Book Review: The GODS of Time

Book: The Gods of Time

Author: Aarthy Sundaram

Genre: Puranic Fiction

Novel in a nutshell: 

Three levels of Existence. Twin brothers. One destiny.
The story revolves around the descendants of prominent Indian mythological figures, who continue the legacy of their ancestors, mastering various art forms of warfare in the lands where both devaputras and asuras coexist. A phenomenal shock in one of the Sangams, disrupts the peace of the entire kingdom as Brahmastra one of the nine celestial weapons is invoked. Who is Aryaman? How does he have such powers?

Aditya, one of the main characters in the story, is found in an injured state in Devaloka and is rescued by Anjana, the agniputri. Later he befriends Anjana’s soul brother Deepak and their circle of friends who help him understand the working of the three lokas and it inhabitants.

Among the freshly induced creativity in mythology, three of them were my personal favourites. #1 Ksheer, the sweet dish which makes everyone’s mouth water even while reading it in the novel. Suryodh, one of Anjana’s friends easily gulps in 10 bowls of Ksheer and even craves for more.  #2 Nilayas, the triangular shaped shelter for the residents of the three lokas. These are analogous to the portable camping tents. #3 Karaks , the army of shape changing creatures created by the asuraVivakh.

Coming back to the plot, Aditya the curious learner, quickly masters the art of archery with his bow Vijaya (that had belonged to Karna from the epic of Mahabharat) and recieves training in one of the elite gurukuls- the Kasyapa Gurukul. Why is Aditya a subject of discussion among the Gods? What makes him so special? Is he the only Suryaputra left after all?

Only one person knows why Aditya’s life is endangered. Will he be able to protect him OR save himself from the clutches of vile Mahodara?

Why you should read the book:

  • A well spun mythological tale for fiction lovers
  • Clear narration and appropriate description
  • Elements of imagination go perfectly in sync with the human elements mentioned
  • Even if you don’t have any prior knowledge of mythology, the story is very much understandable
  • After self-publishing a book at the age of twelve, this debut novel is giant leap for this young author
  • You can expect a SEQUEL!!!

What could have been better:

  • The sense of time
  • A map showing all the places mentioned in the novel
  • The description was good overall, but some more details would have done a better job

USP of the Book: The ending!!!

Specialty of the book cover:

The book cover as you see, is an apt description to the story contained within it. It is handcrafted by a women Self-Help Group who use golden print and cotton thread embroidery (similar to those on cotton sarees) on the book cover, giving it a traditional midas touch.

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The intricate work done manually

 

You can read an excerpt of the book from here

You can get the books from: Amazon

Find out some more details about Aarthy’s book at the Writer’s Workshop and find this also on Goodreads from here.

P.S.  Aarthy Sundaram is an #Engineer #Potterhead and is currently doing the Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University.

 

 

The GREAT Escape!!

 

Well, if you are a known person to me, I am 95% sure that I have narrated to you this epic story with Dolby Atmos effect. In case I missed it out let’s relive it again…

 

Just 9 short years ago, it so happened that we went on a family trip to Musoourie (in Uttarakhand). The trip would have ended sooner, hadn’t our driver shared with us a piece of valuable information that a national park was close by. We had never visited a national park before, and so the desire grew stronger and swept us off. I thought it was Jim Corbett National Park (famous in our school text books), and started hallucinating with scenes of tigers roaming around us in free space like those shown in Discovery and NatGeo. I still recall what my mom said about that,’You want to die being eaten up by tigers?’

But then it was not Jim Corbett we were heading too. It was Rajaji National Park. We drove in; signed some documents; paid the fee; sat in an open jeep; and then it started. For the first few miles what we saw was only few deers and an elephant at about 400 m away from us. Nothing phenomenal was bound to happen, for my first open jeep safari was going boring.. very very boring. When we had completed three quarters of our journey, something unusual removed our boredom. We could see around 25 elephants ahead of us, and some 7-8 of them were blocking the narrow path from which we had to traverse.

Our vehicles were at a stand still, our drivers gave perplexed looks to each of us. We learned the harsh truth that our jeeps were unarmed, and that the explosives which were there had also been soggy due to moisture. I hardly felt any of these were hardly necessary, as the elephants showed no signs of attacking us. But then some of them caught my mind voice and started acting in a weird way, breaking barks of nearby trees and spraying mud through its own trunk. It did feel as though they had been attacked by some invisible zombies.

For a moment, the joy from every visitor’s face had faded out as if they were being sucked by dementor. A bunch of few crazy elephants had just made 4-5 jeeps to wait for more than 45 minutes. I still remember some people praying for these elephants to clear the way. The only fear that crossed our minds were, that they must in no way turn their focus towards us. In better words, the thought of attacking us should not cross their minds. The video clips of elephants stamping villagers on their route to banana plantations, were flashing in a fast forward mode through my mode. Worst was imagining yourself, in place of those poor villagers. There was a fairly good probability for that to happen as well.

 

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Yes!! It came this close!!

No sooner our prayers were heard and answered!! Our way was being cleared in slow motion by the protectors of nature. Our jeep was the first one to move in the que.

All of a sudden one of the elephants started chasing us. It chased us for about 50 m and our accelerator was on full load. Had the accelerator failed for a second, or any other unfortunate event had occurred because of our vehicle, I have no idea where our fates would have led us too. Maybe this blog post would have never been written 😛 The good souled elephant  spared our lives, and withdrew the chase sooner than anyone had expected!!

The saddest part of this adventurous story is that we couldn’t capture any of it in our lens. Our digicam had all its power drained out when this journey began, but then had we managed to capture that, it would have resembled the above pic very closely.

The level of thrill I enjoyed that day, till date remains to be the best of all the records I’ve had so far. The small distance that was left over between life and death, gave me some sort of enlightenment.

 

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You definitely know that after reading this, which among these is the most dangerous???

P.S. In the name of all old gods and the new, this is a true incident!!!

The Final Destination

It was a delicious menu in the house warming ceremony we attended few months back in Coimbatore. The aroma of non-veg led us to a different kind of trance. The time was exactly 1:30 PM and we had a train to catch at  2:20 PM in the railway station a few kilometers away.

I came along with my uncle and his family from Chennai, as my parents were in Trichy. After checking the PNR status just five minutes before we had learned that our tickets were confirmed. So now it was time for a hurry bury pack up. After biding a Good bye to all our friends and relatives we quickly loaded ourselves in a car that nearly squeezed us, due to lack of free space.  We were already five in number and another uncle of mine who were to drop us had a family of four. Struggling to breathe with at least one person in each of our laps along with our luggages, we strode off to the railway station in haste. The car hustled in the beginning before gaining momentum and while taking reverse, we could feel the topsy-turvies.

After a while my cousin said that her dad (the driver) didn’t know how to take a car in reverse properly even after driving for nearly seven years. I was dumbfounded at this because my uncle was experimenting with us. To the pedestrians it seemed as an over loaded automobile rolling on the road with great difficulty.

It was an inauspicious day for us as we were caught up almost in every traffic signal that day. To increase our agony two bikers nearly crashed our ways as the RTO waved his hands in both the wrong directions.

We reached the railway station just three minutes prior to the departure of our train. Our destiny was yet to be reached. In haste we unloaded and began to race for the platforms. My uncle told that the he had seen the digital board indicating platform number four for our train. Making our way through busy crowds of people we ran mercilessly in the subway with everyone staring at us. My sister had even dashed on a few people with her luggage.

After reaching the platform we were awestruck to see the site. An engine with only two coaches was settled there. My brother was screaming, “Where is the rest of the train?”

A porter came to us inquiring our misery and yelled,” Sir it is platform number two not four!!! ”

All of us turned towards platform two in unison to see our train standing there still.

My aunt groaned and struggled to take a breath. She gave a stern look to my uncle who got on his nerves now. “Platform two!!!”, he screamed.

And we cruised in the reverse path to reach our final destination. We could hear our train honking now. I was at my best 100 metre record after school athletic meets.We completed our journey to the destination and we were on the train now.

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We reached our seats when the next disaster awaited us. Someone else was sitting in our seat number 42. He even showed his train ticket to us which was printed in Tamil. My uncle was fed up this time thinking now did we get into the wrong train after the platform fiasco. He went to check the charts; the train seemed ready to move now. It had already delayed its departure by five minutes only for us.  My uncle returned with a stern face claiming our seat. We again checked his ticket to discover the truth hidden it. It was his mistake. It was not the seat number but his age that was indicated in Tamil as 42!!!!

He vacated our seat and left.

Now everything was finally over. We laughed for at least half an hour recalling our hilarious journey from our home to the train.