Friday, December 14, 2018

Book Review #65: The New Dewtas: The Rise of Rudra

Name: The New Dewtas: The Rise of Rudra
Author: Suraj Kothiyal
No. of Pages: 222
Genre: Fiction/India/Street Narative
Publisher: Inkstate Books (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 249/- 
Published in: 2018 

How did I get it? From the author. 

THE BLURB SAYS:  

Neer, the head priest of the Himalayas, is troubled by the horrifying visions in his dream. On Ganga Maiyya's behest, he embarks on a journey to the doomed island of Bali. The island, plagued with cyclic torments of Sekala and Neskala and suffering from constant rainfall, faces an imminent danger of drowning in sea. However, Neer's power was no match for the strong evil forces that kidnapped the king and the queen, activating the volcano of Mt Agung. With the neighboring king of Java on his toes to attack and conquer the struggling island of Bali, will the gritty prince Erlangga, assisted by Neer, be able to save his kingdom? Read to find out how people turn towards the new dewtas introduced by Neer as the end becomes evident and how Eka-dasa-Rudra helps in arousing the most furious energy of this world, Rudra.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The author, Suraj Kothiyal, hails from the beautiful city of Dehradun with his family roots belonging to the Himalayan region. His parents are teacher by profession, brother works in a software firm and wife is a dance teacher. A mechanical engineer and an MBA in marketing, Suraj, had five years of corporate experience before he started his own entrepreneurial journey.

Today Suraj’s construction firm develops beautiful living spaces for its customers in Dehradun. Apart from marketing and construction, Suraj has keen interest in writing. He has been writing since childhood. Initially the hobby started out as writing poems in Hindi for school magazine. His love of poetry continues, and his collection of Hindi poems can be seen on his personal blog that goes by “poems.surajkothiyal.com”.

As a child, whenever Suraj went close to the mighty mountains of Himalayas, they whispered a story in his ears. These stories later ignited a passion in him to write historic fictions and it’s his endeavor to bring to light the highly diversified and rich culture across the world. This book is inspired by a popular folklore in Bali that talks of a Hindu saint namely, Maharishi Markandeya, who came to Bali from India and introduced Hinduism on the scenic island.
 
MY THOUGHTS: 

I am a fan of mythology and that is why I agreed to review this book. Although the narrative started interestingly, it turned put to be quite a disappointment. The book lacked depth and conviction.

For starters, who actually is Neer? Why is he blue? Why does he wear the stone on his arm? What powers does it have? What about his life in the Himalayas? How did he make his way from the Himalayas to the sea? No answers. Yet, he is the protagonist.

How was Erlangga's mother convinced by Raahuran to wear Rangda's mask; what was Gajah Meda's issue; what are the mysteries of the magical masks and nyoms? There is no elaboration.

Then, the ways of Balinese people come in bits and pieces. I wished there were a proper background connecting to the present plight they faced in the story. Also, I was not really convinced how quickly the Balinese discarded their traditional beliefs and embraced the new dewtas.

Nonetheless, you will get a glimpse of Balinese beliefs and ways and get to know about concepts like Sekala and Neskala. Balinese Hinduism is quite different than what is practiced in the Indian subcontinent. Reading this book made me curious and got me reading other stuff about Bali.
I give "The New Dewtas: The Rise of Rudra"



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