Blurb:

In a thousand years, a man who built a pot from clay may have learned to filter uranium from the same soil by increasing his physical knowledge, but his state of mental development is still primitive.

Whichever period of time has been there – Treta, Dwapara or Kali Yuga, have been governing the behavior of human beings since their ages and wretched ages.

This saga is not of any specific hero, but of an entire era covering civilization, culture, society, country-age, construction and holocaust. The era in which the gods, demons, demons and demons were at their supremacy. This was the era when the earth used to shake with the threat of Devastras and Brahmastras.
Demonstration of power, increasing equipment of enjoyment, authority over new resources and the race to become supreme gave rise to such an economic struggle between the Devas, Asuras and other castes, which at times pushed the entire Jambudweep towards Devasur-Sangram. But this time it was Sangram-Sindhu’s turn. The very destructive Mahasangram which was more destructive than the ten Devasur-Sangrams.
This section of the Sangram-Indus saga will reveal the basic basis of the supernatural deity of the gods along with the history of Devas, Demons, Asuras and other castes.

Review:

In this time when major dominant and recurring themes are love, betrayal, awareness towards environment and social issues etc., Vivek Kumar’s “Arthala” successfully transports the reader in a world when india was a land of kings. The book comes as a wave of fresh air exploring a completely different genre from mainstream writing. The fact of it’s being different from the mainstream writing differentiates it and becomes the first point to attract any reader’s attention. Second attraction of the book is the style and language. It is written in hindi and the author showcases his rich vocabulary in the language.

The book is a thrilling tale filled with twists and turns to hold on to the reader’s interest and imagination. He beautifully explores the pure relationship of a teacher and his student. From the very beginning, the protagonist is shown to be possessing superhero-like qualities and at the same time his emotions make him more human and realistic. At one time he is the ideal, loving, sensitive and emotional student but in the very next moment he becomes a chivalric warrior who is driven very strongly by the desire to avenge the death of his loved one. At times the descriptions of the battle and fight are so vivid that the reader is reminded of king Arthur’s knights from Britain. The chivalric qualities may be his hallmark yet the reader’s never forget the fact of his being an Indian. He brilliantly balances seriousness and humor throughout by building up other characters who appear as lively as the protagonist. This makes the book an enjoyable read for all age groups. The other salient features of the book are its plotline and character portrayal. Not just the protagonist, but also the other characters that the author creates appear lifelike and real. This exemplifies the ability and potential of the author. He chooses a subject very unlikely to be chosen in the present time and magnificently writes with effortless style and skill.

For a reader or a non reader with fine knowledge of hindi language, this book serves as a treat and at the same time the author is remembered for his craft, skill, expertise and knowledge of hindi language in a time when most of the writers are venturing into English language writing. Due to his command on the language, he portrays the scenes of battlefield with vividness, intensity and superb clarity hence tickles the imagined the reader very strongly. This becomes the USP of “Arthala”.

The fact that the text is written in hindi language connects the reader firmly to his Indian roots and cultural values which makes it a must read for all who have even the slightest idea about the nature of people, nature of education, the importance of family and value system of the past. The book contains ample instances to highlight, display and mark the writer’s potential to be a prolific writer in the coming time.

On looking at the length of the book, it seems a challenge to read it through. But the ability of the author to hold on to the reader’s attention even when he is not reading the book is the biggest asset of the book. Just like Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s travels”, “Arthala” can also be read by children and adults. For children the adventurous scenes would be thrilling and almost like a bedtime story while for adults the plotline and the themes and issues it raises would hold on to their attention. The book can be read more than once and probably the excitement would be equal everytime.

Akhila Saroha

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