I can't believe that I had missed out on this series for four whole years. Sure, I have heard of the trilogy being talked about all around me, but seems, only now I had the time to read this fascinating series. This series has most of my favourite elements in a book - fantasy (not entirely), drama, mythology, history etc; I managed to finish the whole trilogy within a month, a feat at that, since I take more than a month to finish a single book itself. The author Amish has created an amazing world of Shiva, one of the most revered Gods in India. The series talks about how Shiva, a Tibetan barbarian residing by the lake Manasarovar beside the Mount Kailash, becomes the chosen one with a peculiar blue throat (Neelkanth) to fight against evil.
The book starts at a leisurely pace, laying the groundwork in establishing the traits of the different characters. I was intrigued when I found that Shiva does possess the general human characteristics in the good sense, not as the Godly image we usually pray.
Shiva is like one of those believable super-heroes like Batman, our own version of superhero, who achieves it by the immense physical and mental power. He is charismatic, inspiring, terrifying yet calm, daunting, frank, hilarious, flirtatious and most important of all FAIR in all things (unbiased). Sadly in the battle scenes, he has little action compared to other characters like Sati, Shiva's wife. I was hoping for some divine magic scenes - for example the eternal cosmic Tandava dance of Shiva.
Nevertheless, there were extensive battle scenes described in an interesting way. The titles given for the three books have very little significant relevance to the content of the book - it is more of a generalised title.
One great disappointment from the series was the climax in the final book where I was really hoping for a confrontation between an enemy and Shiva, I was put off from the very different and sad climax.
In the initial parts of the series, the narration though fluid, the language was very bland to my taste and repetitive. But it changed drastically as the series progressed. One aspect I liked was the different terms used by the characters for exclamation, like - "By the Holy Lake", "In Lord Ram's name" - something similar to - "Blimey","Merlin's beard" (HP).
In some parts, the book does get a little bit preachy, especially those conversations with the different pandits. At times, it went on dragging for several pages that it became irritating until the scene transferred to the issue at hand. The trilogy is also a testimony to the evil things people do for their own purposes which in turn affects the entire society in large. Some repeatedly talked about issues such as environmental pollution and stigma on immoral practices are beautifully woven into the story.
With its vast number of characters, kingdoms, ideologies that we as citizens of India can very much relate to, the Shiva trilogy is one that describes Shiva as our own Superhero. I heard that movies are going to be made based on the trilogy. I just hope the transformation into celluloid is as gripping as the book and I pray they change the climax into an awesome, happy ending.
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To digress from the main post, three days back I had watched a Tamil movie - Pisasu (Ghost in english) which was very different from the ones I have seen so far. Though primarily belonging to the horror genre, the movie also had elements of drama. One must definitely watch this movie.
The movie starts with an accident scene and by the end one will notice that the entire story is like an accident. There are a lot of fine details given by the director, some of which I couldn't understand - one of them being the frame in which an intimidating old lady stares fiercely at the hero for a long time.
I sign off this post by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)