Reviewed in India on 22 February 2018
Book Name (with Subtitle): Kartikeya (The Destroyer’s Son)
Author Name: Anuja Chandramouli
No of Pages: 238
Publisher: Rupa Publications India (1/11/2017)
Blurb: The blurb portion of the book has been written exactly highlighting the core factors of the book without any exaggeration and in such a way which will make the reader curious to know the entire saga described in the book.
Cover: The front cover of the book is good and as it is complementing the title & base content of the book, so it is apt no doubt, but it could have been better to draw the attention, I can say.
Title: The title (along with the subtitle) of the book is perfect & exactly what the book consists of; hence, I consider this appropriate.
Language & narration: Well….in this section I have to (rather I must) say something. The book has been enriched with top level of authentic words and the formation of the sentences can be termed as ‘most classic & powerful language’ ever; which is good (sometimes really difficult) for me as I love to gather my knowledge about new words or contain myself with new vocabulary, but, honestly speaking, let alone the first timer, even a potentially good English reader also will face some initial difficulties to cope up with this kind of heavy language. I, myself, completed reading this with the help of dictionary. Narrating style of the author is noticeable and maintained a gripping flow throughout the end of the book. Because of this high class informative narration, this book can be considered as the most reliable & authoritative book on the Destroyer’s (Shiva’s) Son- KARTIKEYA. On the same aspect, battle scenes or war episodes have been narrated with supreme details, which can give the reader goosebumps even by imagining them.
Plot: This plot is well chosen and better researched when it comes to develop the entire saga of Kartikeya limiting in this book. It is a fact that, many of us (including me) are not familiar with the exact journey of life of the Kartikeya (who is the elder son of Lord Shiva & Devi Parvati). This book has not only presented the tale of Kartikeya, with most of the unknown facts to share, but also this very plot has been woven remarkably stating the horrendous facts about Devraj Indra and with revealing the utmost shocking reality about the creation & devastation of the ‘God’ himself. With these two different shades of the base plot, we can see some connecting subplots while going through the journey, and trust me, that will make sense completely while justifying the substance of the book.
Setting: Well, I can say that, the setting of those events are in- Heaven, Mount Kailasha (Kailash), summit of Himalayas, Mahendrapuri, Amaravati, Lake Manassarovar, Mother Earth, Vaikuntam, Pazhani- Southern Region.
Characterization: Keeping the genre of this book in mind, I will say just one thing that, the authoress Anuja Chandramouli, has done complete justice while portraying the characters of Devas & Asura, mortals & immortals, or any creature existing at that time. Beside the protagonist of this book, she portrayed all the other characters with enough clearance that the reader will realize the justified significance of the characters related to the main journey of the protagonist in different phases. Let’s see the name of all the Devas & Asuras & all the name of the characters mentioned in the book- Parvati, Shiva, Shakti, Kama aka Ananga, Rati, Indra, Vishnu, Soorapadma aka Soora, Lakshmi, Kubera, Yama, Surya, Jayanta, Daksha, Simhamukha aka Simha, Tarakasura aka Taraka, Maya, Akhirsen, Ajamukhi aka Aja, Sukracharya, Himavan, Sage Kashyap, Bhagiratha, Sagara, Ganga, Agni, Vayu, The Kartikas, Kartikeya aka Karti, Nandi, Brahma, Sachidevi, Varuna, Prabhakara, Bhoomi Devi, Durvasa, The Ashwini twins, Soma, Garuda, Chitrabahn aka Chitra, Unnati, Devasena, Banugopan, Goddess Durga, Usas, Kali, Nesha / Ganesha, Madhu Swapna, Nidra, Grahas, Matrikas, Kumaris, Keshin, Sage Kanva, dumb saint Siva Muni, Nambi, Valli.
Theme: Mythology, History of God, Myths, Legends & Sagas
Story in a nutshell: This book contains the saga of the legendary warrior, the Mahasena himself, the elder Son of the Mahadev Shiva- the Kartikeya. When the mightiest devastating Asura King, Soorapadma, the Soora had become the undisputed ruler of the three Worlds, and continue spreading his terror, with his two sibling brother to accompany him, there was no way out for the Devas refrain them from their violence. With capturing Jayanta (the Son of Devraj Indra) in his custody, and snatching away the throne from Indra, Soora ruled over the three Worlds and left nobody into peace. The Devas were told that, only the Son of the Destroyer, Lord Shiva, will become their savior and will finish the terror of Soora, along with his two brothers Simhamukha and Tarakasura by diminishing them forever, and that Indra that, only by Shiva’s Son, he will get the chance to retain his powers over the Kingdom which was formerly belonged to him only. This greed for power made him blind and he lost his sense of judgment to differ between the right & wrong. To fulfill his ‘need’, he left no stones unturned. Due to the sacrificial demise of Shakti (Soulmate, love, everything of Shiva), Lord Shiva was emerged in utmost grief and Kamadeva was failed to fulfill the will of Indra by making Shiva & Parvati together. For this ‘trick’ of Indra, Kamadeva was forced to meet his fate by facing the anger of the Destroyer Shiva, which led him to become a ‘body less creature’ / “Ananga”. Whatever, Shiva compromised with the battle of feelings with his inner self and finally, was giving attention to his Wife Parvati, everything was going smoothly as the love was blossoming between Shiva and Parvati, but again because of Indra’s ‘impatience’, something happened by the Devas, which made Devi Parvati to curse the entire Devas.. However, finally, Kartikeya had taken birth and with time, his features and powers were proving that he truly was the prophesied savior. With time, he got prepared and was ready to set his journey off to the mission he was destined to conquer.
On the other side, Soorapadma was very aware of the birth of Kartikeya, but in his vision, he got to know something or see something that had shaken his inner pride and planted the seed of fear or insecurity in his heart. Meanwhile, while he was dealing with many inner battles and other things in his thoughts related to his brothers and family, something went the opposite way and that led him face a terrible fact that his sister Ajamukhi, got brutally murdered because of the conspiracy of Indra and his surroundings. This was the beginning of the unending devastation! To avenge the death of their beloved sister, the trio decided to finish everything; Ajamukhi was the heart of his brother Tarakasura. While being bling inrage and anger, to seek vengeance, Taraka started to rip everything and everyone off from the root of their life and the blood shading revenge started to rain blood…more…and more…
What happened after that? When will this blood shading come to an end? Will the heart of the mother Parvati allow his Son to go away from her to fulfill his responsibility? Will the battle of Kartikeya be easy, while facing Soora, Simha or Taraka? Will he need to fight his battle by his own or there will be anyone else to accompany him in his journey? How will Kartikeya serve the Bhoomi Devi and in what purpose? What was the incident that led the divine mother Parvati to curse each and every Deva? What was the curse? What was awaiting the fate of Indra? How will the Asura Trio, Soora, Simha & Taraka will get ‘moksh’? What will happen to the family and to their relations when it will be coming for Kartikeya to give heart to Devasena (daughter of Indra)? When will the sibling of Kartikeya come to take place in their ‘happy’ family and how?
To get these answers, just pick this book up and go through the saga of the legendry warrior, the Mahasena himself, Kartikeya…the Destroyer’s Son…
My Verdict: Authoress Anuja Chandramouli has successively penned down the saga of the bravest & mightiest Warrior & the prophesied savior of the three Worlds, Kartikeya. First of all, I’m really stunned after realizing the depth of the research work that the author has done behind developing the plot turned into the shape of this book. Each and every information have been given with utmost authenticity and to deliver the best to the readers, thus everyone can get a clear conception about the origin and the journey of the Mahasena, Kartikeya. I personally felt very contained after finishing this book. Every emotion of the mortals & immortals, the incidents back that time on heaven and earth, their cause and effect, every single thing has been mentioned here with potentially rich description. Things that have been portrayed here are- desperate needs of Indra, the actual ‘negative’ side of Indra and the showing the darkest sides of his character, the greed for power and lust for women, how desire can make ‘anyone’ blind, the angry shades of the Destroyer, Lord Shiva, the pain of his heart due to getting separated from his beloved Shakti, the love for Shakti in his heart, the various sides in the characteristics of Devi Parvati (she was a daughter, a lover, a devotee, Wife, a mother, and ultimately a Protector too)- all the roles she played, was actually the main charm of the story if it can be realized that way, because without Parvati, there wouldn’t have been a single thing that can be mentioned, of course with Lord Shiva by her side. The concept behind the birth of Kartikeya, the initial separation of a mother from her child, then the separation of Kartikeya from Kartikas, their pain, the love between Mahadeva & Parvati, a mother’s concern about her child, a father’s pride about his child, the brotherly relation between Vishnu & Shiva, the sense of maturity in Kartikeya about his responsibilities (the bravery, the caring and lovely nature, the skillful warrior, the merciful savior, the dutiful Son, the lovable sibling, the lover)- in every role, he justified himself completely. The terror of the Asura trios, their emotions regarding their family, their love for their Sister Aja, Aja’s pure love for her brother Taraka, her destined but unfortunate death, then the avenging mentality of the Aura brother, their devastating terror across three worlds, Kartikeyas battle with them one after another, their conversation with Kartikeya & getting ‘moksh’ with realization to serve a better purpose, the love between Devasena and Kartikeya, his convincing his mother Parvati, the clash, the severely changing equation in the relation between Parvati & Shiva, Nesha’s birth, Parvati’s insecurity over Nesha, the mental dilemma of Kartikeya about his parents, the love in his heart for his sibling, the ultimate blow of Mahadeva, and then the damage repair, Ganesha’s appearance and the family reunion for the good for all- all the things I mentioned above have been portrayed in the book. I noticed some things in the book, that, the Deva’s & even Asura’s here, are being portrayed as simple as human and their conversations, feelings and emotions are no different than we come across any family in real world or anywhere. Every parent’s concern and love for their children and even relation between husband wife; brother sisters are exactly the same that we are familiar with. I never noticed them separately that they are God with the ultimate power of creation or immortals or something. Their humor in conversation between Shiva & Parvati, the father son relation between Shiva & Karti, the sibling love between Karti & Nesha/Ganesha, everything are as normal as human beings are. One noticeable thing I’d like to point out that, the authoress made the point clear that from where the dominance over gentler sex had been started and the origin of it, which we are still bearing in our world; yes, I am talking about the Men Women gender wars plantation.
Recommendation: I’d like to recommend the book to every mythology lover, or to any such reader willing to know about the life journey of the mightiest Warrior amongst Devas, the Mahasena- Kartileya. This book is something they will cherish them for a long time I can say. Thank you.
My Favorite lines from this book: “The stain of blood can never be washed out by more blood; only service and sacrifice can do the trick”.
“Loving someone doesn’t mean chaining them and never letting go. On the contrary, it means setting your love free”.
Rating (Overall): 4/5 Stars.