I picked up the novel because I was intrigued with the basic concept of the demystification of the ancient Indian myths. Ram, Shiva and Brahma are depicted as very talented men and NOT Gods. Ram was a just, kind and a far-sighted emperor (preserver); Shiva is a skilled warrior and strategist (Destroyer); and Brahma was an exceptional scientist (creator). The characters also link the story to the myths and thus help in demystification... the wife of Shiva is a princess called Sati, Shiva's trusted aide is Nandi (remember Nandi the Bull) and so on and so forth. There are other basic concepts that interested me especially the concept of 'Har Har Mahadev.' in the novel, Shiva is seen by the populace of Meluha as a Mahadev (God of Gods). During the final war, Shiva uses the war cry of Har Har Mahadev and he (Shiva and by extension the writer) translates it as 'Every one of us is a God of Gods.' this cry created a vigour in the soldiers and gave them an energy to fight with all that they have. I don't know how Shiva bakhts would take it as but I was simply amazed at the simplicity of the deduction! And for me Har Har Mahadev would always mean that every one is a god!
Another concept that really created an impact on me was that of the oxidation theory. In the novel, the suryavanshis are very healthy human race who have a very long life. This is attributed to the Somras. Now, somras is no amrit. It is a scientific concoction that is created by Lord Brahma (who is NOT a god but a mortal) somras is an anti-oxidation agent. The oxidation theory of the Meluhans goes something like this - they believe that oxygen is not only a giver of life but destroyer of it as well. Oxygen, when it converts food into energy, releases some oxidants that erode the body from the inside. The same way oxygen rusts the iron, it rots the body too. The body knows it and that is why it doesn’t store any oxygen for future use. for example, it stores some amount of food and water and that is why when we don’t have any food or water for some days we don’t die but even if don’t have oxygen for some minutes we can die. Amish uses this example to corroborate the theory that first, oxygen is harmful too; and second that the body knows about it. Apparently this theory has been proved by some scientists somewhere also. Now, to counter the harmful effects of oxygen and oxidants, the scientists led by Brahma had devised the anti-oxidant somras that helps the meluhans release the oxidants and remain young for a long time! Impressive, isn’t it?
the love story and eventual marriage of Shiva and sati, the ever-existing war between good and evil, the existence of duality in nature, past lives, legends, myths, Shiva and his weaknesses, the Natraj pose, the belief in Parmatma (one single unisex god) etc etc... I loved reading it all. This book is that rare combination that is a gripping read and also makes you think after you have put it down. (And also makes you write about it!)
The basic premise of the novel is that every coin has two sides. Shiva only realised it at the end of the first part of the trilogy that Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis are two sides of the coin. For both, the other one is evil. He landed up in Meluha and that is why his judgement was coloured by the Suryanvanshi thought. If Chandravanshis had found him, he would have believed them to be right and the Suryavanshi to be wrong. Both the empires were waiting for the Neelkanth to save them from the respective other. Shiva realised too late that what is different is not necessarily evil. If you don't understand something that doesn't mean it is wrong. (Something that I had also written about sometime back ;))
I am eagerly waiting for the next instalment of the series. Till then, Har Har Mahadev!
P.S. - there is also something about the Nagas. They are some deformed creatures considered evil. But I have a gut feeling they would have a major role to play in the coming series... and maybe they are not that bad after all. Watsay, Amish? ;) Only time will tell.