The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi

Amish Tripathi is an Indian author, best known for his trilogy – The Shiva TrilogyThe Secret of the Nagas is the second book in the trilogy. He has also written Scion of Ikshvaku and Sita- the warrior of Mithila is his latest venture. With The Shiva Trilogy, Amish Tripathi started a new genre where he took the mythological stories and gave them a human touch, so that, they become more relatable. 

The Secret of the Nagas is a sequel to The Immortals of Meluha and it begins right where the previous book ended. What is really unique about all of Amish Tripathi’s books is how he normalizes all the mythological characters to normal human beings. It makes it so easy for the reader to connect with the story which is not possible when you read Indian mythology. Even Ganesh who was supposed to be made from the ground in the Hindu mythology was given a more realistic reason for his face.. Ganesh and Kali were said to have been born with deformities and had been shunned by their own family. This book is also relevant to the present day issues where people who are different are made to be isolated from others and this arises because of the lack of understanding between them. Just like the Nagas were misunderstood by the people of Meluha.

This book also sends a strong message that evil is not defined by a locality or a particular sect of people but it is inside everyone. Good and evil are just two sides of the same coin. It also addresses how change and freedom is essential for the good-functioning of the society. I think this book not only shows Indian mythology in a new way but also connects it with social issues that are still relevant in today’s society. This book is really good for the young generation as it shows Indian mythology in a way that will interest them.

Give it a read guys!

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

The Immortals of  Meluha is the first book in the series of Shiva Trilogy and it is the first time that Indian Mythology has been written in such a way. Amish Tripathi created a new style of writing where he gave scientific reasons for all the improbable incidents that took place in his books and also has brought up a very deep and complex topic. And, the topic is what is good and what is evil?

When we think about Indian Mythology, we imagine God coming down on Earth and blessing us with miracles but in Amish Tripathi’s books Indian Mythology has been given a twist. This twist has been done to attract the younger generation and the atheists.

Lord Shiva portrayed as God in Indian mythology is given a really humane character in the book.  He was not someone filled with wise sayings but he had a strong character, open to new discoveries, learning through experience and yet sturdy with his beliefs and I believe that even in today’s world that is what is required to bring a change in the world.

One of the worst attributes of human nature is to jump to conclusion and this book made me realize that we should never judge someone else just listening to another person’s perspective. Most of the book talks about how rules and regulations were necessary for proper working of the society without discrimination. While reading I went with the flow and failed to look at the obvious failures in the society of Meluha because how well the society worked but is the proper working of society the important part or is it individual happiness. The later part of the book reveals how freedom affects society. Although there is poverty and no organization but the people are happy because they have freedom and they aren’t bound to some order or duty. We can actually consider the Meluhan society as a Communist society but there was still some lack of equality among the people.

This book leaves us in two crossroads unable to determine good from evil and maybe that’s what a trilogy is supposed to do, i.e., make us wait eagerly for the second book.

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Okay, so, it is  considered as being one of the first Gothic and scientific novel by a woman. It was published in 1818, by famous female prodigy, Mary Shelley. Mary was the daughter of two famous radicals of England – Mary Wollstencraft and William Godwin and got married to the most famous radical poet of Romantic era, P. B. Shelley.

Well, I think I enjoyed reading the lives of people that were there in the Romantic Era more than their poetry -Wordsworth, our opium guy Coleridge, the rake Byron etc. Their promiscuous lifestyle and eccentric habits, made me their fan.

Coming back to the novel review, it is a novel which is written in a Chinese box tradition – a narrative within a narrative – there are 3 narrators. So, the story goes like this – Victor Frankenstein, a scientist, creates a creature by collecting the dead body parts from the grave and infusing into it life. But the sad part begins, when Victor having thought of making such a discovery which would abnegate nature laws and he will be worshipped as a great scientist, turns out to be a disaster! The creature he makes, has abhorring physiognomy and detestable eyes, due to which without even talking to his creature or nurturing it, Frankenstein turns his back on it. He abandons the creature he makes and ahead in the novel we see, the creature becomes a monster because everybody starts negating it because of his detestable looks!

Creature tells his story of abandonment and how he became a bad guy to Victor and he tells his story to Walton, who tells all this to his sister through letters. Walton is that character whom Victor meets, when he was following the creature to make it dead. 

Interesting novel plot but more interesting are the questions it raises – the question of parent-child relationship(Victor father, Creature child), the issues of male-motherhood, the treatment of women writing in 19th century, patriarchal society, and the most important question – are we born monstrous or the world’s cruel treatment makes us a monster?

These are the questions that Mary Shelley raises in this novel and this novel has also been considered as being the finest example of l’ecriture feminine (feminie writing), a concept introduced by Cixou, Irigaray and Kristeva. This style of writing, was the goal of many feminists to achieve that female style of writing which was not patriarchal and more libidnal & plural like a woman’s body!