While the blurb gives an insight into the book what remains to be shared is what I felt about Author Anuja Chandramouli’s interpretation of the stories, the myths surrounding the lesser spoken brother of Ganesha i.e. Kartikeya and her style of writing. Well so here I go….
‘Kartikeya: The Destroyer’s Son’ provides a refreshing insight into the lesser known of the two sons of Lord Shiva. While the process of the birth of Kartikeya generated considerable heat scalding many, the expectation was that the subject of excitement himself ( Kartikeya) would in later years display a fiery nature. But is Kartikeya so?…..That’s for you to discover 🙂
The story though multi- layered, takes us on a journey that is far from bumpy. The various stories and sub- stories as well as the main characters and supporting ones are seamlessly interwoven together to give the reader an insight into the various facets of the six- headed God, his prowess, love-life and much more. However what actually stands out is the depiction of both, the Gods who it is believed, ‘lord’ over the three realms and are considered the embodiment of all that is good, as well as the Asuras who are generally seen as the epitome of all that is evil. Anuja Chandramouli has broken that myth. While arrogance, jealousy, treachery and ingratitude are the hallmark of Anuja’s Indra, his arch-rival the Asura King Soorapadma comes across one with a soft heart when it is a matter of his subjects and siblings. He is also an embodiment of humility and fair- play in comparison to Indra . While Soorapadma is ready to heed to sane advice unless unnecessarily provoked, Indra is anything but that. The satisfaction of his ego and greed are all that matter to him even if it means putting his own kith and kin at risk. If one does have any myth about the invincibility of the Gods, Anuja’s story shatters it. While the fierce and fiery destroyer turns out to be a child at heart in front of his son and a passionate lover in front of his wife, Parvati his consort turns out to be every bit a jealous spouse and an over- possessive mother. So the book is not only a journey into the mystic world of the Devas and the Asuras, but is also a journey that sees a gamut of emotions generally associated with the lesser known mortals i.e. we human beings, on display.
Yes, there are some parts that had me wondering for example the story related with the birth of Ganesha and his beheading. It is the first time I’ve come across this version. But then Indian Mythology is all about myths innumerable some known, some unknown, some popular and some that are lesser known. The true researcher perseveres and picks up the hidden ones.
The cast is huge, the characters are well- developed, and the language is lyrical and hence appealing. One can easily visualize the setting and the happenings and relate to a majority of events. But if there is one thing that left me disappointed, it was the climax. I felt it was a bit hasty and abrupt. A little bit on Kartikeya’s sojourn in the South would have helped smooth out the rough edges and straighten the crease, thereby making it a finely – finished and polished piece of writing.
A refreshing read for the mythology buff. Pick it up not just for the story but also for an insight into Anuja Chandramouli’s lyrical style of writing.