‘I’ve given the Mahabharata a futuristic touch’, says Virat Vilas Pawar, author of Heroes of War

Science fiction and mythology as independent genres have garnered a lot of attention in literature. But a combination of both the genres had remained largely unexplored so far. Now, it is slowly grabbing the attention of young authors who are keen to offer their readers something new and original. One such author is Virat Vilas Pawar.

His new book titled Heroes of War - Men From The Future is an interesting blend of science fiction and mythology. In this case, the mythology is nothing less than the greatest epic of all time, the Mahabharata itself.

Have you ever imagined the great archer Arjun from the Mahabharata using an energy projectile like Doctor Strange to fight the Kauravas? Can you visualise Sahadeva, the youngest among the Pandavas, as a tech savvy prince? Virat’s book takes you on a journey into this incredible world, set in the year 3025.

It is apparently a world that faces danger not only from human terrorists but also aliens, necessitating the creation of a global behemoth imaginatively titled Force Against Terror and Extraterrestrials (FATE). It is an all-government organisation responsible for taking care of global as well as inter-galactic security.

The organisation has its own high-tech training centre where they train people to become super-warriors. But one day, even this all-knowing, all-powerful organisation is caught unawares by a special guest who suddenly arrives at their doorstep. It is Lord Krishna himself. What surprises them even more is the reason behind his visit. Krishna has travelled from the past and his mission to recruit five super warriors to fight the Kurukshetra war.

“These warriors are equipped with ultra modern weapons, but they still find it difficult to fight the enemy during the war,” shares author Virat Vilas Pawar. “However this is what is most interesting about the story of Mahabharat: If Krishna wanted to end the war, he could have done so in a fraction of a second, but he didn’t do so,” he says.

“I have tried to keep true to the essence of Mahabharata as much as possible. If you have read the epic you will enjoy this book. And if you read this book and then read the Mahabharata you will still enjoy the epic.”

While the story of the Mahabharat has been kept intact, Virat has altered a couple of characters involved in the epic. For example, Nakul, one of the Pandavas, has been depicted as a handsome and smart prince in the original story, but the book turns him into the most hilarious character of the epic.

Most major characters, however, remain unchanged. Yudhisthir still remains the undisputed leader of the Pandavas, the much revered elder brother and the epitome of Truth. Arjun is still the ferocious warrior and the invincible archer.

Krishna’s character too remains unchanged as the celestial figure who is detached from all the material things around him even though he has a kingdom to rule. And the Kauravas keep playing all kinds of dirty tricks to keep the throne of Hastinapur in their possession.

Talking about why he decided to use the story of Mahabharata for his book, Virat says, “The epic has a lot of drama unfolding between the Pandavas and the Kauravas with Krishna trying to make peace between the two and manipulating things for the betterment of all. In fact, it will not be wrong to say that Krishna is the author of the epic, because it is he who keeps changing the course of events.

This is something that I find very interesting. Every story is to some extent inspired by this epic. It deals with the entire gamut of human emotions. Also the knowledge and values it offers is something which we can use in our daily lives. I believe that if you are facing any problem in your life, you should follow Krishna’s advice in the Bhagavad Gita.

I’m not saying this from a religious point of view, but from a practical point of view. The Gita has a very practical approach towards human life. This is the reason why people follow it even today and will continue to do so in the future; because basic human nature remains the same in all ages. I felt that giving a futuristic touch to this immortal epic would make it even more interesting.”

Well, the idea of ancient characters of the Mahabharata using futuristic weapons is surely interesting and adds an exciting twist to the already larger than life epic.