My mother scolded me when I told her that I was “writing the Mahabharata” as this epic tale of intra-family war is believed to bring bad luck to the extended family of the writer. So I was surprised when she asked for a copy of my work-in-progress and read the whole manuscript in one long sitting. She then told me that we need not worry – what I had written was not the Mahabharata after all – the curse would not apply! She was the first reader of this curse-free version. She even said she enjoyed the story, an accolade not ever bestowed easily. After that ringing affirmation, I had no choice but to get on with it and publish the book.
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