I bow to Amish. Except for his large picture at the back cover of the book, I love everything about this book. When we look at the best-sellers of Indian authors, we are left disgusted with the thought that,” Ohh..our India is that bad. We don’t know that…”. Many of these books portray poverty and hunger in India, which are written, perhaps, keeping in mind the western readers who still envision India as land of snakes and naked people. Amidst all these, Amish has tried a very different approach. Rather than writing sarcasm on India, he writes a fiction draped in our worldwide respected mythology and used it to find solutions to our contemporary problems.
What do we like to read?
Either something we connect to or we fantasize about. This book has both the necessary ingredients of any perfect read. Growing up in a beautiful secular country, most of us idolize or at least know about Shiva. Yes! The same Shiva who used to charm us, as a child, with a fierce snake round his neck. In fact, If ever we get chance to have photo session with a snake, we curl it round our neck. Don’t we? I suspect there is some inspiration from the image of Shiva residing in our mind. Amish uses our connection with Shiva to make us feel for his character. When we go through the book, we want Shiva to be damn good; we want him safe in case of fights. At least, I felt so. Taking a cue from Chetan Bhagat, Amish has used simple English and he succeeds in his attempt to appeal to general mass. This book is a best seller, this proves it.
Shiva’s wife Sati is another important and confident character. She stands for the confidence, strength and power of women. She has been shown strong and one who never compromised with dignity and respect. Perhaps Amish throws an ideal to Indian women and wants them to emulate the character of Sati.
Metaphors are abundant only if you draw parallels to them. Meluha, where state controls everything, resembles to a socialist state. Everyone is equal there. Swadeep, on the other hand, with a big gap between rich and poor resembles to a capitalist state. One starts picturing Meluha as a perfect state until you discover freedom at Swadeep. Amish has not concluded any of them better; rather he argues that no system is perfect and can’t be applied every time.
This book has everything that a classic stories offer: love, action, adventure and virtues. But amongst all, there are many beautiful philosophies, for example, he offers an explanation to why vikarmas (or the impure one) are subjected to some restrictions. He offers through an elegant example of weaved cotton threads, a recipe to win hearts. (try out!! Page no 216 ;)
This is a must read story which ends with a note where readers want more and more. When Shiva says “Har Har Mahadev”( har ek mahadev) he means that God resides within each of us. Its just the matter of realisation. Are we waiting for Neelkanth?