Monday, September 12, 2016

The Rigveda Code - Book Review

The Rigveda Code
By Rashmi Chendvankar
Review By Ila Garg

The Rigveda Code, a novel by Rashmi Chendvankar, is published by Partridge India. The cover shows a picture of an archer and no wonder a reader who picks up this book will be instantly transported to the mythological era where Arjuna and the likes were creating history. So is this a book on mythology then? Let’s look at the author’s bio and blurb before we venture further.

Rashmi is a legal professional in her early thirties. She is a commerce graduate, a law graduate and a qualified company secretary. She currently heads the legal and secretarial department of an IT company in Mumbai. Rashmi has been an avid reader of ancient Indian history. She strongly feels that history textbooks are dry and limited versions of exciting stories, which should be excavated and brought to young readers. Her fascination with an amazing event of ancient Indian history which took place in 600 BCE and its intriguing connection with the Mahabharat war, led her to write her debut novel The Rigveda Code.

Rashmi stays in Mumbai with her husband, Lalit, her three-year-old son, Sohum, and her in-laws, Maya and Mohan.

The blurb reads as, “600 BC. . .. Three Hundred years after the epochal Mahabharata War. . . India is still haunted by the shadows of the devastating conflict of the Kuru cousins, which almost destroyed the entire land. . . The epicentre of power has now shifted to the kingdom of Vrij, situated on the northern banks of the Ganga, ruled by an ambitious king who would not stop at anything to lay his hands on the most powerful weapon of the Mahabharata age. . . Soaring ambitions have once again brought the ancient civilisation on the dark brink of another full-scale war. . . Against this backdrop, a warrior princess is set to change the political legacy of Ancient India – guided by her destiny. . . and a phenomenal man, who lived three hundred years before her. . . A man who is considered God today, but whose greatest contribution lies buried below layers of ancient history. . . And buried below these very layers, lies the story of this warrior princess, who unravelled the mystery of His code – an eternal way to establish dharma in Bharat. . . Will the princess change the way kingdoms in India are ruled? What is the destiny of Bharat?

I will begin by congratulating the author for choosing such a difficult subject to deal with. The history of civilisation has various stories embedded in its layers. The mythology has continued to mesmerise many of us even today; some believe it to be controversial too. And yet the author takes the risk of debuting with a book on this genre.

So coming back to the book – it is a mythological fiction based on the after effects of the huge tragedy that happened in the form of Mahabharata. The protagonist of the novel, Rikshavi is a warrior princess of the Vrij Kingdom. Post war, after approximately thirty years, Lord Krishna wishes to implement a new governance system for the glorious future of Bharatkhanda. But he doesn’t do this himself; he chooses to pass the secret code to the legacy of the Pandavs, which Rikshavi is destined to accomplish.

The author has sketched all the character beautifully, nowhere will the readers feel it to be exaggerated. Rikshavi stands out prominently in the entire novel while her various shades come out gradually as she unfolds her existence while decoding the code. In addition, the author has managed to weave a great cast of characters. Each character has been given enough space to let them shine out.

The language is simple and easy to comprehend, so don’t worry if you aren’t much of a mythological fiction reader. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. It took me a couple of hours to complete the book because it is so fast paced. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author. The details have been put in after thorough research and it shows. The way the political system of the country is discussed is quite involving.

Further, this 228-page book is a compelling book. The suspense factor that is there from beginning till the end is what makes it a page turner. What happens in Rikshavi’s life, how from her birth to childhood she discovers the Rigveda code, how being a girl doesn’t actually affect her in any way, how she still becomes a successful archer are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in The Rigveda Code.

As a debutant, Rashmi Chendvankar has nailed it. However, the author should be careful to avoid overusing repetitive words, work on grammar and bring out a powerful climax.

The book is highly recommended if you are looking for something different to read.

Ratings: 3.5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment