Mythology and folklore is India’s tour de force and The Immortals of Meluha by Amish, is an exhilarating cocktail of reality and myth blending them like never before showing how rich indeed they are. Based on the credence that our conduct, deeds and the destiny are the deciding factors in transforming an ordinary man to God, the book talks about Lord Shiva, who through sheer acts of valour and fortune became impregnable, God like!
Meluha is a near ideal kingdom created several centuries ago by Lord Rama whose reign was perfect in various ways. The book begins with Shiva in a quandary over a tempting offer from Nandi, hailing from Meluha, who invites Shiva and his tribe of Gunas to relocate to Meluha roughly Indus Valley circa 1900 BC and thus follows his passage to the land of pure life, ruled by the descendants of Lord Ram.
And in comes out the chronicle of two kingdoms having diverse ethos, which deem each other evil and revolves around the centuries old rift among the Chandravanshis and the Suryavanshis, hell bent on proving each other's pre-eminence. It turns out that Shiva is the Neelkanth whose throat turns blue on taking the somras.
Here is the story of the migration of the tribe of Meluha is treated as well as the discovery that Shiva is the Neelkanth elusive. When he and his tribe is given somras, the magical medicinal drink that Meluhans use to improve their age, there is an outbreak of fever and illness in the neighborhoods. After the fever is controlled Shiva gets an unusual talisman, a blue neck.
This makes the good doctor believe that he is the benefactor of their legends that have foretold. The saviour comes from outside the earth and destroys all evil. The rest of the book deals with Shiva and his journey in Meluha and then the kingdom of their bitter enemies of the nation of Swadeep.
This epic becomes more enigmatic and fascinating with each turning leaf of the book, which goes on to portray a simple, barbarian, entertaining yet audacious Lord Shiva, the denizen of the mountains of Mount Kailash Mansarovar as a chilled out youthful tribal leader with blue throat, whose favourite pastime is smoking marijuana with his friends, but gradually goes on to become the most sacrosanct, respected, feared, loved and admired legend.
Shiva the slayer of vice rises to become the lord of all Gods into Mahadev. The book deals delightfully with the myths surrounding the legend. But now the kingdom is struggling against many issues dearth of somras the drink which reduces the oxidants in the body while increasing longevity of life, slow extermination of sacred Saraswati River and the continuous intimidation from Chandravanshis who purportedly have connived an pact with the Nagas, the dreaded deformed terrorists, for attacks on Suryavanshis,.
The Meluhans resolutely believe in the primeval legend that when evil reaches epic magnitude and the struggle become overwhelming for common men, the man with blue throat -Neelkanth will appear which gives them a gleam of optimism.
The Meluhan King of Suryavanshis Daksh, invites diverse tribes to stay in his country in frantic quest of a sole saviour for them. That is when Shiva, arrives who smokes grass, gets hurt in combats, follows his point of attraction, is ambivalent at times, turns deaf to pleas of assistance, but most vitally is simple.
While the onus myth placed on his shoulders in the beginning proves to be a great deal for a tribal leader to stand, Shiva rises to the circumstance when required. Towards the end, we again find a perplexed Shiva unable to clearly discern between good from evil and finding himself responding to the call of destiny, while finding love of his life, forming brotherly links with some and leading an entire state against evil.
Mythological characters were created or given larger than being aura numerous times by the situations and perspective in the maze of magical realism. Interspersed with nuggets of a way of life the book is delightfully packaged with myriad emotions where Shiva is not a God, but a man whose destiny makes him the Mahadev.
Shiva/Neelkanth/ Mahadev, by whatever name you call will be in your hearts eternally and will strike a chord with you while making you feel- what if Lord Shiva was a mortal.
The book cannot be exactly be classified as mythology but it draws greatly from Hindu legends and is astonishingly engaging which has enough twists to keep the reader engrossed. The stimulating change has been the incredible job in treatment of the mythical characters as human characters by Amish. The narrative unfolds to tell us many contemporary practices that were followed even 3000 years past.
It's a fresh genre of sorts with a fine feel good contemporising chronicle on Indian mythology and practices juxtaposed with splendid tales of history, culture, folklore and creed. The radiant rendering of duality of life and of our reality takes the book various notches higher.
The finest part of the book is that it makes almost all the God legends into potential human beings who achieved prominence and contributed so much to culture that story tellers made them Gods. The tale very wonderfully explains that no one is born a Mahadeva but only moulded into one. Fortune is with folks who believe in themselves.
The meticulous sketch of places and situations will assist the readers in understanding the narrative and moving along with it while interweaving the sub plots of Saptarishis, Vasudev's, short account of Devas and Asura and Rudra in the storyline without puzzling the readers anywhere. Mansarovar, Sati, Nandi, Daksh, Gunas, makes the entire tale very plausible and easy to relate to and well highlighting even the Gods commit mistakes.
The writer has fictionalized and simplified the folklore to such an degree that it can simply be followed by all. The narrative is fast paced and fascinating and the writer manages to keep the reader totally absorbed. A totally creative plot brilliantly amalgamating mythology, history and fiction to craft an enthralling saga.
The book presents a striking concurrence of the apparent good and evil where evil is a relative expression, just like everything else in this universe. What a single individual or community thinks is vice or bad is perhaps just a different manner of doing things, which they aren't secure with while treading intrepidly on the contours of veracity and myth and thus highlighting the reality that underneath each myth there are manifold layers of realism.
Overall, an incredibly splendidly composed tale, that would even tempt agnostics, atheists and even partial believers of God. The Immortals of Meluha is indubitably a page turner and this book entirely lives up to the expression, which will keep you hooked till the very end. It is one of those stories which will remain in the readers mind for a long long time.
The mythology has always had a special place in my heart. Maybe its because I have been given the gift of these stories from my grandparents. Coming from a religious background and living in a city like Calcutta have never been able to absorb the flavors of religions from community life. As a result, my parents would ensure that I have heard some mythological stories based on their individual choices, when I am in home for the summer holidays.
So in turn, I heard about the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh or Shiva from my mother. Thanks to my passion for mythology has increased and I began reading about Greek and Roman mythology, as well. Seeing the success of the old mythological tale, perhaps Amish Tripathi gave the boost he needs for his debut novel The Immortals of Meluha.
His trilogy deals with Shiva, the destroyer. Well I for one have always been more interested in Vishnu, the protector. I would rather worship the one with the solution. Of course I know the basic mythology, the consort Parvati, Ganesha and Karthik as children. I think in the family the most popular Ganesha is the god responsible to remove obstacles from your way. Any return to the Shiva Trilogy as the author has not complied with the basic story of the way in which Ashok Banker attached to the basic story of the Ramayana.
There are a number of these changes and twists in the story are what makes it all the more interesting for the modern reader. You can not predict what will happen. The description of the ancient society is very interesting and although èdifficile imagine that it really happened that way in ancient India, it is still very funny. Some old customs, such as the tradition vikarma are quite true. So there is in fact quite mixed with fantasy to make you believe that is how it happened.
Amish suggests that Shiva was not God from the heavens, but an ordinary man who has gained stature as God because of his works. His story begins at Mount Kailash in Tibet! Shiva is the chief warrior of a tribe that migrated to the promised land of Meluha. The almost perfect kingdom that was established centuries ago by Lord Sri Ram.
Amish Tripathi led the old story to a new audience. The old story has been re-spun and secrets revealed in the second book in the Shiva trilogy left us all wanting more. Karan Johar's Dharma Productions has landed the film rights to the best-selling debut novel by Amish Tripathi, The Immortals of Meluha. It will be a film not to be missed.
Amish Tripathi is the new pop star of Indian literature. The former banker, now full-time writer, has just sold the rights to his next trilogy to a record sum of one million dollars, the highest advance ever paid by a publisher in India. In the past, other Indian writers have made substantial advances, such as Vikram Seth had received the same amount from Penguin for a sequel to A Suitable Boy and more recently the Random House paid a little less for the autobiography of cricket star Yuvraj Singh, but in all cases it was the sale of the rights for publication in the United States, Europe or even worldwide.
Amish Tripathi is the first Indian author to receive that kind of money just for the market of Southeast Asia . It must be said that the publisher Gautam Padmanabhan of Westland Press has done well to his calculations, its not really a shot in the dark the last novel of the previous fantasy trilogy signed by Tripathi, The Oath of the Vayuputras, was a bestseller with 500,000 copies sold in just one day.
With the background of the genre, Tripathi allowed himself the luxury of getting paid for a book that does not yet exist, not even in his mind. He said it had not yet thrown down a line, for now has four or five ideas for the head but does not know with certainty what will develop.
The first trilogy The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras is a reworking of the Indian mythological tale. It is the story of Shiva, the man actually lived 4,000 years ago whose adventures were so great to make people think of being in front of a god. It's hard to be labeled as a genre, there's fantasy, mythology, history, the shape is that of a thriller, but there is also a lot of philosophy, ancient and modern.
While the 3 volumes continue to sell well in Asia and have just been published in England, the American edition is in the pipeline and the film rights have already been sold. For many, the key to the success of Tripathi is the return to tradition in an age of change that is putting a strain on the identity of the Asian society. The more global we become, the more we desire to rediscover our roots, noted Namita Gokhale, organizer of the Jaipur literary festival. The western myths are static but the gods are living in India for thousands of years and continue to be reinterpreted.
Author: Amish Tripathi ♥ ISBN: 9789380658544 ♥ Binding: Paperback ♥ Published: 2011 ♥ Publisher: Westland ♥ Pages: 184 ♥ Language: English