How does one make an oft-repeated tale so interesting that even though one knows the finer details of the story, one still finds the eagerness to watch it yet again with the curious anxiety of  ‘what happens next?’. Epic Channel’s fictional show Dharmakshetra does exactly that.

A unique approach to narrate the story of world’s longest epic poem Mahabharata, Dharmakshetra applies the popular genre of a courtroom drama to dissect each character on the basis of dharma (accordance to the universal law) and adharma (non-accordance to the universal law).

The story is set at a time when all the principles characters of Mahabharata have passed on and are now on the way to their heavenly abode. They are at the court of Chitragupta, the Hindu God who maintains the records of all actions done by the humans on Earth during their lifetime.

Each character is called out and his/her accusations are listed by Chitragupta, against which the accused has to defend himself/herself and give explanations to. This leads to arguments and counter allegations among the concerned characters and a revisit to the related events, bringing forth the reasons due to which the accused committed the alleged adharma.

The constant references to past events enlightens one of the many happenings, conspiracies, deceits and misunderstandings, that are mostly known and some unknown. The reasons and mindsets behind these occurrences that are now revealed to all, pave way for Chitragupta to confer his judgement.

Thus many facts come to light. Many unknown characters prove to be turning points in the tale. Many hidden feelings are finally conveyed. Many unknown emotions finally surface. Unknowingly, this procedure makes them go through what we call a What-if analysis. Would this tale have been so if any of these events were any different. Perhaps not. So, here is an opportunity to rehash the known facts and learn some unknown ones. Such as,

  • Who was the first daughter-in-law of Kunti?
  • Did Dronacharya teach Arjuna everything that he knew or he held back anything?
  • Was the friendship of Karna and Duryodhan true or were they just using each other against the Pandavas?
  • Why didn’t Karna join the battle of Kurukshetra when Bheeshma was the Commander-in-chief?
  • Why didn’t Bheeshma aim his weapon towards Shikandi?
  • Was Yudhisthir’s delayed truth about Ashwathama, an act of dharma or adharma?
  • Who gave the invisible, invincible shield to Duryodhan and yet how did Bheem manage to defeat him?
  • Was Shakuni‘s revenge justified?
  • Which Pandava proved to be a true committed husband to Draupadi?
  • Why was Yudhisthir infuriated with Kunti when, after Karna‘s death, she told him that Karna was his elder brother?

This is just a gist of what one could learn in a gripping, emotional set up. Dharmakshetra has managed to bring back this epic story alive.

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