The Indian mythological character of Shiva has always intrigued me in a completely different way than it does for most people. I used to find the whole "tandav" dance, the leopard skin costume and his "third eye" scary and mysterious, and though I knew he was one of the Gods, I couldn't ever entirely accept it. I still decided to go ahead and request to review the books from the Shiva trilogy, when Blogadda gave me a chance to. So here's what I think of the book so far:
The story is set against the backdrop of Meluha, a place in the Indus Valley. The plot is cleverly written, with Shiva shown as the leader of the Gunas tribe that migrates to Meluha, it being a well planned & safer place. Meluha is the land of Suryavanshis, the descendants of the Hindu Sun God- people with strong principles, morals and who live with honour. So, when Shiva and his tribe migrate to Meluha, they are awestruck by the infrastructure of the city, the efficient management, the people, the law and order. On their first night in Meluha, as Shiva drinks Somras (the immortal drink) given to him along with his tribe, his bruises and aches get cured and he acquires a cold, blue throat while the rest of his tribe falls ill. He doesn't know what he is in for, till the doctors & people around him suddenly put him on a pedestal and start addressing him as 'The Lord'. Legend has it, that the Suryavanshis are going to face a lot of trouble, and it is at that time that the "Neelkanth" would arrive and prove to be a saviour to them. The Neelkanth would be identified by a blue throat. The Chandravanshis from Swadeep, on the other hand, are people with no morals or rules, and are jealous of the progress of the Suryavanshis. Time and again, they plan surprise attacks on the Suryavanshis with the help of the Naga tribe. The Nagas finally discover Mount Mandar, the manufacturing centre of the Somras powder, from which the immortal drink of Somras is prepared. At this Shiva is enraged. Will he be able to ward off evil? Will he be able to save the Meluhans? It is left for you to discover.
Amongst all this, Shiva is shown to be just like any other human. He falls in love with Sati, the daughter of the emperor of the Suryavanshis. Like any love story, this one has complications too with Sati being a vikarma- someone carrying with her sins of the past and hence forbidden to marry or love another person. Inspite of these odds, Shiva gets married to her.
Though the story will keep you hooked, the language of the book is just about okay. The author has acknowledged this in the beginning though, so one must not expect much from the quality of the language. The concept is rather nice and tells how a simple, mortal human being Shiva rose to become a God due to his actions or his karma.
Now waiting to read the second book of this trilogy!
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