Sep 20, 2011

The Immortals of Meluha: Book Review


The Immortals of Meluha: The first book of the Shiva Trilogy.
Author: Amish Tripathi
Publisher: Westland
My Rating:  ****

The book cover will definitely draw the BholeNath fans towards. A fine illustration of how Amish describes Shiva – a lithe muscular body with numerous battle scars on his skin. 
The back cover blurb however instantly erases any chances of the reader expecting a mythological tale.  It clearly states that this is the story of a man whom legend has turned into God. Interesting! So this should be a completely different and contemporary take on the age-old stories our grannies have been telling us about Lord Shiva. And indeed it turns out to be quite a good read.
Amish is an intelligent writer and the kind of research that has gone into the book shows. It is amazing to see how each character connected with Shiva and his mythological stories, appears and develops as the story unfolds.
 Shiva is in fact a mere mortal, the chief of a mountain tribe called the Gunas who live in the Himalayas. Nandi is one of the captains of the Meluhan tribe who is sent by the King Daksha to invite Shiva and his tribe to their land. The land of Meluha is supposedly the glorious land which Lord Ram established. And this is the land which we modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley civilization. I loved the way the land has been described, so thrilling. Wonder why our History textbooks couldn’t be made this interesting?
At a point I found a strange connection with present day situations where the Suryavanshis of the Land of Meluha are at terrible loggerheads with the Chandravanshis who rule over Lord Ram’s birthplace- Ayodhya! Now does that ring a bell???
On arrival in Meluha, Shiva and his tribe are quarantined and administered the Somras by a Meluhan doctor Ayurvati and her nurses. The medicine was to decontaminate them from any kinds of disease they could be carrying. It is the Somras that turns Shiva’s throat blue making him the much awaited NeelKanth. Shiva’s life changes forever. He is no longer a mere caste unmarked immigrant in Meluha but the savior of the Suryavanshis, the destroyer of all evil. The NeelKanth is expected to eradicate the terrorist Chandarvanshis who are allegedly destroying their river Saraswati. Shiva remains in denial for a good half of the book and that’s where I felt the story dragged a bit.
Shiva meets with Sati the daughter of King Daksha who is a Vikarma- carriers of bad fate and hence cannot be touched. Shiva however falls in love with her and come what may is bent upon getting her.  It is an emotionally high point when Shiva as NeelKanth makes a public appearance and reaches out to a blind old man considered as Vikarma to express his dislike for this unfair rule and wishes that such discrimination could be stopped.
Between a lot of battle, politics and philosophy there is Sati who refuses to accept Shiva’s love and that she needs happiness too. I found the story telling drags once again. However all’s well that ends well!  I like all love stories to end on a positive note and that is just what happens.
The concluding chapter ‘The Question of Questions’ is quite a lesson in its own. I would conclude that the book is an overall good read.


Thanks to BlogAdda I got to read this book earlier than I'd expected. 


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6 comments:

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Epic_Fairy said...

I am always a fan of Lord Shiva. So when I saw a book with Shiva as a core subject, I wanted to read this book. To appreciate the author “Amish” for his knowledge and interest in ancient India(Bharath), I bought this book instead of borrowing it from friends.

The way the author depicts the Ram Raajya (Lord Shri Ram’s Kingdom), is awe-inspiring. His way of taking the subject - Shiva from a normal human being into a super man is very interesting. I truly salute the author. But the author states several untrue facts in this book, which he claims as the Indian History or Ram Raajya. 

> First thing, the author claims that Sati (Parvati) is a widow is unacceptable. 
> Secondly, the author takes the story to a point where the Shiva marries the Sati who is a widow. How the Mahadeva in the name of Holy-lake would marry a widow?

As per Indian history there is no concept of Widow re-marriage. When a man dies, there was an audacious practice of firing the Wife of the husband along with his body. 
With his immense knowledge on Indian history and Ram Raajya, I wonder, how the author dared to depict Sati Devi as a Widow and Lord Shiva getting married to a Widowed Sati!
I don’t understand onething. Indians/Hindus, they emerge together to fight against when Government or Terrorists try to cause any damage to the Lord Ram’s name. But now they are keeping their mouths shut allowing this kind of book to be published across the world, where the author understate the Lord Shiva’s honor.
I believe this act should be questioned. 

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Rahul Sharma said...

I bought and gifted it to my grandmother. The unique perspective.. she found it very interesting..