Friday, September 30, 2011

The Secret of The Nagas - Book Review

Amish's The Secret of the Nagas - a sequel to his book The Immortals of Meluha gives a good continuation to the buzz the First Book of the Trilogy created. This book effortlessly fuses facts and fiction and manages to keep the readers hooked till the end. In this sequel, Shiva the widely accepted vanquisher of evil is on a rampage to find Nagas- they are the folks whom he believes has murdered his friend Brahaspati. 

While the prequel showed how the death of his friend was creating havoc in Shiva's personal life, this volume describes Shiva's journey across the country to avenge his loss. This journey sets off an apple cart literally and HE comes across many startling and disturbing facts. People whom he believed were evil are not really bad and folks whom HE genuinely thought to be good have a few unsettling cobwebs under the carpet---- !!!!

Nothing is really what its seems and the Neelkanth's quest for finding and understanding evil leads to a discovery of self in particular and the Truth in general. What I absolutely loved about the book were the introduction of 2 characters - Kali & Ganesha ; How these characters blend in to the thick of things is nice ! 
The first book was a drop-dead winner; the second book slightly pales in comparison to the first volume but nevertheless  manages to create a mix of curiosity and amusement- You just can't wait for the things to fall in place and reach its logical conclusion in the final volume - The Oath of Vayu Putras!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Immortals of Meluha - A Book Review

 The first reaction as I saw this book in Odyssey store was to get hold of it immediately- the book cover & the title tempted me a lot and  as I browsed through ,I realised it was part of the Trilogy Series and the book no 2- The Secret of the Nagas was also out on stores while the last edition of the Shiva Trilogy- The Oath of Vayuputra is slated for release later this year or probably the early next year. My initial sense of wanting to possess the book is entirely justified as the saga of the Meluhans interspersed with the journey of a common man Shiva & his transformation to becoming Neelkanth is very interesting to say the least. The story is set around 1900 BC & the citizens of the period called their land Meluha. The city  & its inhabitants run their empire on the principles of Lord Ram.The inhabitants of this city are immortals because they partake somras the magical drink that promises a long life. These suryavanshis pride in the fact that they are ruled justly and everybody in the kingdom regardless of caste & creed  has an access to the magic potion. While they seemingly have a peaceful life the city is plagued by terrorist attacks from the land of chandravanshis their arch rivals and people whom they believe as evil. There is an ancient legend that people staunchly belive- a man will rise & come to their land; he will have a blue throat and he will be their saviour- a man who will help them in destroying evil.

The premise of a man like shiva existing and his journey in to becomeing the ultimate destroyer of evil mix myths & fiction convincingly. And in the process what results is a very lovely story & a few stunning relevations. The concept of what is good & what is evil is beautifully explained. How being different is not bad and if any person who does not conform to your beliefs cannot be branded evil are a few highlights. There are vikramas in the city of Meluha. These people are rendered untouchables because they are believed to be carriers of bad fate. Though they have access to certain basic rights & a way of living, they are denied the dignity & humanity of life as they are thought to suffer in this life because of their past sins. The story very cleverly weaves a plot to bring the plight of vikramas to justice & in the process give them the love n appreciation that they have been missing.What I also loved about the book was the  nuanced & practical intrepretations of many issues. I also loved the Har Har Mahadev explanation- There is God in everybody. A man becomes great by his actions as the premise underlying the story is welcome.

The review of the book without talking about the author Amish Tripathi is incomplete - I was completely blown away by the thought process behind the writing; such layered thinking in a very different genre has my hats off. I am already neck- deep in to my second book & its review will be out shortly. But be sure to be part of this mega adventure and experience the varying emotions the book promises !