After thinking of buying this book for a long time, I finally managed to order this book. This is the first book in the Shiva Trilogy series. The reasons for which I wanted to buy this book were that it was written by an alumni of my beloved place IIM-Joka and also that I had seen extreme reviews on the book. The reviews ranged from being called as ‘distorting mythology to gain popularity’ to ‘extremely good’.
The concept of the book is based on the question, “What if Gods were not someone who was born with magical qualities, but someone who was born as a normal person and attained the level of God by his karma”? “What if the story of Gods did actually happen and is not just mythology?”
So the story is based in the 1900 BC (the actual time of the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro civilizations). The story is about a tribal chieftain ‘Shiva’ who lives at the foot of ‘Mount Kailash’ and next to the holy lake Mansarovar. Fed up with the constant and the meaningless war with a rival tribe ‘Pakratis’, Shiva decides to accept the invitation to move to the kingdom of ‘Meluha’, which is incidentally given to him by ‘Nandi’ a captain in the army of the kingdom of Meluha.
The kingdom of ‘Meluha’ is supposedly started by Lord Ram, the last Vishnu at the time, thousands of years ago. It spreads from Srinagar to the edge of river Narmada, with its capital as ‘Devagiri’. The main cities in the kingdom are Srinagar, Hariyuppa, Mohan –jo-daro, Karachapa (which incidentally I think is the present Karachi) and Koonj.
Incidentally Vishnu is a title given to great leaders who are the protectors of the world and propagators of truth. Not all the leaders were given the title, but only those who richly deserved it and Lord Ram was the 7th Vishnu. There is also the title of ‘Mahadev’ which are less in number and the last Mahadev at that time was Lord Rudra.
So as the story goes, the people of Meluha are Suryavanshis and believe in righteousness and the path of good. They are being troubled by their arch rivals, ‘Chandravanshis’ who rule over the land ‘Swadweep’ with its capital as Ayodhya. The Meluhans believe that the Chandravanshis have joined hands with the Nagas in order to bring the downfall of the Suryavanshis. The Meluhans have a legend that the evil will be completely destroyed with the arrival of ‘Neelakanth’ who will be a person who is not from either of the regions and whose throat on drinking Somaras will turn blue.
So when Shiva, along with his friend Bhadra moves into Meluha and on drinking Somaras, which is incidentally manufactured in ‘Mount Mandar’ by large churners and the chief scientist of Meluha being Brihaspati, his throat turns blue. King Daksha, who is the ruler of Meluha, invites Shiva into the capital Devagiri, where he tries to convince Shiva that he is their savior. Shiva meanwhile falls for King Daksha’s daughter, Princess Sati, who does ignore Shiva at first.
So does Shiva agree to fight for the Meluhans against the Swadweepans? Does he manage impress Sati and get her interest and Love? Are the Swadweepans what they are actually meant to be? These are the questions which will be answered by reading the book.
I found the book to be an easy read. I actually finished the book in 2 days over the weekend, along with my mandatory 10-12 hrs of beauty sleep over the weekend. I would say, for people who are not rigid about what they believe in the mythology, for those people with an open mind, this is an amazing book. I am actually looking forward to the next two books ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ and ‘The oath of the Vayuputras’.