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The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi
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The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

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 :P

0 04 March, 2011 Books March 4, 2011

About the author

Pranjal is a mechanical engineer by profession from National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur.

View all articles by Pranjal Srivastava

23 comments

  1. Ruchira

    I read this book a few months back. Amish certainly tells a gripping tale! But I agree with you, the language made me a bit uncomfortable at places. I wish I hadn’t been so contemporary !

  2. Sir Pumpkin Longshanks

    Although this is a very well written review, the book itself seems to have theme undercurrents borrowed from Robin Cook’s “Abduction”. It also sounds rather lame. Will make mental note not to read the book.

    1. Pranjal

      I failed to find anything lame in this book. Maybe we refer to different definitions of the word ‘lame’. But Thanks for naming that book- Abduction. Will search for it :)

  3. mani

    Thanks to you, I could read this one.The pace was fast. Plot interesting. For a moment I thought it might be India’s answer to the LOTR trilogy, but of course I was way off the mark. Still it was good to read, the glaring errors not withstanding. yes some errors were too juvenile- like in a conversation two characters mention “India”. 1900bc and India? Then again Shiva was supposed to be a nomad, uncouth barbarian, but surprisingly he is shown to be reading a Meluhan book? Well these are the ones I remember at the moment.
    And yeah the language. I cannot tolerate A man Whom Legend turned in to God- to say lines as such as- “Shit! what am I saying?” A God saying “shit”? A protagonist of 1900 BC saying SHIT? Totally UNACCEPTABLE!

    1. Pranjal

      OK… As I feel, the Language must be authors attempt to make the book a little contemporary. Though at times I did wish it were a little more mature.
      Conceptual Errors were there- like u mentioned the India thingy and barbarian reading book.
      But puhlleeez, When we are using common language in the book and also we don’t know what expletives do ‘Gods’ use when frustrated, we have to make do with ‘shit’ only right?

      1. mani

        why use an expletive at all? What is the need for a God to use one? Well anyday i would prefer a god with poise. :p

        1. Pranjal

          That’s what na. he is portrayed as a barbaric tribal and no god! Then he is allowed to use expletives? It shows he was no supernatural- he was just one of them, though a little more talented and high on confidence :)

  4. Amish

    Hi Pranjal.
    Thank you for a very kind review. Thank you even more for your suggested areas of improvement. Everything that you like in the book is Lord Shiva’s blessing to me. Everything that you don’t like is my inability to do justice to that blessing.

    I’ve used simple language and contemporary terms (like India instead of Jambudweep, the name of our land in those days)so that modern readers will get the concepts easily. Having said that, I am certain that there can be improvements in my language. I will try harder in the next book.

    May Lord Shiva continue to bless you.

    cheers, Amish

    1. Pranjal

      Thanks for liking the review Amish :-) My honest opinions.
      But sir, Please Do bring the Nagas soon enough- many like me are waiting :-)
      And yeah, I totally love that language ;)

    2. archana

      I have read the second book too and am eagerly awaiting the 3rd…… Please tell sir when the third book will be available…….

  5. Deepti Srivastava

    Really a very very good review…you have very well highlighted the positives as well the negatives…u hv compelled me to read this book…
    bt sach me bhai..i m proud of u…tumhe to har field me excel karne ki aadat ho gayi hai

  6. sagnik

    there are certain clashes with true historical findings like
    the indus people didnt knew the uses of horse
    they only used offensive weapons not any defensive one
    ne way the story’s quite gd & m waiting 4 the nxt 2

  7. Rahul

    Read the first chapter published online.. Fantastic begining.. Saw the video too.. NICE!
    To the orthodox fanatics (there r quite a few on the youtube link: It should be read as a fiction.
    It would have been nice if the author could have announced an e-book… we rarely buy hardcopies these days na…

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