The Immortals of Meluha

The Immortals of MeluhaActual rating 2.5There were times when I believed this book to be five star worthy, but these moments were too few and far in between Now, having finished the 400 odd pages that comprise the first instalment of the highly acclaimed Shiva trilogy, I can t even bring myself to round up the rating to three.Let s start with the plus points I thought the story was brilliant Amish Tripathi s imagination is fantastic The idea that Gods were originally humans, elevated to divine status by their karma, is awe inspiring The twists and turns are well executed and keep you guessing The way the author has so seamlessly combined history with mythology is astonishing Really, I loved the story.However, awesome stories don t always make awesome books.The biggest letdown was the writing I felt the author tried too hard to flower up the language by using big, ostentatious words repeatedly, and the effort showed It reminded me of an essay by a school kid, who s just learnt a new word and is eager to use it at any opportunity he might get Seriously, isn t kindness a much better substitute to munificence And isn t arrogant a lot less conspicuous than supercilious And because the writing was so contrived, it was impossible to connect to the story It felt like a really long bedtime story that you simply read for the sake of reading and maybe, falling asleep.The characters were nothing new And throughout the book, I was painfully aware of the fact that the characters were just characters fictional, fake elements of the story I couldn t empathize with them I couldn t visualise them in flesh and blood.And the end isn t exactly an end You could call it a cliff hanger, except it didn t really make me want to run to the library and get the next book At the most, it made me curious, but that feeling didn t last too long The Immortals Of Meluha is like a movie with a promising plot, that is unfortunately botched up due to sloppy editing and uninspiring performances And yes, there s a sequel So I guess I just have to wait and watch. Death is the ultimate destroyer of a soul s aspirations Ironically, it is usually the approach of this very destruction which gives a soul the courage to challenge every constraint and express itself Express even a long denied dream This was supposed to be a BR with Sillyhead but it fell through due to real life shit Sucks ass I know not when I will get another chance to read with her While she finished the book ages ago and wrote an amazingly detailed and dissecting review of everything that is wrong with this book, I have just finished reading it and I will try to tell you about what the book does right before I move onto what is wrong with it Here goes my honest review Let s get something out of the way to begin with I am sort of biased towards the Hindu God Shiva Not in a religious way but inof a spiritual way And understandably so, I am biased towards this book as well BUT, I will try to keep my prejudices out of this review.Before I tell you what this book is about, let me tell you what its NOT about because I feel that isimportant.This is not the story of Shiva, the God This is not a lesson in history This is not the Shivapuran This is not some religious text so stop being offended This is a fictionalized account This book, is the story of a man named Shiva A simple man, who is placed in a foreign land, out of his depth and looking for solid footing A man who was proclaimed the lord and savior to a nation overnight A man, looking to make sense of things A man trying to find his standing and acceptance in his new role which he didn t ask for.This is not the story of Shiva, the God This, is the story of a MAN on his journey that will transform him into MAHADEV Shiva The Mahadev The God of Gods Destroyer of Evil All powerful, yet incorruptible Quick wit, accompanied by an equally quick and fearsome temper Let me give you a small rundown of the story.Shiva, the chief of a mountain tribe, the Gunas, is offered a choice Either stay in his harsh homeland and face battles daily just to stay alive or to migrate to a land called Meluha, one of the greatest civilizations known to man Having the best interests of his tribe at heart, Shiva decides to migrate Little does he know that the Meluhans have a hidden agenda in offering sanctuary Troubles begin when upon being administered a medicine, Shiva s throat turns blue and everyone hails him as the Lord Neelkanth, the savior As Shiva spends time with the Meluhans, he finds that while the society of Meluha functions perfectly, it has its problems and erroneous ways too Not in a situation to change or comment on the system and its flaws, Shiva s concern is to find out why and how he is supposed to save a society that is far better than he can imagine The destroyer of Evil, needs to determine what truly is evil before he can take on the task Meanwhile Shiva finds himself falling in love with the one woman who was made for him, the one he cannot have, as the norms of the society dictate What shall he do Shiva must accept his role and destiny as the NeelKanth and wage a war to destroy the evil that he has been shown to protect the land of Meluha, who so lovingly accepted him and made him their lord Will he succeed Or is he in for a surprise As I said in the beginning, I am biased towards Lord Shiva and so understandably, I have tried to read some stories and books based on him I have read blogs and articles, few religious texts and heard lectures about what and who Shiva is The way I perceive him, Shiva is a difficult god to capture Very difficult indeed Other Gods, not so much Take Indra, for example Throw in arrogance, mix some debauchery and bullheadedness with a lot of anger, you get the perfect Indra.Ram Make him follow all the rules and make him do everything that is by the book and make him bow and you have the Maryada Purshottam Ram Krishna Paint a picture of calm and an ever smiling persona who always believes in the grand plan, add a pinch of polygamy, you have Krishna Kanhhaiya Shiva He is just something else I have never read or heard anyone capture him better than Amish I recently reviewed the book 7 secrets of Shiva by the Hindu mythology authoritarian, Devdutt Pattanaik and he just fails soo bad Most of them do Why Shiva is a walking contradiction He is detached, yet his love is something beyond the word passionate He is calm, serene and yet, he has a temper that is beyond scary He is a hermit, withdrawn, yet he is lustful He kills mercilessly, yet he never goes to battles.Shiva, atleast for me, is a Human God He makes mistakes, he loves, he punishes, he laughs, he kills, he cries, and he dances Shiva was in his own world He did not dance for the audience He did not dance for appreciation He did not dance for the music He danced only for himself Amish does a fabulous job of capturing all of that He delivers to you, through his ink, not a God But a God in the making An uncouth tribal man, who will transcend into a legend and be morphed into a God through his deeds The pacing of the story is great It is constantly moving forward and developing the story for something bigger There are decent bits about real life philosophy, the kind that you can relate to Shiva as a character grows Although the start to the love story of Shiva and Sati is cheesy, the chemistry is good and it develops nicely The skirmishes and the battle sequence at the end are well done and thought out Also the turn of events at the ending is pretty interesting too.BUT, it s not all puppies and sunshine This book has its problems too To begin with, Amish maintains the weird approach of the Indian authors targeting only the Indian readers And that would mean that the book is found wanting for details in places and some concepts In places, the usage of the words, is somewhat not in line with the time and age that Amish is portraying It also feels that at places, there is a lack of conviction on Amish s part whether to explain a phrase or not and as a result, some places, he over does it and some places he is found wanting.The battle sequence towards the end is short ish I felt it should have spanned a fewpages.Another thing is that without a doubt, the love story between Shiva and Sati could have been done better and could use a littledetail to make itreal.Having said all of that, I feel that somethings aren t just about the writing It s about the ideology behind it too Somethings matter in context Given that Amish s writing is at best, average, but so far from what I have read from Indian authors, a market where authors like Chetan Bhagat rule, I think Amish is way above par Add to the fact that this is his debut book, which was also self published initially, I won t take points away from him on this Infact, he is to be credited for coming up with a plot like this and doing it justice I feel, personally, that Amish is painting a picture through this book and he is not done yet This is not book one in a trilogy This is ONE story published in three volumes, much like LoTR something I think Amish derived from that series While we re on the topic of Tolkien, I would like to remark on something Amish has been named as Paulo Coelho and Tolkein of India When I first read this book in 2013, I hadn t read Tolkien, only heard of him and I felt a measure of pride that an Indian author has been given such a compliment Now that I have read Tolkien and Coelho, both, I would like to take this statement as a sad testament and proof just how wanting Indian authors are or maybe I have been unfortunate enough to not have read from any great ones I mean, I always moderate my expectations when I read an Indian author I never expect them to cross a certain standard bcz I know what to expect While no doubt that Amish can write, but imagine the competition around him if his average writing compared globally turns to gold by Indian standards And while that is a sad fact, it is also a fact that Amish deserves the attention and accolades he got He humanized a deity masterfully and allowed many a people to connect He provided simple and logical explanations to the myths that we grew up with but never understood the meaning of it He brought out a philosophy that makes sense, that is easy for people to pick up and to understand He has dared to pick a sensitive topic and has done it justice Needless to say I will be finishing the Trilogy once again My advice to anyone about to or currently reading this series would be what I have stated in the review itself Try to think of this trilogy as one long story and don t go in expecting religiously historic and politically correct text And before you feel the need do that, I would like you to ponder on this religion based on Shiva isn t a fact either The religious texts while sacred no offence to anyone in anyway do not act as a proof of reality of how the life of Shiva unfolded There is no point in comparing that text with the book and getting offended And the author explicitly states a HUGE what if premise at the beginning of the book while mentioning this book is fiction So treat it as such And if you understand Shiva as he is supposed to be understood, then you ll findof him in this book than you d expect.PS What follows is my cringe worthy original review of the book from 2013 and I haven t even changed the formatting of my original review Pro tip Do Not Read It Original Rating 4 stars maintained Original Review He has been named the JRR Tolkien of India for the Shiva Trilogy I would say that it is rightly so because mostly the Indian Market is dominated by the likes of Chetan Bhagat, who neither have content nor writing prowess.Amish Tripathi brings much welcomed freshness in the book with his flowing style of writing and excellent story line He has given many a readers like me a chance to hope that Yes, Indian writers can too Amish takes a bunch of Mythical stories, characters, places and weaves them into an excellent plot that moves at a steady pace, holding the reader firmly He maintains a respectful approach, unlike Devdutt Pattnaik The Pregnant King , and creates a new world for the readers.The best thing about this particular book is that, Amish takes a very holistic route to explain how some great deeds of a man can transform him into a LEGEND and subsequently graduate him into a GOD over generations He leaves nothing to imagination If u know the Hindu myths around Lord Shiva, and can imagine his visage in your mind, you will realize how well he explains everything, from the concepts of a serpent around the neck of Lord Shiva right down to the second name he bears very oftenNeel Kanth .I would like to sum up by saying that it is one the must read novels and would suggest to read the complete Series for the full effect, not just the 1 book. Good story poorly written Amish Tripathi weaves a splendid but totally fictional fantasized account of Shiva s travails.For the folks looking for Lord Shiva s methodologically accurate chronicle would feel frustrated This book is certainly not for the purists they should explore authentic SHIVA PURAN for that goal.This is a fabricated, but very well conceptualized story, weaving together the history Indus Valley Civilization , geography North Indian plains above the Vidhya s mythology it still is a fantasy nevertheless The publishers should have mentioned that caveat with a disclaimer somewhere, else many readers might feel cheated, like me.The writer deserves kudos for coming up with such creative story plot, however the quality of writing is very pedestrian This belongs to those beginners English students, for whom Amitav Ghosh s brilliance maybe too much to comprehend.Chetan Bhagat s audience is the target here, so serious Anglo bibliophiles beware the 10th standard writing style would leave you unhappy The story however holds enough content to keep you turning the pages.I wish the editors would have helped the author to rise to the occasion it could have been our desi reply to Eragon twilight saga Flat and ordinary writing The book never touches a pinnacle like it should, especially when you re reading Indian mythology Indian mythology, a subject which in itself offers a vast, vivid, picturesque, setup with a lot of thrills, mysteries, a set of complete civilization which defined the future The leading characters should be larger than life but in this book, the author is just engrossed in moving the story forward while he forgets to add any substance to the grand character Shiva himself, the Lord, the one of Trinity The characters in modern day fiction areresearched and elaborated, create aconnect with the reader than the protagonist in this one I just wanted to get through the book I wish that the writing waselegant, contentresearched and the story presented to reflect the story of Shiva, the God, rather than Shiva yes someone like yeah who transformed. Oh What a book I have just finished reading spell binding and refreshingly different from the rest. Amazed by the writer s flights of fantasy and how beautifully he has woven the mythology with fiction in a contemporary style. Must read.. This book is a nightmare for all those who not only are devout lovers of Shiva but worship him for what we know of him For me it definitely was a nightmare The idea of his journey from human to supreme being is the only thing about the plot that I liked and which had tempted me to buy this book But, very sadly, I could not relate to the Tripathi s take on Tibetan Shiva and to the very vague writing which killed me Moreover, if you really want to read a good mythology, why not read Shiva Purana or Saivism this book is not for you But, if in case you just want a not so well written Indian fiction you could waste your time on this I believe even fiction should have some essence to it I am very disappointed The thought that in this book Shiva does not know who Ram was when basically Hanuman was the eleventh avatar of Shiva makes no sense at all to me I mean it s not that my sentiments are hurt Just that this book could have talked about a time way before that which would have actually made sense It seems like the Indian version of Harry Potter where Harry, who is destined to fulfill certain prophecy, plays along The only difference being that he becomes God here Sati cannot marry anyone and Daksha is perfecly happy that Shiva is interested in his daughter because he is already a Neelkanth somehow I mean it is not bad fiction but just that it s not appealing at all I did not even want to finish reading it It is sad that this is what is representing Contemporary Indian literature Read Kalidasa instead, go back to 1BC, his plot and writings are wayinteresting than this well marketed book I tried to avoid reading this book but eventually i fell prey to the so called positive reviews and some really good marketing by Amish Now i regret wasting my money time on this one.The idea of portraying lord Shiva as just a man who went on to become a god is really cool a fresh one Full marks to that But apart from that everything is horrible.1 Alternate history is alright as long as you make it believable The nature of light and the reason behind the formation of rainbow could not have possibly been known at that time 1900 BC Come on, we used to call it indra dhanush Also, mention of oxygen free radicals is totally out of place considering it was not discovered up until late 18th century 2.Most of the logic and philosophy in the book is difficult to buy It seems puerile and out of place For example, the concept of making women deliver their babies at Maika and then abandoning them immediately is cruel, unjustifiable and couldn t have worked in any society The book sort of goes on to insult your intelligence 3 The dialogues between characters seem straight out of some TV soap opera.4 The author tries his best to sound humorous but fails at it terribly Jokes seem unnatural not just unfunny and are forced into the plot which is irksome.5 It has all the cliches in the book like when Sati takes the deadly arrow onto herself which was actually meant for Shiva and then Shiva charges towards the attacker deflecting the arrows shot at him with his sword, is simply preposterous 6 The description of war is unoriginal and is totally inspired from Zack Snyder s 300.7 The book seems like the work of a dilettante All in all, the book might work for some Indian readers, who have not read much before and the simplicity of the language might appeal to them which i think is the major reason for the commercial success of this book in India But regular mature readers, who have read some good books before should refrain themselves from reading this one It is utter waste of time money In my case, after reading 50 pages i just wanted it to be over and believe me it was really painful read So, don t get fooled by the positive reviews find a good book to read The world is full of them. When I first heard of the book I was a bit apprehensive for a few reasons.1 I m not a fan of Indian mythology, I adore Greek mythology and I am mildly interested in Egyptian but Indian mythology never appealed to me.2 The author had said in an interview that he worshipped Shiva People tend to sometimes show their own heroes idols in a supreme being perfect way therefore I assumed that Amish Tripathi had done the same.3 The Indian market is full of books written by authors who come from fields which are completely un related to Literature They write books which are poor in writing and are completely devoid of any plot Catering to the mass Indian audience who love that sort of chick lit writing they get away with a lot of money Please don t get me wrong, I m not being a snob and saying only those who study literature come out as good authors There are plenty of good authors who have never studied literature and have yet written excellent books, writing is an inborn talent What I am trying to say is that not many of these chick lit YA authors do not have that talent yet write books anyway.Anyway, I was sure I d give the book a miss But then on my 14th birthday a friend of mine gifted me this book and so I gave it a read I m not going to say that the book blew me off completely and that I was left gasping for breath and cursing my own stupidity for not devoting my entire life to Indian authors But it did give me a few pleasant surprises.I liked the way the characters, especially Shiva, developed throughout the book Tripathi, instead of giving away the full magnitude of each character s personality at their very introduction let them unfold throughout the book one by one like the many layers of a cake Almost all the characters grew through the book, blossoming slowly to reveal themselves as complex human beings, not just cardboard cut outs The only main character I can think of who remainedor less the same till the end of the book is Sati I was proved wrong in my opinion of the book being another outlet of hero worship Shiva wasn t an all mighty, all powerful god who knew everything, never made any mistakes, never strayed of the path of dharma he was a hot tempered youth who lead a tribe, smoked marijuana and swore in almost every other thought In fact, if anything, he swore too much I liked the way he grew in the book, gaining knowledge, experience and wisdom and never losing his humility though everyone worshipped the ground he stood on.The writing, however, was poor The author used over powering adjectives, melodramatic comparisons and seriously strong description At one point in the book when Shiva first met Sati, Tripathi wote he Shiva continued to stare at the dust with intense jealousy It had been fortunate enough to have touched her What I get that the guy s in love, but don t you think that s a tad too melodramatic The concept of the book was nice I liked the way the author contrasted the two civilizations of Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis The detailed descriptions of the city were, I think, based on the Mohenjo Daro civilization Especially that part of the drainage system and the houses being at right angles with each other and the great bath The society of the Suryavanshis was fascinating I found myself wondering if it was actually possible to follow their beliefs and system in our society Also the justification of the vikarma practice showed that the author gave great attention to the grays of the society where often the happiness of a few have to be sacrificed for the greater good of the others.Overall, I liked the book, though I can t say I fell head over heels in love with it my heart, I m afraid, was stolen by the Potter books and I am yet to have it back I look forward to the next book and I am glad that an Indian author has emerged who has been able to bring Indian mythology into the word of YA literature. I first heard about this book from a friend who had said that the book was a good read Curious I tried reading upabout it and saw that noted columnists like Anil Dharkar and Sandipan Deb had given it great reviews I read the first chapter online and liked it well enough that I decided to buy it I went to quite a few book shops and found that it was sold out in most places That is really surprising for a first time Indian author Finally I found it in a tiny little shop, the proprietor telling me that the one I bought was one of the last copies he had left.The plot seemed interesting enough A different take on Shiva the destroyer, a god revered by millions of Hindus all over the world, one of the Trimurti three main Gods, the others being Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver , known as Natraj the lord of dance and one of the most passionate men in Hindu mythology.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 He has introduced concepts of terrorism, the caste system and the position of women in society in this first book in a planned trilogy.But that was all I liked about the book The writing was poor and the editor needed to do a better job The characters were flat and not at all well developed It was hard to believe that people, even a wise king and his courtiers, would be so ready to believe that a person was their savior and blindly follow him without considering the consequences of their decisions.Also when an author wants to emphasize how good his protagonist is, it is best done in a subtle manner but here it is loudly proclaimed over and over again by the other characters which annoyed me a lot Each fact is repeated over and over again in ten different ways and it made me wonder if the author thinks we are complete fools who will not get a concept on the first try.Even though modern language is necessary for a book to connect with the general audience, the author seems to have completely forgotten what his book was about the language used was extremely jarring and cliched and kept distracting me from focusing on the book The book readslike a movie script than a novel It seems as though the author has written the book keeping Bollywood producers and directors in mind, rather than genuine readers.The last few chapters, especially were very hastily written and seemed really rushed The author had some good places where he could have ended this book but he chose to end the book with a cliffhanger and a To Be Continued Did the author not know what was to happen next Or was he not convinced that his story was interesting enough for audiences to want to read the next book if he had given it a proper ending Even in a book series a reader must be able to read a book and have a sense of conclusion which was absent here Overall even though the author had a great idea and some really interesting ways of making it all come together, weak writing and poor editing makes this a very big let down. BC In What Modern Indians Mistakenly Call The Indus Valley Civilisation The Inhabitants Of That Period Called It The Land Of Meluha A Near Perfect Empire Created Many Centuries Earlier By Lord Ram, One Of The Greatest Monarchs That Ever Lived This Once Proud Empire And Its Suryavanshi Rulers Face Severe Perils As Its Primary River, The Revered Saraswati, Is Slowly Drying To Extinction They Also Face Devastating Terrorist Attacks From The East, The Land Of The Chandravanshis To Make Matters Worse, The Chandravanshis Appear To Have Allied With The Nagas, An Ostracised And Sinister Race Of Deformed Humans With Astonishing Martial Skills The Only Hope For The Suryavanshis Is An Ancient Legend When Evil Reaches Epic Proportions, When All Seems Lost, When It Appears That Your Enemies Have Triumphed, A Hero Will EmergeIs The Rough Hewn Tibetan Immigrant Shiva, Really That Hero And Does He Want To Be That Hero At All Drawn Suddenly To His Destiny, By Duty As Well As By Love, Will Shiva Lead The Suryavanshi Vengeance And Destroy Evil

Amish is an IIM Kolkata educated, boring banker turned happy author The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy , encouraged him to give up a fourteen year old career in financial services to focus on writing He is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions Amish has most recently written the Shi

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  • Paperback
  • 436 pages
  • The Immortals of Meluha
  • Amish Tripathi
  • English
  • 10 June 2018

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