Mumbai, August 11 He calls himself an atheist, but author Amish Tripathi, author of the bestseller, The Immortals of Meluha, says Lord Shiva himself blesses him. Now its sequel promises to make many revelations.
“Interesting revelations will be made about the characters; in fact new facets of the characters will be revealed. Addition of new characters is another given,” Tripathi said about his upcoming book The Secret of the Nagas.
Of the 100,000 copies printed of the book, 80,000 copies have already been pre-ordered. The book’s second edition is already in print, even before the first edition is due to release on August 12.
Immortals of Meluha, the first in the Shiva trilogy, was a big hit with 175,000 copies sold.
“I am an atheist and not at all creative. I still find it hard to believe that I was blessed with this book. It is, I think, undoubtedly Lord Shiva’s unexplained kindness to me,” said Tripathi.
The Immortals of Meluha tells the story of the survival of an imaginary civilization east of the Indus, with a warlord Shiva as its central character.
It elicited humongous curiosity with its attractive cover, which showed the back of a well-sculpted sage-like man with a trident. It was hit on the Internet before the cover and the word-of-mouth publicity turned it into a national bestseller.
In the book, Shiva, who comes to Meluha as a refugee with his tribe, is perceived to be their savior of the civilization and rises to the godly status because of his warring skills and out-of-the-box thinking.
The book also refers to the somras, the drink that can immortalize a human, and also deals with the drying of the Saraswati river, the water of which is vital to make the somras.
While it still occupies the top-seller list across the country, its sequel is ready to hit the market on August 12 with an even more attractive cover.
The Secret of the Nagas will reveal vital details of the so far-hidden identity of the Naga.
“The Naga, whose character sketch is still under wraps, will be revealed in this book,” said Tripathi.
The mystery will unfold right from page one as the book will also reveal what happened to Sati, Shiva’s wife. The Immortals of Meluha ended with Sati being taken captive by unidentified characters.
A strong character, which fought valiantly, rubbing shoulders with Shiva, Sati is the cursed princess of Meluha whom Shiva falls in love with and eventually marries.
When asked if Sati dies during the course of events in book two, Tripathi said: “We are all humans, in spite of the somras.”
Will Shiva move on? Find someone else? The readers are looking for answers to these questions, but Tripathi is coy about revealing more.
“I will only say Shiva is a one-woman man. He will never fall for another woman but shall mourn for her for the rest of his life,” Amish said.
Several mysteries will come to the fore in this book. “Mysteries hidden in the kingdom of the ‘righteous’ Meluhans, Shiva’s realization of Swadeep — Meluha’s enemy kingdom, new love stories evolving — especially between Parvateshwar, the head of Meluhan army, and princess of Swadeep Anandmayi,” he said.
The author also intricately weaves into the plots the ill effects of the customs of untouchables and honor-killings in both his books.
Speaking of the philosophy and the characterization of Shiva, Amish said Shiva is a “dude for the youth”.
“He is what we call the ultimate Bollywood hero. He has a perfectly chiseled body, is a good dancer, loves his woman passionately and is loyal to her, an awesome fighter, the originator of yoga and meditation, smokes pot and fights for the cause of the underdog. He is the savior,” Amish said.
When asked if the character of Shiva in the series is inspired from Lord Shiva, Amish had an interesting theory to share.
“Let us just assume that 4,000 years down the line, the world comes to an end and life begins all over again. With all the history books and scripts gone, if we hear the story of a man called Mahatma Gandhi and how he believed in non-violence and freed a nation from foreign rule, chances are that we will either not believe in it or will consider it a myth,” Tripathi said.
“It won’t be entirely false to say that the same might be the case with all the mythological stories we have been hearing about gods and demons,” he added.