November 27, 2012 by Ashwin
Author: Amish Tripathi
The Secret of Nagas is the second in line of the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. The Secret of Nagas starts from where the first book ended.
The Secret of The Nagas picks up from where Meluha ended; and steams ahead for a few chapters before resorting to a tranquil place in the events that take place at Kashi. After those few languid chapters, the book keeps on speeding ahead with new revelations, new opinions and ends with a nice twist (although a tad foreseeable), and yet keeps the readers hanging for the part three of Shiva Trilogy – The Oath of Vayuputras. Many new characters have made an appearance. Primary of those are the sons of Shiva/Sati, the royal families of kingdoms in Swadweep, and a few Naga characters too. There were a few parts of the book where I felt Amish was going on a tangent, but later on realized that events that took place earlier always had an impact on the happenings later on.
Some of the concepts, described in the book, are/can be really baffling. Like for instance – The competitive examination to filter Chandravanshis and Suryavanshis, reminded me of IIT or AIEEE competitive exams. The temples, build at great heights, acting as transmitters, reminded me of Transmitter Towers. There is one character in the book, which is sketched quite similar to Bollywood’s music director Mr. Bappi Lehri, and quite interestingly, the name of the character is Bappiraj. But the biggest concept, which may or will baffle the readers, especially strong believers of Hindu religion, is calling Ganesh and Kali as the Nagas – characters with deformities (Ganesh, a Naga with a face of an elephant, and Kali, a Naga with four arms). It is very hard for the reader to remember, that this is just a fictional story, with fictional characters whose names are similar to Hindu Mythological characters. If the readers manage to keep the Hindu religion beliefs out of their mind, then this book will surely be liked by everyone.
The author has dealt with a number of issues of the Indian society in the disguise of storytelling e.g. caste system and honour killing. The concepts of Vikarma and Naga are nothing but the author’s way of directing our attention to the fact that Indian society has traditionally been intolerant about anything out of ordinary. The philosophy that the author introduced through the Vasudev Pandits seemed half-baked. It was not fully elaborated and left a lot more to be desired.
To sum up, Amish’s “The Secret Of The Nagas” is exciting. It will keep you engaged for a few moments, and then it begins to drag. The reader will feel mesmerized, but sometimes, the reader will feel frustrated as well. There are way too many characters in the book, which reduces the immense presence of Shiva.
The book is a lot better than its predecessor. Just Go for It.