(Review by Pavithra)
– Amish Tripathi
The central theme of the book is that Hindu mythology may just be an extension of real life incidents and real life people in the past. The author believes that the praises for historical heroes were sung so high that they came to be known as Gods. The object of the book is to bring forth a fictional representation of a wild tribal leader transforming into the mighty Lord Shiva that all Hindus revere.
Meluha is the name given by the author to the ancient Indus valley civilization. It is the great time in India when cities were structured perfectly , men followed the code of honor and duty to the letter. But this mighty civilization is under massive terrorist threat from evil forces. Their own perfect system of conduct has held their population in check while the enemy has greatly outnumbered them. Meluha believes a legend which says that they will be saved from this situation , that all evil will be vanquished by a new Mahadev , the Neelkanth. This savior is of course our hero. The story then narrates the life transformation Shiva undergoes to accept and fulfill his destiny.
The characters in the book all have the names of gods and demigods that Hindus are familiar with. Nandi is Shiva’s most trusted friend instead of a proverbial bull. Parvateshwar is Sati/Parvati ‘s godfather. Brahaspathi is one of the brilliant scientists of Meluha. The best characterization in this book is about Lord Ram. Instead of being a God , he is portrayed as an actual ruler who brought together peace and balance to the people of Meluha. his established empire or “Ram Rajya” have the doctrines that are told in our myths. Due to his deeds and bravery, the people of Meluha treat his memory on par with the Gods. The author s idea of paralleling with Shiva s destiny gives us an idea of what to expect in Shiva’s future.
The concept of the book is a fresh one. Bringing the Hindu mythology to life through believable incidents is an excellent venture. And the story too is well thought out and well researched so as to bring together reality and supernatural. But the narration itself is very very mediocre. American phrases and slangs thrown in make it all the more hideous. Shiva uttering words like “Bloody Hell” does not justify his character. The writing is also so-so and does not describe the situation and goings on very well. It is sad that what is a brilliant story concept has been treated in a shabby way. In fact the character introduction and descriptions even get a tad monotonous after a while.
The humor in the book is extremely pathetic and the romance also is pretty predictable.
Only the story is the savior of this book.
I picked up the book purely impressed by the cover art shown above. Also the author has done some major marketing by releasing a video trailer and having a website even.
Pick it up if you are interested in the myth-reality confluence of Hindu history. But don’t expect to read the works of a great writer in it, just a good story. Also , this book is a part of a trilogy called “Shiva trilogy” . So I would pick up the other books out of curiosity hoping that the writing improves and the sequels live up to the expectations and don’t deviate from the story line.
My Rating 3*