Shakuni: The Mastermind: A Perspective by Kunal Roy

Mahabharat, a magnum opus by the sage Vyasa, son of sage Parashar and Satyavati narrates the tale of conflict, envy, sex, sadism, conspiracy, dilemma, trick, war and the list is simply endless! The characters portrayed are definitely larger than life. They are not flat but round as they manage to respond to the development of plot and structure with a touch of ease!
Shakuni, the character of controversy really seizes the heed of all and sundry! An extremely sharp witted person who knew how to frame the tactics to win the game of dice. It is worth mentioning the dice was made from the thigh bone of his father. It seemed as if the dice would always dance to his tunes, no matter how strong and capable his opponent was! However, his pivotal role in the epic had really shaped the destiny of others! His flawless act of retribution had a reason behind! Ghandar Naresh always desired to get her sister Ghandhari married to Maharaj Pandu. But this simply did not happen because of Gangaputra Bhisma. His dream remained a dream as Ghandhari was married to Dhritarashtra, the born blind! Ghandhari was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva and she vowed never to see the light of the day like her spouse. She simply took a silk turban of cloth and wrapped up her eyes! A timeless sacrifice the whole world had witnessed! This enraged Shakuni and he resolved to destroy the Kuru clan by hook or by crook. To translate his vicious ambition into reality, he came to Hastinapur with his sister. Gradually time fleeted away and he began to sow the seeds of venom in Duryodhana and Dush ashana. The Pandavas were to be wiped out from the face of the world. Ranging from the horrendous event of Laxshagraha to the pathetic defeat of Yudhisthira in the game of dice in the Kaurav Sabha of Hastinapur to the attempt of disrobing Draupadi in the open court were some of the instances where Shakuni was the one and only guide! Little the Kauravas realised that they were inviting their own doom. A massive conspiracy where the “guest”of Hastinapur master minded the whole act, broke the ground of battle at Kurukshetra and relished the deaths of his kith and kin. He might have chuckled to himself as his long woven dream was eventually translated into a severe reality! But he too was not spared. He had to pay for all his devilish acts in the battle of Kurukshetra. The end of Shakuni came in the hands of Sahadeva.
Shakuni reminds one of Iago in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’. Sowed and nurtured the seeds of envy and suspicion in Othlello’s mind against his spouse Desdemona, the latter was murdered by Othello before he killed himself with a lethal weapon! On the other hand in a broader sense it was neither Shakuni’s dice nor the open hair of Krishna nor the Lord himself was responsible for the destruction! Everyone was the victim of the cycle of time. It was the timeless time’s desire to destroy the adharma and establish dharma for the true upliftment of the human race! There could be millions of ‘interpretation’ on the diversity of Shakuni, but the truth is, the nature’s policy always believes in creating a balance between the bright and dark, light and day and good and evil! After all the variety of His creative process is something to be fathomed before the phase of acceptance, acknowledgement!! Any explanation?
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