What makes you pick up a book and read it? At times it is the author, sometimes the cover and its title, and yet at other times it is the hype around a particular author or a book that decides your next read.
And that’s exactly what happened with me in the case of The Immortals of Meluha, the book I just finished reading. Every other friend of mine had The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi and I could not resist the urge to grab it and read it.
It is a nice book. But more than the book I appreciate the author’s ability to combine various elements from Indian mythology, create a story around it and produce a bestseller. The story, however, does not end with the book – The Immortals of Meluha. Amish has cleverly left the story hanging, keeping the curiosity alive for his readers. And to satiate their curiosity they need to lay their hands on his second book The Secret of the Nagas. In fact, The Immortals of Meluha is the first novel of the Shiva trilogy series by Amish Tripathi.
The Immortals of Meluha is the story of Shiva, a nomad who is asked to save the empire of Meluha by Suryavanshis from an impending war against Chandravanshis. It is story of a man, who is on a journey to become God. But before he attains the stature of God, he has to lead the Suryavanshis to victory against the so called evil Chandravanshis, who time and again carry covert terrorist attacks on the Meluhan soil with the help of disfigured and fierce looking Nagas. The book traces the events and happenings in Meluha, which is now the destiny of Shiva. It is story of a man, who the Meluhan Empire thinks of as Neelkanth, the Mahadev.
The book can be predictable and may be boring to a reader, who has a fair idea about the Indian mythology. Daksha, Nandi, Sati, Somras, Veer Bhadra…you must have heard of all these names from your mother, grandmother or a panditji. The Hindu religious books are full of interesting stories, where you may come across these names.
The best thing I liked about the book is the dilemma Shiva faces after he conquers Chandravanshis, once he meets the Chandravanshi emperor, his son and daughter. Like the Suryavanshis, they also believe in the legend of Neelkanth, when they say, lord how can you be on the side of Suryavanshis. Self doubt creeps in the mind of Shiva. He doesn’t know what is right and what is wrong. Isn’t that peculiar of a godly figure like Shiva? But then, The Immortals of Meluha is not the story of a god but of a man on a journey to become lords of lord – the Mahadev.