- Language: English
- Genre: Historical/Mythological Fiction
- Pages: 314 pages
- Format: Paperback
- Author: Vineet Bajpai
- Publishing Date: 9th June 2017
- Publisher: VB Performance LLP
- ISBN-10: 9352685482
- ISBN-13: 978-9352685486
Harappa follows the story of Vidyut Shashtri, who is an inferno of talent, skills, spirituality and ambition. He is a thirty something successful entrepreneur who lives in Delhi with his girlfriend Damini. Vidyut’s dying ancestor Dwarka Shashtri summons him to Kashi. He is an 108 years old Brahmin chieftain of the Dev-Raakshasa Matth who bears a chilling secret. It’s time to inform Vidyut about his mighty ancestors and the ancient curse which their blood line carries. A curse so powerful that it can destroy the whole mankind.
In 1700 BCE, Harappan civilization is at its peak. It is the mightiest city on planet Earth and thrives on the bank of Holy Saraswati river. Vivasvan Pujari has worked all his life to maintain the peace and prosperity in whole Aryavarta. He is a legendary warrior, grandmaster of Vedic knowledge and is hailed as the Surya of Harappa. He is believed to be the last born Devta on earth- half human, half god. But the Devta is about to be betrayed by somebody he trusts the most, paving the way for his devastating revenge and fall of this glorious civilization.
Currently in Paris, world’s most powerful religious institution is rattled. Europe’s dreaded crime lord meets a mysterious man in Paris. A lethal assassin boards a train, as Rome fears the worst. The prophesied Devta has returned. What connects Banaras, Harappa and Rome? What’s the ancient curse? Read on to travel through a saga which oscillates from history to mythology, from occult to religion, from exorcism to gunfights, from taantrics to warriors, from love to ambition. It knits 3,700 years, powerful ancient and modern-day characters and a nail-biting conspiracy – all in one literary thriller.
To tell you the truth, I was really hesitant to start this book. I have read few Indian mythological and historical retellings and they were mind-numbingly boring. But at the same time I was intrigued too. Who wouldn’t be? This story is about Harappa- one of the most well-planned ancient civilization this world has ever witnessed. So when this book was sent to me for review, I seized the opportunity. And I was in for a treat. The story is fast paced, mysterious and kept me to the edge of my seat.
One of the strongest point of the story is its plot. It jumps from one timeline to another and yet you can easily connect all the incidents together. Within the first few pages of introduction and prologue, author reveals the major incident that takes place in the story. And yet, he has crafted the narrative so beautifully that it will keep you glued till the last page. Crux of a good thriller always lies in maintaining the suspense. The moment I started reading this story, I wanted to know each and every terrifying secret hidden by legendary Dwarka Shashtri. Even when there were only few pages left, I was still wishing that somehow author will divulge every secret in the last few pages. But I am glad that he maintained the suspense and left the big reveal for his next book.
There are so many characters in this book. Not only the protagonists but each and every minute character is meticulously developed. Damini and Naina both are smart, bold, beautiful and intelligent and yet they are so different from each other when it comes to expressing their emotions. I liked Balawanta and Sonu a lot. But when it comes to well-developed characters, the antagonist takes the cake. You can’t create an epic hero without an epic villain. I LOVED Priyamvada. She knows how to use her mind and body both as weapon. She turned the events in her favor so swiftly that even the mighty Devta couldn’t do anything. One of the best written character in this story is Romi Pereira. But there is a very little focus on his storyline. The book is 314 pages long, surely a little bit more focus on him wouldn’t have hurt.
The language is lucid and easily understandable which makes the timeline jumps easy to understand. With a genre like historical/mythological fiction, things could have horribly wrong, if the author had tried to imitate western stories. But I was glad that he stayed true to his roots and delved deeper into Indian history, traditions, folklores, gastronomy and culture. So many Hindi and Sanskrit words are marvelously amalgamated in the tale. Each word is described in English too. The description of Harappa and Benaras is so lively that it forms a clear picture in readers mind. I have not seen both and yet the minute details tickles my imagination and paints a picture in my head. The historical facts are not hundred percent accurate. For example Harappan and Mesopotamian civilizations are not parallel civilizations. But this is not a history book and taking creative liberty is not a crime.
However, one thing which bothered me a lot was the conversations between the characters. The excessive use of words like yaa, man, come on, baby, my love, na, arey etc. disrupted the flow of the story. Also I felt that sometimes Vidyut was portrayed overly perfect to fit the part of protagonist. It felt unreal that every women in his vicinity was pining after him (including his secretary).
One thing is for sure, Vineet Bajpai has successfully cured my skepticism towards Indian mythological and historical retellings. He has perfectly intertwined fiction with history and fantasy with reality. The book ends on a dramatic cliffhanger and I am eagerly waiting for the next book the series- Pralay: The Great Deluge. Hope atleast few secrets will be revealed in the next book. I will definitely recommend this book to the fellow readers.
My Rating: 4.5/5
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