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Karna's Wife: The Outcast's QueenKarna’s Wife: The Outcast’s Queen by Kavita KanĂ©
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mahabharatha is a story which can be seen from various standpoints. The result from each of these standpoints will be different. This is one such perspective. This is the Mahabharatha through the eyes of Uruvi the second wife of Karna.
Uruvi was the princess of one of the kingdoms, Pukeya, which owed allegiance to Hastinapur. Kunti was her foster mother. She was a wild child who did not hesitate to question anybody, even Bhishma Pitamaha, and was a tom boy playing with the Pandavas and the Kauravas. She was identified as a future match for Arjuna.
All this changed when Karna challenged Arjuna in the tournament held between the Pandavas and Kauravas. Uruvi was smitten by Karna. It was love at first sight. Waving aside the warning of all the elders she chooses Karna as her husband in her Swayamvara and becomes his second wife.
Karna who is considered a sutaputra (son of a charioteer) is trying to win respect that he deserves as a warrior but is scorned by all. This rubs on Uruvi too. Duryodhana is the only one who respects Karna and makes him his best friend. This act, plus his hatred of Arjuna, ensures that Karna sticks to Duryodhana knowing fully well that what Duryodhana is doing is not righteous.
She learns about the deep hatred that Karna has for Arjuna and keeps dreading the day the two would duel. She is unable to accept that her just, kind, righteous Karna provoked the Kauravas to strip Draupadi in the Kuru assembly. She rejects him and goes back to her parents to bear her child with Karna. She refuses to go back with Karna even when he comes to take her back home. But she is unable to stop loving Karna and goes back to him.
In the meantime the palace intrigues has created a situation where the cousins are all set battle against each other. Karna is the trump card of Duryodhana in the battle. Uruvi tries to drive sense into Karna to avoid the war. But his friendship with Duryodhana and hatred of Arjuna prevents Karna from taking the right side. Karna is stripped of his guard by Indra who asks his kavach and kundal, then Krishna strips him of his second guard by revealing that he is son of Kunti and a Pandava and finally Kunti herself strips the last vestige of protection from Karna by extracting a promise from him that he will not kill any of his brothers and will use the celestial astras only once. He gives his promise saying he will not harm anybody except Arjuna.
Uruvi is torn apart by the knowledge that she is going to lose Karna. Karna dies as expected and Uruvi is left to take care of Karna’s first wife and his parents which she fulfills. The redeeming fact for her is that her son through Karna survives the carnage. He is offered the throne of Hastinapur by the Pandavas, but Uruvi refuses it and asks her son to be only a part of the Hastinapur army but not become a heir apparent to the throne.
A good read as it presents a different perspective to Mahabharatha.

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