Review: Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

by Tanya Singh on June 15, 2013

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Author: Amish Tripathi
Publisher: Westland
Year: 2011
ISBN: 9789380658742
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
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The first of Shiva Trilogy, Immortals of Meluha is based on the belief that perhaps the actions, deeds and karma are the only determining factors to metamorphose an ordinary man to a god like figure or god! Amish Tripathi in his book attempts to humanize the Hindu infinite 'Mahadev'-The God of Gods and the destroyer of evil with philosophy as its underlying thesis and with a refreshing take on mythology but wavers in the characterization of the protagonist itself and digresses from the related theories.

The story is set in Meluha, a nearly perfect land of Suryavanshis which is at war over their sacred river 'Saraswati' with the baleful and savage Chandravanshis, who have a secret alliance with a cursed and disfigured group called Nagas, masters of martial arts. Shiva, a young Tibetan tribal arrives in Meluha soon to discover that he is the legendary 'Neelkanth' who is envisaged to be their savior. Hauled suddenly to his destiny, by duty as well as by love and expectations, Shiva resolves to lead the Suryavanshi retaliation.

The story is neither very fluent nor gripping and is more indicative of a Hindi movie script with very filmy characters, with an over simplistic plot and cheesy dialogues .It trips forward without any amazement or twists that you cannot pick well before. Shiva smokes for serenity, dances for fun and is filled with young lust. He falls in love with Sati immediately, trails behind her and does all frivolous things to impress her. This pulp-hero-cum-rock-star image of Shiva feels extremely jarring and cliché. Excessive use of words expletives (yes, 'idiot' included) in his dialogues to make Shiva look human sounded inappropriate. Rather it is Shiva’s insecurities and inner conflicts that actually make the readers feel that he is human.

The other characters are flat and not well developed. Some scream their lungs out clamoring to Shiva to take up their cause (repeatedly, mind you!) which gets to you after a while. 

While certain descriptions, sub plots and brief introductions to history were mesmerizing and I took a particular liking in the philosophy of evil, that what is considered evil or wrong by some may not be perceived in the similar way by others. However, the concept of Somaras and inhuman idea of newly born babies being taken away from their mothers soon after their birth sounded harebrained and such have never been in existence in Indian society and culture, ever!

The book however, can be most certainly credited with attracting the attention of the clueless Indian youth to their culture and mythology. Perhaps the catchiest part of the book? Its cover page!

Written by Tanya Singh

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Prem June 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

This novel is such a hit across world!! Is this novel really worth a 2 star

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IndiaBookStore June 18, 2013 at 6:16 AM

This is how the writer of review felt about the book, how many stars would you like to give this book?

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Amis July 10, 2013 at 12:32 PM

American Pie movies are also a hit across the world!

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thegeekhoodcom August 4, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Writer seems to not have enough grasp over mythology. Somras is real thing as you can search on Wikipedia or watch in the documentary “story of India” by BBC. Also inhuman idea is also an idea, every book progress with imagination. I believe due to lack of interest in such subject, author did not like this book much. Otherwise I believe ts a good book- . 4.5/5.

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IndiaBookStore September 13, 2013 at 7:23 AM

@9b8e0376ec6779fb18d88e418effe82f:disqus You are absolutely right, rating is pretty subjective. Did you like all the 3 books of the series? Which one you liked the best?

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The Eternal Truth April 27, 2014 at 12:41 PM

The books like these are only useful to conceal and distort the truth. Writers should have the sense to avoid using such a wild, incorrect and foolish imagination especially in godly and divine subjects.
The truth about Lord Siva can be very well find in siva puranam and skanda puranam.
‘Puranam’ is the basement stone and these types of books are only good for spreading lies.

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Guest July 22, 2014 at 3:17 PM

The author never said this is the truth.This book is a figment of imagination. Readers should have the sense and ability to classify what is true what isn’t, what should be believed and what should be read, enjoyed and appreciated.

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BS July 22, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Imagining Lord Shiva as a human and particularly one who smokes weed and uses slangs was quite difficult but after a while I got used to it.
Also there are some versions that claim that Lord Shiva smokes Ganja though I don’t knw how much truth there is to it.

The idea of Somras, technology and the caste hierarchy depicted in this novel seemed somewhat unrealistic and non-existent in our society respectively but apt since, this is a fictional fantasy novel. For all I know Amish could have mentioned metros and flying humans and I wouldn’t question him! It is a fantasy!

Shiva is ardhanarishwar…Sati is a part of him…He is incomplete without her. So I personally thought the way he pursued Sati in the novel was fine and not a part of some cheesy bollywood script. And I don’t recall ever reading or being told that Shiva danced only when he was angry. Comparing this novel to hyperbolic, cliched and idiotic bollywood movies is very unfair and a grave injustice to this book. I agree that the book had flaws but I found it to be a great read. It is certainly not something you can turn to, for gaining knowledge of our mythology but it was innovative and refreshing.

Amish Tripathy never claimed that this is the actual mythology or our history. I didn’t find much in this novel that could hurt our religious sentiments. I think the writer of this review was quite hard on the author. But then again this is all quite subjective, isn’t it? 🙂

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