12 November 2011

The Secret of the Nagas.. Trilogy continues

Read 15 August 2011
Author: Amish

The Secret of the Nagas
4.5/5 stars

Finally the book is out. For past one year we (and here I can talk about four of us) have been waiting for the release of this book. Checking every month and then on a weekly basis. Its one of the firsts in Mythological fiction in India based on Lord Shiva.
For me Shiva is probably the most maverick of the Trimurti of Gods – Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh – birth, life & death and comes across as someone so un-God like. He is not saintly or perfect, he does not follow rules, his anger is earth shaking, his lifestyle is bohemian, he follows his emotions, and he loves or hates to the extremes. Unlike Vishnu the charmer with his aura and Brahma with his multiple heads and books, Shiva represents the God of the free spirits, who do not believe in right or wrong but believe in him and only him. He smokes a pot, and enjoys his bhang, plays with snakes and drinks his poison.
So how is it that Amish presents him. Its not about all mighty Shiva the God, but Shiva the commoner and his journey to being a God. Was it his destiny or his karma or was he just a puppet in the hands of those who created him for their own selfish purpose. The 4.5 stars are totally for the content, the imagination & creativity of the author. His perspective on the lives during those times, the kingdoms of Suryavanshis, Chandravanshis, Bangas & Nagas, the juxtaposition of order vs chaos way of life, official administration vs social structures, ideal vs wrong way of life, beauty vs beast and inner vs outer beauty.

He discreetly without offending anyone touches various sensitive topics of Hinduism which is more a way of life than a religion – the principles of Rama, the caste system, the multiple Gods and Goddesses. Very cleverly he brings in mythical characters of Nandi, Kali, Ganesha, Sati, Karthik, and many more in the story playing important characters in the plot. The book gets very interesting with each part and now I am waiting for the next one (also the final part). The countdown of wait begins!!
It would have been super ***** stars but the lost ½ star is basically for the language and vocabulary. Its like any Chetan Bhagat novel which is still acceptable as he writes about current people and times. But Amish is writing about ancient world and somewhere the tone and diction have to be close to the ancient times. Though its style can be appealing as common and savvy to current lot of readers but it still misses the authenticity and grandness of the ancient world with great emphasis on purity of the languages in the past.  Certain dialogues and conversations sound very weird, especially the romantic scenes between Shiva and Sati which are typical bollywood scenes. No complaints against Amish as he is not a qualified English literature or history student but a little effort on editor’s part would have helped make the book perfect and honest to its times.

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