Title: The Immortals of Meluha
Author: Amish Tripathi
Publisher: Westland Limited
Price: Rs 195Set in the India of 1900 B.C, The Immortals of Meluha is the first book of the Shiva Trilogy. It describes the rise of a Tibetan immigrant Shiva into the all powerful Mahadev, God of Gods.
Meluha is the mythical Ram Rajya, the land established by Lord Ram. It has the perfect society embracing the teachings of Manu and with virtually no crime. Its people, the Suryavanshis, live long fulfilled lives, thanks to the Somras. However, life is not so perfect for they also have enemies – the Chandravanshis and the Nagas.
The book starts off with Shiva and his tribe being inducted into Meluha, and the discovery of Shiva as the fabled ‘Neelkanth‘. This is followed by Shiva finding his life partner at Meluha and his subsequent attempts at trying to solve the problems of the Meluhans.
The book has a strange parallel with the touchy Indo-Pak relations of the modern day, with the Chandravanshis launching frequent terror attacks on the Meluhans, and the Chandravanshi government condoning these attacks when confronted by Meluha.
The book also brings into light something that we always ignore – that truth is coloured by the eyes of the beholder. The novel portrays the Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis battling for the control of the Yamuna, each one claiming it to be part of their land. This once again reminds the reader of the long-standing dispute over Kashmir, with both the Indians and Pakistanis claiming Kashmir as an integral part of their country. Each side is right when looked upon from their own viewpoints. But as clearly revealed to Shiva, this does not essentially mean that either side is right or wrong. It is just a different way of looking at the same problem.
The book is dragging at times, especially when one of the characters attempts to explain philosophical concepts to Shiva. However, something that I clearly did not like about the book was how the author ended the book – which was with a “To be continued…” at a crucial point in the book. The very essence of a book is a clear beginning and ending. When the reader is left hanging at the end of a book, with a ‘To be continued’, it wouldn’t qualify as a book, but as a episode-based novel in a magazine. I would have liked it much better if the book had had a clear ending with the readers clearly being informed that they were in for more shocking revelations about Shiva.
Other than these points, the author has managed to maintain a steady pace and tried to explain all questions that may arise in the reader’s mind. All in all, I would rate this book a 3.5 out of 5.