The Secret of the Nagas, Amish Tripathi

Feb 18, 2013
My rating for the Immortals of Meluha, the first in the Shiva trilogy was just 2 stars (It was ok). And I never had serious inclination to read the sequel. But there was only one reason for me to pick the book – the plot. And am glad I picked it up. I still couldn’t go beyond giving 3 stars (I liked it) owing to few shortcomings.

There is only ONE idea in this whole trilogy that appeals to me yet it is big enough to overpower my other opinions. The Plot. The idea of portraying Lord Shiva as ‘a simple man whose karma recast him as our Mahadev, The God of Gods’ and giving a fresh perspective to our mythological stories and characters is just BRILLIANT! I should admit, even before this trilogy happened, this perspective has been the most convincing one for me to have faith in Hindu gods, super powers they possessed, the power of our Vedas, Mantras etc. Of course, my imagination is very limited but the thought that there are things beyond my comprehension was and is enough for me.
And there is only ONE aspect that disturbed me a lot in both the first and second book. The Writing style. It is so ordinary that am not able to accept the fact that we are dealing with a story that happened not just few years or few hundred years back but millions and millions of years ago. Be it the language, the lack of depth in narration, the loose portrayal of characters, everything keeps disturbing the picture I struggle to get in my mind. Throwing in few stuff like Maika system, Vikarma, Nagas and repeated mention of Lord Ram’s ways doesn’t help much.
Apart from these major plus and minus, there were few instances which gave a ‘aha’ moment. The most impressive being the revelation of the Nagas, especially the Lord of the people and the Naga Queen. Though I was wondering about Ganesh when Kartik was born, I should admit, the underlying connection did not occur to me. And portraying Kali as an individual as against to the popular belief that she is a different form of Sati is interesting. The Vasudevs, the radio waves as mode of communication, temples as towers for the transmission of the radio waves were convincing according to me. I would have been happier had there been more such instances with a hint of scientific possibility. Shiva’s thought process about the good and evil takes us in a philosophical journey with him.
However, I felt that the secret that Nagas, which should have been an unexpected twist living upto the title of the book, was getting too obvious as we were nearing the end. Not to mention as a flaw but it’s just my lack of knowledge with mythology, I often wondered about the level of imagination that went in and what is actually mentioned in the Puranas and Myth. Especially the part which says Ganesh is Sati’s child from her first husband left me confused as the myth gives a different story about the birth of Ganesh. May be, I missed something here!
Overall, the Secret of Nagas is a good read compared to the Immortals of Meluha and definitely makes me look forward to the last in the trilogy, The Oath of the Vayuputras. I hope the author takes care of giving enough justification about what is Evil, what deed makes Shiva stand apart from the rest to gain the title Mahadev and all those unanswered questions of The Secret of Nagas.
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  1. The virtual life story of Lord Shiva is very well imagined by AMISH and expressed in a very nice manner.. once you start reading you don't feel to do anything expect reading the book. its an awesome book. And also the Best Series released in INDIA. . :) Must Read. . :)

  2. i m confused is it a novel of imagination or it is related to reality


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