By: Ananya Majumdar (LTEN)
Customary as a childhood may sound, I too have grown up listening to mythological stories from my Grandmother. She would skillfully draw a vivid sketch of events making everything sound real. As I grew up, Science took centre-stage and mythological stories the backstage, until I grabbed a copy of “The Immortals of Meluha”, the 1st book of the Shiva Trilogy.
Amish Tripathi has done brilliantly in dealing with a subject that would generally not be popular with the present generation. After all, who would want to read about Mahadev and Sati and whatever they did (hypothetically). Then what is it that makes the book a million copy seller?
It is Amish’s unique story telling technique.Shiva, his central character is a common man who lives in Kailash with his tribe. Although, Shiva is a drug addict and doesn’t hesitate to resort to foul language , he is a true lover, a fearsome warrior and a great dancer. He meets Sati, the Princess of Meluha and instantly falls in love like anyone would. Sati is a warrior Princess, a graceful and dignified lady who will not be easily wooed by Shiva. Everything about Shiva is like any normal human, the way he thinks, whatever he does has no touch of supernatural elements.
The story unfolds in Lord Ram’s city Meluha beside the mythical Saraswati River referred to in the Vedas. The story revolves around the clash of two clans “Suryavanshi’s” and “Chandravanshi’s”, and a prophesy surrounding the “Neelkanth” who is going to destroy all evil and bring peace in the land. The descriptions given in the book clearly shows that Amish has ‘R&Ded’ on all the legends encircling the Mahadeva.
Amish has also given a meaning to the use of the common chant “Har Har Mahadev” which translates as All of us are Mahadevs.
The detailed descriptions in the book almost make us believe to be residents of Meluha . Every character has been introduced with sheer deftness and they have an equally crucial role to play in the plot as the other. Amish has whirled the characters around in a way that none seem redundant. The main plot is gripping enough to keep the reader tied to the book defying the need for a sub-plot. The narrative style and dialogue delivery is immaculate enough to seem like a modern event than from thousand years ago.
Apart from the narration of the journey of the great Mahadeva, it gives a sneak peek into the Indian culture and methods with references to the caste system quite often. Umpteen number of social messages are conveyed subtly which lead to “Aah” moments. Most common of them being to move on a path of self-realization and look beyond what’s perceptively good or evil.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable read and I can’t wait to start off with the the second in the Trilogy “The Secret of the Nagas”.