We have so many Indian mythological characters that have a lot of powers but still we have very less contemporary Indian superheroes like Spiderman, Batman, Superman etc.
And similarly I have always wondered why we don’t have more fantasy fiction when we have Things like Ramayana and Mahabharata for inspiration. But this book- Immortals of melhua is one attempt towards contributing to Indian fantasy fictions.
Immortals of Meluha is the first book in the series of Shiva Triogy by Amish. When I first heard of Immortals of Meluha, I thought it’d be something like “The Da Vinci Code”. But I was wrong- this book is different.
Shiva at the start of story is no lord- he is a tribal man from a tribe residing by the side of Mansarovar Lake at the foot of mount Kailash in Tibet. An extremely skilled warrior, he is the chief of his clan and Bhadra is his deputy and childhood friend. Though the best, most courageous and intelligent warrior in many tribes combined, he is fed up of the barbaric ways of the tribal life.
Plot in brief:
The Indus valley civilization of today is the Meluha of 1990 BC. Meluha is an amazingly organized and scientific civilization for its time. The Infrastructure of the Meluhan cities is so good that it can put the modern day cities to a shame. The people of Meluha are not only happy- they are Immortal.
But this crazy-and-freakishly-perfect society has its own set of problem. And like their grand style of living, their problems are also grand. The river saraswati, whose water is main component of their elixir of life- Somras, is drying. They face constant terrorist attacks from the rival nation- the Chandravanshi who have joined forces with the ferocious martial art warriors- the Nagas.
Then there is the legend of Neelkanth which says: “When the evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears your enemies have triumphed- a hero will emerge.” Enter Shiva in Meluha and the story kicks off…
Other than the Plot the book has two most important aspects:
1. The character of shiva- the character shiva has been put in an interesting manner.
The introductory description of shiva’s physique in first chapter says it all. He is atheletic and he is warrior- an extremely good one at that. He smokes chillum. He has a sense of humor – a really good one. He is a natural dancer- a perfectionist dancer. Despite belonging to a barbaric clan, he is humane. He is an inspiring and extremely respected leader. He has lazy, elegant and effortless charm about him. Ladies can’t help admiring him.
Sounds like James Bond? What seperates him from being bond is the fact that he is profoundly humble and he can love. He is in deep love with Meluhan king Daksha’s Daughter- Sati, who is, let us say a little reluctant to go in a relationship with shiva though she likes him a lot. Interesting uh? It is…
This character shiva- the elegant, powerful and effortlessly brilliant, alone makes the book a worthy read.
2. The language used- The language used in the book is, to say the least- contemporary.
That is where the main objection of critics lies- when godly people go about saying stuff like “For god’s sake man, if you are happy with her, then I am happy for you” it becomes a little difficult to digest. It could have been better of the language was a little more dignified when you are setting the plot in 1990 BC.
But for me, such language totally worked- it helped me connect to the story better and added to the humorJ.
But there was one place in the book where even I had an objection with the language- the chief scientist- Brahaspati explaining Shiva about food, oxidation of food by oxygen present in respiration and other truck load of science including ageing. I mean man, cm’on- you have set your plot in 1990 BC, did you forget? At least use some creative words for the scientific terms to prevent it from being weird- like you could use “pran vayu” for oxygen.
Amish has a very captivating style of storytelling- the story is fast paced and gripping. The book has everything- Drama, Action, Romance, emotions- everything. Romance has been portrayed particularly well. Once you start the book, it is an absolute un putdownable. Amish has this ability of putting romance and action simultaneously in same scene. He is also very, very good at sketching the characters because of which you can relate to the characters better.
A must read if you enjoy fantasy fiction- the book leaves you waiting, anxiously for the sequels!!
PS: I personally liked the character ‘Anandmayi’ –towards the end of the book, a lot. Read the book and you’ll understand the obvious reasons behind this