I know Im late in reviewing this book but that’s just coz I never thought that I would read it.I was actually asked to read this book by one of my friends about 2 months back but somehow I never felt inclined to. I asked him as to what the book was all about. He told me it was about the life of Lord Shiva. I must say that the title seemed appealing but looking at the cover page I just feared that it was going be the long, complicated & slow read.But somehow I picked the book a week ago & I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book! This book is a refreshing change! Set in 1900 BC one would expect a story line to dramatic, serious & well…move at a snails pace, which was why I took so long to start reading it but its anything but that!
The story is set in the what we know as the Indus valley civilization but what the author calls as Meluha & hence the title. The essence of the story is the strenuous relationship that existed between the Suryavanshis & the Chandravanshis in 1900 BC. One group considers the other as evil & tries to overcome them somehow. And that’s where “Shiva” , a humble Tibetan leader of a group of people called the Guna’s comes in. The story is based on Shivas’s life, how his life changed from being a tribal leader to be known as LORD Shiva, the Neelkanth & its various consequences on him as well as the 2 groups. Without giving the story away the other characters of note in the story are, Sati, Daksha the Suryavanshi emperor,Parvatheshvar, Nandi, Veerbhadhra, & Brahaspathi. A lot of detail has gone into explaining the civilisation, the practises, the customs. Somewhere during your reading you might actually wonder that the people back in 1900 BC were as advanced in habits as we are. Though its farfetched it does make an interesting read. The emotions of Shiva, his frailties, his strengths, his naivety, his love story have been dealt with an ease that makes the book so simple to read.
The story is beautifully written with a lot of humour to an otherwise serious book. The details are not so realistic which infact is to see that the reader is not bored or tired. Here there is an issue which Im sure will irk a lot of readers. In order to connect with the modern readers the author has used language which at best of times may not be worthy of a “Lord”. To see Shiva using words like “Oh bloody shit”, “what the…”, “Give me the bloody marijuana” are somewhat disturbing. If the author wanted to make him human, well he’s succeeded! The author has beautifully explained the various terms used in hindi & Sanskrit fantastically, not just during the story but also provided a glossary at the end! I must say I would’ve loved it if the author was my social science teacher back in school because the Sapth Sindhus, & various other things would’ve been much more fun to study! Its not a fast paced book by any stretch of imagination & infact has a languid feel to it, but a definite page turner. Cant wait to start the 2nd book of the Trilogy “The Secret Of The Nagas”