The Shiva Trilogy series is a story of a fantasy world set in the bronze age of India,1900 BC (The Indus Valley Civilization). The narrative infuses mythology and facts with a flamboyant imagination. It is a story of how a man defies the customs of the period to eliminate all that has gone wrong in the society. The man is the present day God, Lord Shiva. He is a mere mortal in the series and the story is his turbulent life in this fantasy world.
Immortals of Meluha
The arrival of the Tibetan immigrant Shiva, to Melluha the kingdom of Suryavanshis, is deified as he is thought to be the fabled saviour of their land. The once thriving kingdom is plagued with many perils that is foretold to vanish at the arrival of this blue throated man to their land. Meluhans primary river Saraswati is drying, frequent attacks from the ostracised and evil race of Nagas and their rival kingdom Swadeep(Chandravanshis) are suspected to have allied with the Nagas. The book one ends with a winning battle against Swadeep and Shiva’s realization of how malevolent Nagas can be.
Secret of the Nagas
Shiva is determined find more about Nagas after the attack on Sati, his wife. His travels to Kashi and Branga (annexed kingdoms of Swadeep) makes him aware of the strange plague and suffering of the land despite their nauseating richness. This course leads him to Ganesh and kali, Sati’s firstborn and her twin sister at Panchavati who are both Nagas – and finds out that Nagas are not the evil that’s plaguing the kingdoms of the Indian subcontinent. The Nagas are actually Melluhans born with birth deformities. So Suryavanshis are the real Evil? Shiva makes a realization that evil is not what he thinks it is.
The Oath of the vayuputras
Shiva finds that the Somras is the evil factor drying up Saraswati, plaguing Bhrangadhirai with its production waste and birth deformities in Melluhans as well. Since the usage of Somras is omnipresent in Melluha, it can’t be eradicated with battle alone; understanding and deference was needed at all levels of society. when Shiva decreed for stopping the use of somras across all lands it is met with resistance and outright denial. The Mahadev army is forced to fight the combined forces of Melluha, Swadeep and Magadh. He seeks the help of both Vasudevs and Vayuputras – the legacy tribes of Lord Ram and lord Rudra respectively. Though he aims to peacefully subjugate Melluha with the mere presence of Daivi Astras things go out of control when Sati is killed in a subterfuge. arranged by the Emperor of Melluha. Shiva loses his focus and in his grief orders for the complete annihilation of Devagiri. That is not the end. Somras is actually stopped when Melluhans realize that it is really evil and decide to perish along with their city for using and promoting such a thing.
There were a few jarring things that I am unable to come to terms with:
- Shiva losing his focus and destroying Devagiri. Shiva refuses to listen counsel, breaks promises and grieving to the point where his anger detonates the city of Devagiri.
- Bhrigu’s change of heart immediately after Sati’s death. He is not one to shy away from breaking rules for the greater good. He used the Daivi Astras and incurred the wrath of Vayuputras but is simply not okay with the rule bending in the peace conference. The change of heart seems very immediate. Maybe, losing Parvateshwar from his side made him realize that his is definitely not a winning side. :p
- Allowing Parvateshwar to the other side. They could have simply jailed him for the period of war. But the author goes on at length to explain why he was let go.
- Sati’s spirit asking Ganesh to avenge her. I could vision the need for her to mollify Kartik as he is quite temperamental. But Ganesh was the son who have had a turbulent life. There was no need for further vengeance in him.
- Few modern ideas that were forcefully fit into he books – the words terrorist, scientist, ‘bloody hell’ seems out of place for a story set in 1900 B.C
- In each book we are introduced a new kingdom(Swadeep, Panchavati, Pariha). The author has a vivid imagination and he details laboriously about the city that I mostly skipped those pages.