The guardians of the Halahala
ISBN — 978-81-8495-638-2
When I received a request to review the book the title got my fancy, like all the children of 70’s and 80’s I grew up on a staple diet of Chandamama which came month after month, though I am clueless as to how the sixty four stories lasted over so many issues… let’s not get side tracked that is another blog all together.
The guardians of the Halahala, Halahala is believed to be the noxious fumes that arouse when the great ocean was churned by the gods and demons to extract “amrita” the nectar of immortality. This is also the inspiration for the first choreographed drama performance by Bharata Muni.
When the book did arrive, I was quite annoyed, not by the book but the cover, I mean designers and illustrators can you kindly come out of the show stopper created by the He-man and the masters of the Universe and create a different sword I mean different, if your imagination is challenged kindly visit the salar-jung museum or Kittur Museum you will really find diverse kinds of swords and daggers. Now that my peeve is put off let’s get to the book proper.
The book opens with the prologue of the legendary story of Amrita Manthan, the formation of Halahala and Shiva drinking it to become Neelakanta. The inhalation of the Halahala is very interestingly described as releasing of greed and desire.
The story then moves forward to an event in the capital of Vikramaditya, and there is the introduction of a mysterious warrior like sadhu who has a strong aura. (The experienced armchair detective in me thinks it is Ashwathama)
The book has so many interesting concepts and references I am rather worried that I might put out a spoiler.
The author has set story with the southern culture being more prevalent the nuances of southern music are very correctly presented unlike most authors who dispense southern culture through the northern ethos.
The author has also used two ancient cities the city of Mahishmati and Kikata. The term Dandakaranya here is referred to as the forest of Danda or punishment and that it was so dense and confusing that it was the forest of no return.
Deva’s here are neither milksops nor pure demigods; they are just as power hungry as their rivals the Asuras. Interestingly the author has drawn on the Hiranyaka-Hirayankashpu-Holika triad here; he has subtly espoused Holika to Hiranyaksha. Then there is the use of hell-fire and the border land, as a hypnotherapist this is a space I understand very well, a space of timelessness and information, and resources across time and space being accessible.
Even the warrior women do not seem artificial. (I got the feeling with Amish Tripathi’s writing) but there was something natural about them being warriors.
The concept of Mind Bridge is very interestingly put. The reference of to the nine gems of the court of Vikramaditya Varahamihira,Vararuchi,Amara Simha, Kalidasa.. But somewhere I remember kalidasa being the contemporary of Raja Bhoja who inherited the legendary throne of Vikramaditya.
Vikramaditya himself known for his bravery, fair thinking and sense of adventure is wielder of hell fire. This is the person who is chosen by the almighty as the guardian of the most powerful sword that contains the bit of Halahala that Neelakanta had not assimilated, this sword was capable of destroying creation.
This was the sword Indra and the Devas competed with the Asuras to claim. To get it from Vikramaditya, the Deva’s unleash terror by releasing the Marutas, and the Asura’s try to befriend him by sending a healer the greatest of them all Shukraacharya
I am definitely looking forward for the next two books. And maybe even an author interaction.
Order your copy here
About the author — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6575108.Shatrujeet_Nath
Order your copy here—
<a href=”http://www.flipkart.com/vikramaditya-trilogy-book-1-guardians-halahala-english/p/itmefctsfnhm9w6u?pid=9788184956382&affid=sneckharya”>The Vikramaditya Trilogy: Book 1 – The Guardians of the Halahala (English)</a>
Tags chandamama,Jaico Salar-jung museum,Kittur Museum, Samudra manthan, ashwathama, vikramaditya, Bharata Muni, vararuchi, varahamihira, kalidasa, shukracharya, vetaala, neelakanta,