My midget of a brother always used to say ‘You love only double fiction’. He meant fantasy fiction. He is right. I have always found sheer joy out of fantasy fictions. But, the fantasy has always been like a background, a music that reminds you of its existence only when it stops and you miss the absence. The foreground has always gone beyond the explicable!
I have always been a die hard, huge fan of the Harry Potter Series. And magic was never my foreground. It just added charm; charm which you cannot really explain though . Read ‘And you thought it is just Magic’ for my HP rant. Because this post is about yet another gem that I came across. I had thought, I have the masterpiece of my life in form of HP. But then came along ‘The Shiva Trilogy’ by Amish Tripathi and blew me off!
This is the first mythology fiction I read and perhaps the best I will ever read – if Amish stops here (which I hope he doesn’t). My takeaways from the awesome series :
1) If there is one cool God, it is Shiva. He is someone you can really identify with and find traces of your own personality to be matching ones. In his indecisive moments, in his mistakes, in his childlike demeanor – you somewhere realize that God is a friend you discover in your own self.
2) Your God will always be an extension of your personality and beliefs. Comfortingly true. Even though the premise of this story is based in an Indian 4000 years ago, Shiva is like a GeNext God - a God who smokes Marijuana, dances whenever he feels like, sings on top of his voice for his lady love, is a fashion disaster yet doesn’t give a damn about what others say, swears a lot (and thinks it is great because it means you are not afraid to speak your mind), even does PDA ! , is a fierce warrior who knows his game extremely well … and most of all, is someone who has never refrained from following his heart. He doesn’t sound like a God but he is a God I really love.
I learned that real Gods are not people you should fear. They are people who demand respect because of the who they are. Shiva deserves that respect because he is everything that I would want a good man to be – loving, full of life, passionate, impulsive and awesome at work!
3) Perhaps one of the most important lesson I have learned from this series is – Never be JUDGMENTAL. That there are many realities which co-exist and your truths are not same as someone else’s. It takes courage and an immensely good heart to let people be who they are. Sometimes, there are good people on both sides of the war. It doesn’t have to always be black and white. There exists a lot of grey in between; a huge expanse of it.
4) The love between Shiva and Sati – ethereal and profound; as if it is not gravity but the strength of their connection which holds them together. Never afraid, never doubtful, ever accepting, only giving, and goes beyond all odds. They fight like a married couple and they make up for it like lovestruck teenagers. In a full room, they have eyes only for each other. Yet, at the battlefield, all they see is their target. That’s the kind of love I like. Not foolish, not childlike. Somewhat perfect!
5) Mythology is not to be taken at face value. Rather, everything you hear has to be taken deep into the conscience and broken down bit by bit and fractionally distilled. Then lessons be extracted from them. Dharma, Karma etc are beautiful words to understand and implement but it is all a waste if a good story doesn’t make you a better person!
Full of epic lines and moments, the Trilogy entices every reader I’m sure. Summing it up in 5 points is grave injustice but putting more of Amish’s awesomeness into words is something I am incapable of doing. It is said that God is in the details. If it is true then I am pretty much sure Lord Shiva resides in all his wonderfully detailed books. A perfect read. A perfect storehouse of lessons!
The Universe bows to Lord Shiva. I bow to Lord Shiva!