Publish with us

Follow Penguin

Follow Penguinsters

Follow Hind Pocket Books

The Pregnant King

The Pregnant King

Pattanaik Devdutt
Select Preferred Format

‘I am not sure that I am a man,’ said Yuvanashva. ‘I have created life outside me as men do. But I have also created life inside me, as women do. What does that make me? Will a body such as mine fetter or free me?’

Among the many hundreds of characters who inhabit the Mahabharata, perhaps the world’s greatest epic and certainly one of the oldest, is Yuvanashva, a childless king, who accidentally drinks a magic potion meant to make his queens pregnant and gives birth to a son. This extraordinary novel is his story.

It is also the story of his mother Shilavati, who cannot be king because she is a woman; of young Somvat, who surrenders his genitals to become a wife; of Shikhandi, a daughter brought up as a son, who fathers a child with a borrowed penis; of Arjuna, the great warrior with many wives, who is forced to masquerade as a woman after being castrated by a nymph; of Ileshwara, a god on full-moon days and a goddess on new-moon nights; and of Adi-natha, the teacher of teachers, worshipped as a hermit by some and as an enchantress by others.

Building on Hinduism’s rich and complex mythology-but driven by a very contemporary sensibility-Devdutt Pattanaik creates a lush and fecund work of fiction in which the lines are continually blurred between men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. Confronted with such fluidity the reader is drawn into Yuvanashva’s struggle to be fair to all-those here, those there and all those in between.

Imprint: Hind Pocket Books

Published: Jan/2021

ISBN: 9780143446255

Length : 352 Pages

MRP : ₹299.00

The Pregnant King

Pattanaik Devdutt

‘I am not sure that I am a man,’ said Yuvanashva. ‘I have created life outside me as men do. But I have also created life inside me, as women do. What does that make me? Will a body such as mine fetter or free me?’

Among the many hundreds of characters who inhabit the Mahabharata, perhaps the world’s greatest epic and certainly one of the oldest, is Yuvanashva, a childless king, who accidentally drinks a magic potion meant to make his queens pregnant and gives birth to a son. This extraordinary novel is his story.

It is also the story of his mother Shilavati, who cannot be king because she is a woman; of young Somvat, who surrenders his genitals to become a wife; of Shikhandi, a daughter brought up as a son, who fathers a child with a borrowed penis; of Arjuna, the great warrior with many wives, who is forced to masquerade as a woman after being castrated by a nymph; of Ileshwara, a god on full-moon days and a goddess on new-moon nights; and of Adi-natha, the teacher of teachers, worshipped as a hermit by some and as an enchantress by others.

Building on Hinduism’s rich and complex mythology-but driven by a very contemporary sensibility-Devdutt Pattanaik creates a lush and fecund work of fiction in which the lines are continually blurred between men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. Confronted with such fluidity the reader is drawn into Yuvanashva’s struggle to be fair to all-those here, those there and all those in between.

Select Preferred Format

Pattanaik Devdutt

Devdutt Pattanaik loves to write, illustrate and lecture on the relevance of mythology in modern times. He has, since 1996, written over fifty books and 1000 columns for adults and children. He believes that stories are like chocolate Eclairs: you chew on the outside-the story-till you get to the soft sweetness inside-the idea. To know more, visit
www.devdutt.com.

More By The Author

A Ramayana for Children

A Ramayana for Children

Pattanaik Devdutt
Sita

Sita

Devdutt Pattanaik, Pattanaik Devdutt
Book Of Ram

Book Of Ram

Pattanaik Devdutt

6 Quotes You Must Read on Gender and Sexuality

Devdutt Pattanaik in his books The Pregnant King and Shikhandi And Other Queer Tales They Don’t Tell You shows how mythologies across the world appreciate what we deem as queer.