are so many ways how the writing in the epic are relevant in today’s contemporary life. There are so many things left open to interpretation that it only makes sense to talk them out and maybe take away something rationale from it. And all this started when Saumya sent an invite to her friend to come join a discussion about Mahabharata. The discussion was so intense that people took notice and saw that it was an interesting thing to do. Others joined in and it became a regular thing.

The group talks about the mythology, the history, writing and literature in all details and about anything. They do not even stick to the main characters as there is a lot hidden in the smaller roles and sub-plots. So there could be a meet up which primarily focus on romance and love. While most would think of Ram-Sita and Radha-Krishna in this context because that’s what one’s mind remembers and the most, there are so many other romances that are there to talk about; Dushuant-Sakutala, Nala-Damanti, Aja-Indumati to name a few. This just takes the discussion and the very essence of the group to a higher level because these are the things that are rarely taught or even discussed in households, schools etc.

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It is surprising for Saumya to see that so many like-minded people have come forth to take part in this club, that too on Sunday mornings which is when most of us are still trying to get out of bed. One of the most striking aspects of the group is that the topics are selected and announced in advance and they stick to it. Of course just like Delhi roads, minor diversion must be taken. But this lets people prepare themselves in a way and also acts as an eye-opener for a lot of them as most people have preconceived notions about the epic or parts of it that are usually bits of propaganda instilled in us via one religious schism or the other.

You don’t need to be well versed before hand to take part in the meets, all you need is some
dedication and motivation towards the subject and follow their Facebook page and get all their events updates. They hold their events in public parks like the Lodhi Garden or Humayun’s Tomb so everyone can get there easily.

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