Genre: Fantasy Fiction
The first of Shiva Trilogy, The Immortals of Meluha is based on the belief that perhaps the actions, deeds, and karma are the only determining factors to metamorphose an ordinary man to a god-like figure or God! Amish Tripathi in his book attempts to humanize the Hindu infinite ‘Mahadev’-The God of Gods and the destroyer of evil with philosophy as its underlying thesis and with a refreshing take on mythology. A completely original plot brilliantly amalgamating mythology, history, and fiction to create a mesmerizing saga. A simple man, who is placed in a foreign land, out of his depth and looking for solid footing. It beautifully traces the journey of Shiva from being a tribal to a ‘Mahadeva’. Using the same characters, places, and names that are associated with Lord Shiva -Mansarovar, Sati, Nandi, Daksh, Gunas, makes the whole story very believable and easy to relate to. For me The Immortals of Meluha is a welcome break from the same repetitive stories of Shiva, we see on the television and their heavy dialogues with words going above the head.
- The book can be most certainly credited with attracting the attention of the Indian youth to their culture and mythology. The author has fictionalized and simplified the mythology to such an extent that it can easily be followed by all, thereby increasing its reach extensively.
- There are many euphoric moments throughout the narrative, especially the episode when Neelkanth inspires the Suryavanshi army to believe in ‘Har Har Mahadev’ — each and every person is Mahadev.
- The author has done a good job of integrating all the details known to us about the Indus Valley Civilization and has also given his own explanations for various concepts. I liked the discussion on what is evil and the fact that what is considered evil or wrong by some people may not be seen in the same way by others.
- The book is not only about mythology but also addresses many other issues like untouchability, women empowerment, love, caste system, and much more. Amish has introduced concepts of terrorism, the caste system, and the position of women in society in this first book in a planned trilogy.
- The story also revolves around Sati, the daughter of the emperor of Meluha. Shiva or Neelkanth does fall in love with the lady. Their chemistry has been handled very well by the author. There is just an adequate amount of attention that the duo should receive and prevents the work from being called a book about love.
The Bad & Ugly
The novel has an unexpected ending. At its most crucial juncture, when the readers would be clinging on to their books along with their night lamps, reading intensely into every word on the page, expecting something gigantic to happen, the books ends. Even in a book series, a reader must be able to read a book and have a sense of conclusion which was absent here.
- Whether a man is a legend or not is decided by history, not fortune tellers.
- A man becomes a Mahadev, only when he fights for good. A Mahadev is not born from his mother’s womb. He is forged in the heat of battle when he wages a war to destroy evil. Har Har Mahadev — All of us are Mahadev.
- I don’t believe in symbolic gods. I believe that God exists all around us. In the flow of the river, in the rustle of the trees, in the whisper of the winds. He speaks to us all the time. All we need to do is listen.
- There are many realities. There are many versions of what may appear obvious. Whatever appears as the unshakeable truth, its exact opposite may also be true in another context. After all, one’s reality is but perception, viewed through various prisms of context.
- the most powerful force in a woman’s life is the need to be appreciated, loved, and cherished for what she is.
Amish Tripathi has received his MBA degree from India’s top B-school IIM Calcutta. He is a banker turned writer.
Thank you for reading. Hope to see you in the next one. Till then, don’t forget that you’re amazing.