Om Namah Shivaiya
The universe bows to Lord Siva. I bow to Lord Shiva.
Amish, one of the few writers who have reinstated the mythological genre back to its old glory, should be thanked for entertaining us along with igniting a sense of curiosity in us. This Trilogy is a must read for ANYone who wants to know more about the wonders of a modernized mythological text. It will not give you the ‘correct’ details but it will definitely peak your interest in the genre and will entertain you.
Mythology. We usually relate it to supernatural fables concerning ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’. We don’t really expect rationality from them. We have heard them so many times; they’re boring to us now.
Amish Tripathi has given them a new life. He has turned these stories of the old into mind-gripping, action-packed, revolutionary bestsellers. After working in the finance industry for 14 years, Tripathi has stirred up a talk by asking a simple question: ‘What if Lord Shiva is not a figment of rich imagination, but a person of flesh and blood? Just like you and me. A man who rose to be godlike because of his karma.’ This series is strangely refreshing as the author successfully presented a mythological concept and belief with new twists and turns.
We Indians are very particular about our mythological history. Any disregard about it or a mention of it in a different context ends up in a call for protests. Even though this series presents tons of contradictions with the stories in our Puranas and Vedas, its widely appreciated by the majority of its readers.
Shiva, a foreigner to India and its customs and rituals, a 21-year-old Tibetan tribe chief, along with his whole tribe, immigrates to Meluha ( in ancient India) to lead a peaceful life. Instead, he is greeted by them as the great Neelkanth, who is supposed to save them from Evil. A man, who is still haunted by dark memories of his past, accepts this responsibility as his guilt does not let him run away from his duty once again.
The author presents his journey to becoming a God in such an excellent way, it wins our hearts.
In spite of my limited knowledge of religion, the Shiva trilogy fascinated me! It made Lord Shiva my favourite deity simply because his character in the books turned out to be so awesome and is the only Indian God I have a slight idea about.
This trilogy has given logical explanations of all the events that take place. It basically, tells you mind-blowing stories, with the same characters your grandmother’s stories must have had but in such an extraordinary way that you could have never imagined it. It takes every character and gives it a modern outlook. For instance, Sati is also known as Parvati. In the book, the reason is that Princess Sati’s Godfather is Parvateshwar, the army chief.
This exemplary work keeps you on your toes, always wanting more. With fresh concepts it has the capability to interest the youth.
One of the best things about the book was its format and how well suited it was for readers with no knowledge about Hindi language or Indian religion. After the author used any Hindi word, he explained it in English as well in some way or the other. It ensured the readers should not have to open the glossary, at the end, again and again. This also enabled the author and he did not hold back from using Hindi words. It, simply, made reading experience much better.
Frequent protests and bans show that Indians take their religion very seriously. Thus, it was a risk on Amish’s part. On one hand, the youth’s take on the series was quite positive. And on the other hand, when one would try to explain the concept of these books to someone very religious, who does not have an open mindset, it would not be pretty. While we were very happy about the modernisation of the Gods, it was offensive to some. They were not okay with God being turned into a fictional character from a book series. Even though I am a Hindu, I was perfectly fine with the series but we have to accept that not everyone would like their revered religious stories being distorted. Religion is a very tricky concept in our country, and one has to be very careful while writing about it.
Amish has also written a new mythological book along these line, The Scion of Ikshvaku. For those who don’t like to wait for the next instalment of the book in the series, like me, beware. It is a five book series. And I hate waiting.