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Immortals of Meluha- Review.

>> Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When I packed my bags this time, I did so with a lot of care. I took only what was highly necessary. No, this was not about travelling light. (wicked smiles). It was to ensure that I had enough space for all the lovely books that I had to carry back. Called the bookstore ahead to make sure I get all the books I need. Armed with a long list, I bugged ‘the Bookworm guy’. He patiently noted the names I was shooting at him. And told me to come about an hour later. I decided to give him more than an hour. After all, some titles were relatively new.
Kiran, no longer ‘the bookworm guy’, had found all the books I needed. And some precious pre-read (shmancy name for used) copies too.  And then it began, like every time I hit a bookstore. A few more titles got added to the stack. I stopped before it would get very difficult to decide. I turned down a few suggestions and freezed my loot at 8 books. And bang on my budget. I was proud of myself. That I did not give in to the huge temptation or Kiran’s encouraging ‘one more wonly madam’. He finally gave up. Or so I thought. When another fella did my bill, kiran came back with a book and said in his signature syle, “ayyo, I forgot this completely. You shouldddd buy this.” I was prepared for it. I go, “ No, No. Not this time. Next time. Let me finish these first. What is it called by the way?” And hurried to pay my bill. ‘Immortals of Meluha’. And I go, “oh, okay. But not now.” He then plays his trump card without realizing it. “Madam, it is about Lord Shiva. The whole country is reading it”. My mind had stopped at ‘Shiva’ and I grabbed the book from his hand. Never judge a book by it’s cover they say. I broke that rule. I had to have the book, at least the cover. The Mighty Himalayas and a beautiful lake as the background, the object of my undivided attention, had Shiva, his back turned to me and a Trishul in the centre. Shiva in a book and a fiction at that, is something I had to try.
Immortals of Meluha is a debut by Amish Tripathi. His first of the trilogy. And a very brave attempt. Brave ,because, he chose to write about a Hindu God for a majority of  the readers who have probably grown up listening to plenty of stories about the book’s main character. Would this story be different? If yes, how far could the author afford to go? If no, why would someone buy this book?
I tried not to be too judgmental. And read the book as a neutral book lover. Not be blinded by my fascination for Shiva. And so I read on.
The review ahead might be a spoiler for few. For those who might not want to read the obvious but important chapter out of the book, turn back. The rest, continue.
The book tells us how, Shiva, a simple Man from the Himalayan Mountains, was turned into a legend by a few turn of events. Shiva, who accidentally develops a blue throat on drinking the Somras(otherwise knows as the drink of gods) and according a long-before told legend, is expected to lead the good side (the Suryavanshis) to be victorious over the bad side(The Chandravanshis). Amish does a good job describing his main character taking care to add all the details that we love Shiva for (the looks, the dancing prowess, the anger, the wit, the passion,..). The description of Chandravanshis match the description of Modern day India complete with potholed roads. The story seems to be in a hurry though. I wish Amish would’ve taken more time and paid attention to his other few characters and made the book seem a little less messy. The book is dotted with pleasant suspense sections and some amusing lines.
The two things about the book I am not a great fan of:
  1. I only could not bring myself to believe that my beloved Shiva was a Tibetan. No way!
  2. The Author, to make the book run at the pace of a thriller has lost track half way and added unnecessary unconnected sequences.
But I have to give it Amish. He has made me finish this book less than 2 days of reading time (reading between work and home) and wait eagerly for his next. I guess waiting is fun.
The trailer for the book is interesting.

More reviews coming up. I have the guns… errr… books ready.

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