Friday, May 24, 2013


Book:              Asura: Tale of the Vanquished
Author:           Anand Neelakantan
Genre:             Fiction/mythology

Publication:    Leadstart publishing
Pages:              500

X-FACTOR:   Know ‘Asuras’ from their point of view.

My Rating:      4 out of 5

He is an intellect, brave, strong and a great dancer. This story tells you the views of ‘Ravana’. And the author has twisted the original Ramayana to some extent, in order to present the perspective of ‘Asuras’. So, if you are a hardcore fan of Rama, then you may not like it very much. However, as a story, writer does justice with its characters.
Yet another story starts in flashback. It seems that today’s writers like starting stories in flashback. So, the first scene is that ‘Ravana’ is dying, result of the courtesy shown by Rama, and he thinks about his life and past. The story revolves around ‘Ravana’ and how he collects all the tribes of Asuras and makes Lanka. Gods are conquering race and they are affected by cast-culture, gender biases and are arrogance; whereas, Asuras believe in equality and liberalization.
The Rama is unkind and he is not a believer of giving a fair chance to everybody. He is someone who could not stand with his own wife and someone who kills warriors from behind. All these may sound anti-Rama but eventually all of these are truth. We know him as one who is bound to his duty and responsibilities towards people but as all of us know that victorious has always tampered with history. The whole story is almost like Ramayana but the protagonist and antagonist have been swapped.
The story is however, slow when it comes to battles and guerilla fights. It could have been edited well but unfortunately it remains less attractive. The charisma of Ravana has been reduced and many facts have been twisted. Sadness prevails in the story after the first half and people may get misguided by few of the negative views in it.    
Despite of all the facts, the story is interesting and pleasant. I urge people, not to take it as anti-Brahmin, anti-Hinduism or anti-Ramayana. It is a ‘story’ which has been wonderfully written.
The story is very easy to read. Though, not completely dictionary free but the writer utilized good words and phrases throughout the tale. As Ramayana has been written and re-written, may be trillion times, hence people tend to compare the language.
The writer has tried his best to keep up the speed in his writing, which he does in most of the chapters, but some of the chapters are really slow and it takes an extra effort to cross them. He has done a very good effort to curse the caste-system in India, but I think, it could have been more impactful. I honestly wish that editor of this book could have worked harder to make it relentless, when it comes to criticizing a system.
The only thing which I can say after reading ‘Asura’ and analyzing the writing potential of the writer is that, I am definitely going to read his next.
We may talk about how negative it is and how the facts of ‘Ramayana’ have been twisted to support the protagonist but the fact is that it’s a good read. Be rational and broad-minded. We should think about it as a story, not as a history book.
A common boy who fights his way out to become a king, he is courageous, bright, visionary, silly, arrogant and at times selfish. He makes many decisions in his life, few of them are correct and few of them go wrong. His fiasco is not Ravana’s failure but a common man’s. A common man who dares to compete with privileged ones.
I am not sure about Rama but I think we all have a ‘Ravana’ inside us. This book may give a wrong message to faint believers but for most of us, it is a must read and refreshing.

No comments:

Post a Comment