Indian mythology is filled with many characters… Gods, Goddesses, Demigods and Demons etc. It’s wonderful to read about them. It’s one of the more popular genres when it comes to the world of Indian writing in English. Few authors do that genre justice, and Anuja is one of them. When this book came my way, I didn’t hesitate to take it up.
I’ve grown up hearing stories from Indian mythology, but the story of Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva is not one I’ve followed closely. I do know a part of it of course. Anuja takes that story and brings it to life through this book. She takes the story up from before the birth of Kartikeya, and how the need for his birth arose because of the asuras Soorapadma, Simhamukha and Taraka. This part felt a bit unfamiliar to me, but what happens during the birth of Kartikeya, how he is nurtured at the beginning by the Kartikas etc. that brought back memories, and made me nostalgic for childhood. If you are aware of the mythology, I’m sure the tales shared in the book would feel familiar. If not, I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to know them. I do not want to reveal it.
One aspect of Anuja’s writing that I have admired is her language. It’s quite beautiful. The earlier novels made the Gods feel almost human. This book does do that too, but thankfully, not as much as the earlier ones. The character of Kartikeya unravels with each chapter, going from creation to the realization of his destiny. We see him mature; he knows the decisions he has to make, and he makes them keeping everything in mind. I liked how the book flowed from page to page, it was quite engaging, and not for a moment did I feel bored. I loved the character of Chitrabahn too. One of my favorite parts of the story was the slight twist to the tale of another character. I hadn’t expected that, and enjoyed it. That has much to do with the author’s passion for this genre too, I feel. It’s one she excels at. And a very big tick goes to the cover art, which is very beautiful and makes me want to pick the book to read.
I wished there was more about the character after his conquering of the asuras, and his decision to move to the South of India. Maybe the author felt it the book was becoming longer, I don’t know. But with the way this book was narrated, I felt another 50-60 pages also would have been wonderful to read. That part of Kartikeya’s mythology is one I’m not aware of, with Devasena and Valli. It would have added to the beauty of this novel.
Perhaps this book is Anuja’s best yet. I loved it a lot, and would definitely peruse it again. I hope she brings more books in this genre soon. I would be eager to read them.
|Title: Kartikeya: The Destroyer’s Son|
|Author(s): Anuja Chandramouli||Genre: Mythology|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9788129149114||Publisher: Rupa Publications|
(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
30th December 2017)