The first book in the Shiva trilogy is a surprise. Never before has Lord Shiva been described laying emphasis on his human form. The novel is the journey of a man becoming Mahadev or God of Gods. It is the story of an ordinary man with an extraordinary destiny. The author of the series, Amish Tripathi, is an IIM Calcutta graduate and wanted to become a historian. The series is historicization of Hindu mythology and also a contemporary take on the story of Lord Shiva known to the readers from the Puranas or the old hindu texts.
In some ways, Shiva is the ideal man. He treats everyone around him (either above or below) with dignity, respect and a great sense of equality. He constantly questions the concept of caste divisions in the society. He understands the futility of war and when he sees the imminent danger to his clan, he decides against it. Despite a rough exterior, Shiva manages to win the heart of the woman he loves.
The youth may not connect with the conventional depiction of Lord Shiva, but the novel presents him almost as a contemporary. Shiva is the “cool guy” who swears when the situation demands, smokes pot, and has a non-hierarchical attitude towards his subordinates. There is also a certain romanticization of the character of Shiva.
He falls in love with Sati, the beautiful Suryavanshi princess, as soon he sees her. The concept of “love at first sight” seems to have its roots way in the past. In his conversation with a wise man, he understands that Sati would start loving him if he respects her. The typical notion of “men helping their fellow men get the love of their life” surfaces in this part of the novel.
The novel has an unexpected ending. At its most crucial juncture, when the readers would be clinging on to their books along their night lamps, reading intensely into every word on the page, expecting something gigantic to happen, the books ends.
There is no passive reading of the text. The reader is always on the edge and is compelled to get involved with the storyline, actively participating with the course of the novel. Though the readers may be familiar with the story of Lord Shiva, The Immortals of Meluha brings a refreshing twist to it.
In all, the book is a delight to read and the readers relish every word. It leaves the readers wanting for more and grab the second book of the Shiva trilogy, The Secret of the Nagas, as soon as possible.