Interviewer: Describe yourself.
Krishna: (smiles) You are asking me to describe myself. (smiles again). I can give you my physical appearance, sure, but my spiritual self is hard to understand. Sometimes, even I find myself dynamic and unpredictable. Yes, you could say that. I’m unpredictable. I’m naughty. I’m a trickster who is willing to do anything for Dharma. You see, I view this society as dirty and I make myself ready to clean it, with whatever weapons that I possess. I am the incarnation of a God, but on the earth, my powers are limited. And that is to the best interest of humankind. For I fear if I divulge the full extent of my powers, this earth will be earth no longer. (laughs) As far as my appearances are concerned, I think girls will love me. Dark, blue-skinned, mystical, dressed in blue, I’m pretty entrancing. I am someone who draws people in and make them want to explore me. I am a friend to friends and a deadly force to reckon with for my enemies. I play the flute. I wield the sword and the bow. But my weapons are the mace and the wheel. I can go on, my friend, but shouldn’t my identity wait for the future books? Let the readers know me. When the time comes, I will divulge my true self, but until then, let me play my games?
Interviewer: What is your role in this book?
Krishna: My role is simple. Defend the Yadavas. Defend Mathura. I have worked hard to free them from the tyranny of Kamsa. Such hard work should not go to waste. But there will be circumstances which will force me to re-evaluate my initial decisions. Aryavarta is becoming increasingly complex and I constantly fear that the Yadavas will be lost in it. So I am forced to take preventive measures.
Interviewer: What are your end goals?
Krishna: The establishment of Dharma, of course. Sin runs rampant in the country and I want to take it upon myself to clean it. Bereft of my original powers, I find that a daunting task. I could have put Dharma on the throne of men with the twitch of my fingers, but now, I am going to have to find weapons suitable for my purpose and play the whole game just like an ordinary man. True, I have some powers that I use in battles etc..but those can only work within a limit. And that is nothing that no other Kshatriya is not taught. For example, archers are taught to manipulate the elements of nature to create astras. It is what they think that makes their arrows deadly. My powers are just a bit enhanced. And I have the power of foresight. But that I attribute to my understanding of human actions and what they will lead to, rather than a true foretelling.
Interviewer: How would you characterize the antagonist of this book? Who is he and why does he do what he does?
Krishna: Ah, Jarasandha! He is a complex guy. He is feared by most kings in Aryavarta and he is called the Emperor, a name tag he has slapped onto himself. He craves revenge on the Yadavas and especially upon me and my brother, Balarama. Well, I can relate and understand why he does what he does. But I also sometimes find him foolish, eager to return every time to satisfy his ego, even at the loss of face. And like Subhadra, I am betting that you will probably find the same.
Interviewer: How do you see the Yadavas in their present situation?
Krishna: They are terrified of Magadha. Their coffers are emptying because of the constant warring, Their businesses are failing, the trade is just dismal. And thanks to their enmity with Jarasandha, the surrounding kingdoms hesitate to aid them because they fear Jarasandha’s wrath. I can’t blame them, but I did expect them to help us in our problems. But we are not complaining.
Interviewer: Do we get to see your childhood? Or are you introduced as a youth?
Krishna: The author has introduced me as a young man who returns fresh from his schooling to find that Magadha has started its wars on the Yadava kingdom. My childhood is not covered because there is too much to tell. The author intends to write a separate book on my childhood. I think he is calling it ‘The Adventures of Gopala Giridhari.” However, that will be a spin-off and not particularly a book belonging to the series.
Interviewer: Are there any other enemies we can expect in the Book?
Krishna: At the end of the book, you may see some demons coming to the aid of Jarasandha. They pose a threat to the Yadavas because they see us as a threat to their dominion. These demons are the last of the Asuras that remain after long wars between them and the Devas. But some powerful ones have remained, and, unfortunately, they have not relocated to Pataal. (laughs)
Interviewer: Have you heard of the Pandavas? Do you interact with them?
Krishna: (smirks) Now, is that a question to ask? Of course, I have. They are my cousins. And an interaction with them? No. Only with Bheema, I guess. But even then, not much really.
Interviewer: What can the readers expect from this book?
Krishna: A lot of foreshadowing of what is to happen. This book is all about the mythical folklore, but the later books will deal more about the politics. At the end of the first book, everything comes into the picture and whatever happens to the Pandavas will be like an avalanche in the mountains. Events will start flowing once Adharma comes to the fore and I believe the next book will show exactly that. Also, you can expect some scheming and plotting. The Pandava track and the Yadava track all got their own antagonists, and each might help the other one out. They fear the rising alliance between the Pandavas and the Yadavas since they are closely related. Pandavas are the heart of Dharma and the Yadavas support Dharma. So you may understand why the demons want to crush us so the Pandavas might be left alone to fend for themselves. Also, some stories that should have been told in the first book will be shown in the subsequent books.
Interviewer: What plans does the author have for you in the second book?
Krishna: The author does plan for me to have a meatier role. It’s not just the Mahabharata, but the books will also cover my adventures in my youth. There are a lot of enemies to face and then, there are romances and stuff. So yes, I have much to do in the second book, not to mention start behaving like a statesman rather than a warrior. Because I do believe that weapons cause destruction, but a willful mind can cause mass destruction. (gives a wicked smile)
So this was Krishna, a protagonist from Varun Prabhu’s debut novel – Exodus, Book One of the Mahabharata Simplified Series, which releases on February 28th this year.