Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Oath of the Vayuputras - Book 3 of the Shiva Trilogy

The cover page, as always is remarkable.
Lord Shiva in his glory, ready for the battles that the second book leads up to and yet you can never see his face. That is for you to imagine. Rashmi Pusalkar has incredible talent.

I simply loved the first book because it was innovative and interwoven with the myths I learnt growing up. I kept playing a guessing game trying to figure out how everything would connect. The second book was rather surprisingly, Shiva insisting he is indeed the Neelkant and demanding respect. The third however has little story and even less character.

And when there is no compelling story to lead you on, the focus moves on to the art of story telling and the writing style, neither of the author can claim. A better editor would have done the trick! Most of the story telling in Book 3 is restricted to battle strategy. The actually story itself had no story-telling to it. It was all narrative facts, including someone feelings and emotions. Brihaspati simply tells him how he stages his death and why and what needs to be done now. The Chief of Vasudevs explains to him the dynamics of the Vayuputras and the Vasudevs.

Look at this.
The Chief of Vayuputras literally (and I mean it, not figuratively) tells Shiva how they are related and how he will help them. He walks into his court and tells his council that he will help Shiva and everyone in council who were strongly against Lord Shiva who undermines their authority, suddenly decide it's fine for Shiva to have the daivastras. That was because they were so well fooled by their Chief and they cannot see through it and speak up against their Chief,. Yet for centuries this council has been deciding when something turned Evil and when a Neelkant must arise. No wonder the world in such a state of mess.

Tying loose ends is all what the book is about. Some of them did turn out well. Sati being killed by Daksha's men was well done. Unintentional, yet keeping the myth in place. However I thought she would die in a blast that would split her body into a million pieces and scatter them all over India. And the grieving Lord Shiva who cannot cremate her, would travel all across India paying homage to her by creating the legendary Shaktipeets.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the effort and the inspiration that led to a genre of Indian mythical fiction. The younger generations have an alternative way of understanding our mythology and have the same awe factor for Hindu gods as they seem to have for the Greek and Norse gods.