The Immortals of Meluha – Book Review

This book was strongly recommended by a friend, an avid reader whose taste in books is largely similar to mine. “Its a page-turner. Totally un-put-downable” He said.

So I picked it up on my next visit to a book shop. Down with a strange viral which refused to disappear despite paracetemols and heavy duty antibiotics, I was confined to bed for almost a week. But I had lot of energy to read.  I finished this book in two day’s time.

Yes it was un-put-downable. The theory that Lord Shiva was a tribal from Tibet, who comes to the Indus Valley civilisation to fight for them in a war against evil and falls in love with the princess Sati and marries her is all very very interesting. The plot has all that a good drama demands. A reluctant hero, an unattainable heroine, a prophecy, brotherhood, war, twists in the story, etc. makes this book a page turner.

But since I just finished reading Ashok Banker’s Ramayana series, I just cannot help feeling biased.

I’m not comparing the authors. Both are skilled writers. Their books are really fast-paced. But there’s a huge difference.

While I did feel the Ramayana series could have been finished in 3 books instead of 6 and the violence was just too much for me, there was a sense of witnessing mythology in Banker’s books.

But The Immortals of Meluha gave me the feeling that I was reading cowboy or a James Bond story  set in ancient India.

Just imagine. There’s a part where  ‘Shiva was lying on his bed reading a book (a palm-leaf book) and smoking a chillim when he heard a blast outside’

Excuse me? I can only imagine a Sean Connery or Roger Moore or Clint Eastwood doing that. Not someone wearing a dhoti and angavastram and has jata-mudi!

In another page, one of Shiva’s side kicks actually says  “Yeah, right!”

And in another, Shiva looks into Sati’s eyes deeply and says “I love you..” And she replies “I love you too…”

This whole thing cracked me up so badly, I just couldn’t read the book seriously after that!

And the characters keep referring to India and its greatness and powers.

I thought till the invasion of the British, India was only a loose combination of various kingdoms. And I remember reading somewhere that it was the British who even coined the name India. So how did ‘India’ exist in 1900 BC?

I just cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of the triology!

But jokes apart, people, do pick up the book. It’s a high drama, fast-paced, un-put-downable and if you don’t mind the cowboy-bond influence, you’ll probably enjoy it much more than me!

Oh, I forgot! The friend who recommended the book is a typical ex IIM, fundu type of a guy, just like the author! No wonder he loved it!

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5 Comments

  1. February 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    🙂 The book was a page turner, yes. But then, it was in search of a section where things start to get good. Alas, the book ended before that. The whole attitude is a let down. Not sure how the other 2 parts of the trilogy are going to be like.

    The language seriously needs a change. It’s ok to be cool in use of language, but then bringing down to teenage levels and expecting to talk about intense concepts just does not gel well.

    My thoughts, exactly! 🙂

  2. Saritha said,

    February 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    You articulated the book perfectly, Paddy. I felt the same way about the book and with a cover like that ;-), one is bound to expect a good read. At least with basic sanity checks well in place. Imagine the concept with a gifted writer at the helm!

    hehe.. lets meet up one of these days & discuss this in detail! 🙂

  3. cass said,

    September 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Hi, I second your thoughts about this book. After seeing a lot of positive reviews on flipkart and other sites, i decided to order the book and read it as the next thing. Being only half way through, i couldn’t related to all the positive reviews , so googled a bit more about it and landed at your blog.
    I too have the same concerns which you have. I cannot imagine this story being set up in ancient India. Sometimes I feel like the characters must be eating chewing gums while mouthing those lines. Then those lines which Shiva thinks while Sati is around they are just unbearable.. sometimes give the feeling of some mediocre MnB set in some shady US city.

    Though the author has tried his best to not play with the facts, but there are so many things which shout loopholes… for example, he has used the word “Punjab” to describe the present day Punjab.He says that this word is a combination of words Panj + Aab.. He missed the point that Aab is a Persian word. and I am sure in the era in which the novel has been set no one would have heard about Persia.

    The book is turning into a fun read for different reasons for me now.

    🙂 I received quite a flak for this post from a few friends who actually loved the book! Now they’re all urging me to read the sequel… Maybe like u said I’ll just use it as a fun read!

    • cass said,

      September 28, 2011 at 10:57 am

      Yeah.. experience of a new kind 😉
      But I doubt I will read the sequels.. Finishing the first book itself has become a pain.

  4. sumit rohilla said,

    May 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    me too,but the book is nice.


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