Originally posted by -Dee-I have not - never been into Indian mythology or per se any mythology too deep. I know the surface legends and who is who's what - that too seldom, so I almost forced myself to borrow the book and start reading it. That only because of the fame it has garnered!
The fame it has garnered is staggering. I bet even the author could not have predicted this kind of response!
Meluha is a near perfect society, which resembles restraint and civilisation. I find Meluha fascinating and restrainable at the same. I'd love to live in such a law-abiding society. There are however, very contradictory issues - like the Maika system. It seems absolutely perfect on the paper. I, however, cannot think how a mother will part from her own blood and flesh. Or may be it's a concept altogether foreign to us. I have always wanted to visit the remains of Harappa and Mohenjodaro in Pakistan *have been termed insane for it* the book has only intensified that desire.
I, for one, found the Maika system maha stupid both on paper and in practice. Why there was this insane need to classify people into groups at all (based on merit or otherwise), I don't really understand. And yeah, how should a mother part from her own child? And why? Just because he/she HAS to be classified into some stupid group? I guess you are right. It is a concept altogether foreign to us.
The Vikarama law was irrational. Its conceptualisation - the way the pandit at Karachappa explained to Shiva looks reasonable but again why should the possibility that some ill-fated people might - might being the operative word, make other suffering from bad fate. A society so strong, developed and civilised should be capable of bearing and overcoming such rebellion without it actually affecting one-twentieth of its population. And one-twentieth might look like a small fraction but that is a lot of people. I thought the way it was scrapped unfair. For all the rules and laws of a land made by Lord Ram, would it not be more erm.. let's say worthy if the vikarma law had been scrapped by a procedure and not by the NeelKanth. May be the whole Meluha - the whole India believes in the legend but it's a bias if his signature can alter the law.
Yeah, that is true. But umm...lets say, had Lord Ram scrapped the law himself? Wouldn't the Meluhans have accepted it? They are so convinced of their own belief in the legend that Shiva becomes this sort of idol for them. Someone who could be placed at the same level as Lord Ram. Hence, his word becomes law. Look, again I think it is a little difficult for us to understand but I think it makes sense considering the way the Meluhans are portrayed. Of course, it would have been a lot more fair had the whole process taken place through a proper procedure but the law makers of Meluha were smart people. Smart enough to know that the whole thing could be completed in a jiffy and without opposition with the Neelkanth's signature, owing to popular belief! I don't like it any more than you do. But like I said, it makes sense.
I think I like the fact that Shiva is described and thought about in the earlier part of the book as a 'Barbarian' and 'Foreigner.' It lends an edge to the book, where the protagonist is not thought by the reader as the God but as a mere man. I adore Shiva's modesty and humility - because he doesn't think himself worthy enough to be called 'Lord' and the way he treats everybody as his friends and not inferiors. I think, Daksha is exasperating to the point of obsequiousness. Had he not been Sati's father, he'd not have any real purpose! :PI agree with your point that the blind faith in the legend is absolutely comical and almost ridiculous and also, Parvateshwar had a lot of sense. If only Brihaspati hadn't died!
Absolutely agree with you on that point. Daksha is SO annoying. And he gets worse. You should read the next instalment!
I have always said, it is a matter of perspective and opinions because we don't really know what is what. Hence, when I read the good vs evil part today, I was absolutely engrossed to find a reflection there. Though I am so tempted to convert Swadweep into Meluha, it wouldn't be the correct thing. Swadweep for me, strongly resembles the present India. Let us say it is the real world - imperfect to the t.
Totally. Swadweep depicts this real world. Imperfect and constantly changing. Swadweepean characters are interesting too. And with all its poverty and a weak king ruling over the citizens, it strongly resembles present day India.
For me what is jarring is the way, the narrator suddenly starts describing Shiva as the NeelKantha - not in conversations but in the narrative. I find that a loss in the humility of Shiva. I'd still like to think there is a scientific reason for the blue throat and everything is not legend. The legend hasn't made the NeelKantha but Shiva by his character, bad sense of humour, his guilt and sense of responsibility will make the NeelKantha.
Yes. It was his guilt and sense of responsibility that made him the Neelkanth. I think some pundit said something like that too, concerning his being the Mahadev.
And true that! That was quite jarring too. Shiva suddenly becomes the Neelkanth in the narrative. Like you said, the legend does not make him the Neelkanth. And his other qualities do not really show up till that point.
There must be some scientific reason for the blue throat. But to be honest, I am not really interested in scientific explanations. I view this completely as a work of fantasy. The blind belief in the legend bugs me but the legend itself doesn't.
I know. *shudders* People!
Waise, did you know Amish has been advanced a sum of Rs 5 crore for his next book - something which he hasn't even conceptualised? A fact which pushed me into reading the book.
5 crore? No seriously? And for something he hasn't even conceptualised?
Wow! I'd like to see what he comes up with next! This kind of pressure could be scary. The expectations are high, of course.
This makes me think, the whole IIT/IIM graduate-turned-author formula is almost guaranteed for commercial success! I mean look at Chetan Bhagat, Ravinder Singh and the likes.
On another note, it looks like you and I are the only ones discussing this book. I wish we had more people participating.