I heard a lot about this book but never dared to read it. There were two reasons for that – one being that I am very apprehensive about reading any books by Indian authors and second was that I am not much into Hindu mythology. Nevertheless I picked The Immortals of Meluha when my husband and brother in law recommended it.
The story starts when Shiva, a tribal leader is invited to the kingdom of Meluha. Shiva decides to accept the invitation and go over to Meluha. What was initially thought as a friendly gesture turns out to have more more implications. The Meluhans are in search of Neelkanth who is supposed to be their saviour, who will save them from the evil Chandravashyis; the only problem being that he is a foreigner. Things turn around for Shiva when his throat turns to a blue shade after the administration of Somras, the magical medicine. Is he the saviour of Meluhans? Can Shiva, a simple tribal leader lead the mighty Meluhans against the enemy? Is Shiva willing to take up the role of Neelkanth?
My knowledge of the Hindu mythology was very much limited to the serials that were telecasted in Doordarshan during my school days. I should confess that I was quite surprised when I came to know Shiva was a simple tribal leader in the Himalayan range. The human form of Shiva, the Neelkanth is what connects the reader to the book, may be that adds to the freshness of the book.
I was hooked to the book from the very beginning and the author was able to keep my interest more or less till the end; where the author just decided to end the story abruptly. Did he think that I wouldn’t grab the second if he finish off the chapter smoothly?
The author has done a great job in creating the more human Shiva, someone who is more to be respected and loved than worshiped. And what you feel for Shiva is more of respect that blind devotion. But sometimes, the author has over done this by adding dialogues like “Why in the holy lake” which should be considered more or less “Why the hell?” and then “Dammit”; I certainly had issues reading these lines in a mythological fiction. Don’t they look totally out of place? But many people suggested that I should forgive the amateurish writing of the author considering that he has done a fine job :)
The Immortals of Meluha deserves praise for what Amish Tripathi tried to accomplish and what he achieved. I believe and expect some more mature writing from this promising author in the books to come. I am certainly going to pick up the second book ‘The Secret of the Nagas” of the Shiva trilogy. Do watch out for my review on the blog very soon.
Source: Just Books Library
Genre: Indian Historical Fiction
Publication: Feb 2010