Today up for review is a book that made a storm in the Indian literary community, bringing into light a genre that had remained untouched for a really long time and was only associated with the likes of Amish and Shreyas Bhave: Mytho-fiction. Hyped and loved, Harappa : The Rise of The Blood River by Vineet Bajpai is a book that still is making rounds in the community and has now landed in the club finally!
This story follows Vidyut, a man like no other who is forced to go back home to Benaras and meet the head of the Dev-Rakshasa Matth, who is also his grandfather to uncover a secret that will jolt him to the core. The grandfather, Dwarka Shastri tells him what he already knows, he is Half human and half God! From the lineage of Harappa. Vidyut’s life turns upside down, when the truth Dawns him. He is told that he has been recalled to the ancient place because his life is in danger and it is imperative that he protect the secret that the Matth has kept hidden for centuries. Will Vidyut uncover the secret? Will he be able to protect it and keep it hidden from the people who are trying to kill him and unravel the mystery to the world?
Harappa is known to us as the oldest civilisation, that beats back the Mesopotamian and Greek civilisations, which were considered a pioneer of human settlements and organisations. Gone and wiped off the surface of the earth, without any possible strong reasons, speculations have made rounds of wars with the Aryans, the horse-backed blue eyed warriors from the West, that lead to their extinction. However, without any war weapons or mass graves, unlike the massacres of the Incan and Mayan civilisations. This is the exact same loophole that Bajpai has based this story on. The fact that this toggles between the harappan time and the present, running two different timelines parallel to each other, makes it even more enjoyable. It does get a bit tedious when the cliffhangers have to be omitted and followed up a chapter later.
The writing style is great. The fact that this has almost zero grammatical errors is even better. The language is easy, clear and understandable. Although the story switches in timelines, there is no confusion about the plot or the subplots. The characters are very well developed and one can easily associate themselves with them.
Getting a mythological fiction right means that there has to be a great balance between the facts and the creative process. Bajpai has nailed the ratio. He hasn’t meddled with the facts but rather used them to his advantage to create more depth to the story and characters. Not only does that enhance his storytelling but also the plot line that depends on the background to expand. It is an absolute treat for mythology fans who love the blend of the present and the past. Considering the fact that this takes up a historical section that has remained in the dark and unexplored for a really long time, it does justice to the intrigue, curiosity and thrill it claims to introduce.
Thoroughly impressed and absolutely gobsmacked that it took me so long to discover this gem, it is a 4.5 star read for me. The fact that it has demons, mythology, thrill, love, emotions and betrayal all packed into an era lost in time, is enough to make me await more from the author.
Disclaimer : I received a copy of the book under the Readers Cosmos Book Review in exchange of an honest review.
Until next time!