I recently read “The Immortals of Meluha”. Kept me entertained adequately on a long road trip. It’s written by a 35 Yr old IIM-C MBA marketing executive from an MNC in the process of trying express his true passion. More than the book itself, that author’s scenario fascinated me – being one such 35 Yr old (36 actually :)) IIM-C MBA constantly trying to express my true calling, myself. So here goes my review of the book.
The author writes the story of Shiva – the Man evolving into a leader, GOD like and eventually into a Mahadev (GOD of GODs). Set in 1,900 BC it talks of the Land of Meluha … of a Suryavanshi tribe the followers of GOD-like King Ram, the Chandravanshi’s, the half human Nagas, Himalayan kingdoms and people whom we now view as divine – Nandi, Bhadra and Sati. It is first part of a trilogy.
Firstly I want to congratulate the author for writing about what they don’t teach in the IIMs – which with every passing year you learn is a lot (that matters :()
The basic premise is not unfounded. In the Yogic system, Shiva is revered as the “Adi Yogi” – the first or the foremost Yogi. GOD like … but not GOD. Shiva makes a very interesting Hero in general. Smoking pot, meditating, ready to burst into a dance or a fight, above impressions, revered by the most conscious sages/yogis … such range !!
In this book, like Aragon in Lord of the Rings, he is chosen one … as the legend goes. He denies any special status and resists the role of the Lord … but the warring tribes believe HE is the one … and the story is about how he starts fulfilling that belief with each passing battle.
The basic plot is very innovative and quite reverting. Shiva makes quite a very multi-dimensional Hero. I look forward to he other parts of the trilogy, as it is undoubtedly an interesting read.
Some problems though.
The style is too colloquial to the point of being pedestrian … colloquial is ok with me. But, the “license” is really stretched when Shiva screams “Bast**d” or courts Sati thinking “Say yes Dammit” or the when the Chandravanshi’s stage “terrorist attacks”. I think such pedestrian writing can be avoided in trying to be colloquial.
Fantasy must be fantastic not absurd … The book portrays many unknown secrets of the ancient Indians, the wisdom of the sages and knowledge of those times. I’ll buy the power of the Somras in turning every one immortal or magical power of Astras … but absurd claims like how the conducted “pressing the chest 5 times followed by blowing in the mouth to revive a drowned person” that sounds exactly like CPR … “Chief Scientist Brihaspathy explaining how Somras is basically anti-oxidants and how it is linked to absorbing oxygen into our blood ” … “chief immigration office” … all take away the balance required in sustaining the fantasy portion of a story like this. I understand we’ll feel proud that Indian’s already knew about oxygen, anti-oxidants and CRP in 1,900 BC but feels too cheeky to read it in print !!
Overall a interesting product. It’s not the Lord of the Rings from India, for sure. I wish an experienced writer can complement the original and creative instincts of the author … to help give more depth and gravity to the writing.
I congratulate the author for his originality and ambition … and wish him all the best to write even better in Part II and III. Shiva deserves it !!!