When I heard about the book “The Immortals of Meluha” I was very skeptical about it. With the image of Shiva on the cover page, my first reaction was why should an agnostic like me buy a religious book? Seeing it on home-page of Flipkart for so long, and reading/hearing good reviews I came close to buying the book many times, but the reluctance was always there – even when I knew it was fiction I always felt it had something to do with religion and wanted to read some random pages before I should buy it. On a chance visit to some mall that had Landmark, I finally read 2-3 pages, realized it is about mythology, not religion (two completely different ball-games although I’ve seen many people confusing them), and was instantly sold on the book.
Recently I’ve got interested in Indian Mythology (thanks solely to Prem Panicker’s Bhimsen), and not for any religious reasons. Indian Mythology has many weird, many strange, but entirely gripping stories, and who does not love that! Amish Tripathi plays with Indian Mythology in a very captivating manner. The basic premise is simple – Shiva was not a God, but a man who was considered a God because of his deeds. Everything else follows suit. Nandi is a good friend and companion to Shiva, Veerbhadra is not Shiva’s reincarnation, but his childhood friend and many more mythological characters are turned into real-life characters. My favourite was that Brahma was an inventor akin to Einstein/Newton/Da Vinci rolled in one.
The book was definitely a page-turner and completely enjoyable. Although there was one thing that ruined the simple joy of book reading and that was the pathetic binding of the book. I don’t know about other places, but from the Landmark where I bought the book, all the books had very shoddy binding. As soon as I started reading the books, the front cover fell off and I had to take immense care that the pages did not tear off. I hope, for the next two books of the trilogy, Amish gets another publisher or at least asks the publisher to bind the book properly.
If you are interested even a bit in Indian Mythology and the stories surrounding it, I would recommend “The Immortals of Meluha“. Hoping the next two installments are at least at-par with this one. The expectations off the author would be very high after his gripping first book.