Friday, November 25, 2011

The Immortals of Meluha

Author:         Amish
Published:   2010
Publisher:    Westland Ltd.
Paperback: 466 pages

This is a  story about the  transformation of a  Tibetan tribal leader to a savior of the country of Meluha.
This Tibetan is none another than whom many Hindus worship as Lord Shiva and Meluha is " what modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley Civilization".
This is an  imaginative rendering of the saga of Lord Shiva.
A modern Shiva Puranam !
This book is the first book in the Shiva Trilogy , the second being "The Secret of the Nagas" and the third "The Oath of the Vayuputras (yet to be released)".
The book begins with Shiva being convinced by Nandi (a Meluhan) to emigrate from Mansarovar , Mt. Kailash to Meluha along with Gunas , the members of his tribe. It concludes with Shiva leading Meluhans to a resounding victory over their enemies the Chandravanshis of Swadweep. However Shiva is rather pained by this victory and almost goes into depression. Why ? Read the book to find out!
The plot is quite interesting, fast-moving and has a surprising twist in the end.  It has author's own logical and quite credible interpretations of - how Shiva got his blue throat (thereby the name "Neelkanth"); how his weapon the trident (Trishul) was conceived; his third-eye; the symbol "Aum"; reincarnations of Vishnu etc. Though this book is packed with events, yet author has managed to portray Shiva's character, his dilemmas and  his sense of humor pretty well. 
The underlying message of this book as mentioned by Amish, the author in the introduction is "... all of us can rise to be better people.....there exists a potential god in every human being. All we have to do is to listen to ourselves." 
However from a literary perspective I would rate Ashok Banker's book "The Prince of Ayodhya", which belongs to the same genre, a notch higher (See my review of this book). But Banker's book is more voluminous and rather too descriptive which may be a bit too much for many readers (not for me though ! I liked it).  And this is where "The Immortals of Meluha" has an edge. It is more appealing to a wider audience and has become No.1 National Bestseller.
Though it did not meet my expectations 100 % (may be I had too high an expectation based on what I heard and read about it), I still enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading its sequels.

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