Book review of The Hidden Hindu by Akshat Gupta
The Hidden Hindu
Prithvi, a twenty-one-year-old, is searching for a mysterious middle-aged Aghori (Shiva devotee), Om Shastri, who was traced more than 200 years ago before he was captured and transported to a high-tech facility on an isolated Indian island. When the Aghori was drugged and hypnotized for interrogation by a team of specialists, he claimed to have witnessed all four yugas (the epochs in Hinduism) and even participated in both Ramayana and Mahabharata. Om’s revelations of his incredible past that defied the nature of mortality left everyone baffled. The team also discovers that Om had been in search of the other immortals from every yuga. These bizarre secrets could shake up the ancient beliefs of the present and alter the course of the future. So who is Om Shastri? Why was he captured? Board the boat of Om Shastri’s secrets, Prithvi’s pursuit and adventures of other enigmatic immortals of Hindu mythology in this exciting and revealing journey.
Reincarnation, aka rebirth and immortality, are extremely fascinating concepts I feel. Having an amazing ability to be expanded, they provide a platform for not only the most creative sort of plots to be pelted upon the canvas of writing, but the best part about them is that they are accommodating enough to include details which are engaging to be delved into by readers.
Having read the Hidden Hindu by Akshat Gupta recently, it pleasantly surprised me at the fantastic confluence of mythology and science, along with immortality theories, blended in such a refreshingly creative fashion. Science and mythology, hand in hand make up for one of the most intriguing subject combos I believe and Akshat has ensured that not only there is justice done to the story but also all the characters have been portrayed to the maximum potentiality they promise to depict.
An exciting story, this one follows the pursuits of Prithvi as he attempts to find out the secrets and the truth behind the existence of Om Shastri, the Aghori who claims to have been alive enough to witness all the 4 epochs of Hinduism aka the 4 yugas. Who is Om Shastri? Has this enigmatic personality been as bizarrely around for aeons of time as he claims to be? Read the book to find out the answers to these spell-binding qualms.
The concept of immortality, of Aghoris, has always fascinated me. I always feel especially Aghoris, who are touted to be people of their own space and time, are an interesting persona to know about. It is absolutely enchanting to read about their journey, which is strange as well as daunting in equal measure. It was great to see this perspective incorporated into the storyline, giving it a sci-myth kind of vibe.
Prithvi’s character was equally mystical to me. A 21-year-old, he remembers all that had transpired before he was born. Akshat has ensured that not only Prithvi’s character but each and every character in the book has been created with a vantage which flies ahead of its peers, unbounded and limitless, reaching new paradigms and suppositions which make up for an imaginative and indulgent read.
It was interesting to read the historical blends of mythology in a scientific tonality where the very continuums of space and time seem to be challenging the very rationality of one’s logical chain of reasoning. For instance, for starters realistically speaking, is it possible to live more than 1000 years to have witnessed what takes countless lifetimes? Sounds far-fetched and fantastical right? Well, not the case in this book where one surely yet slowly gets drawn enticed into believing that whatever one is reading is actually something that has taken place in reality somewhere.
One may argue that Akshat has blended multiple essences to create a typical contemporary fiction, one which has an all-assuming air and an accommodating kind of story and tone. Well, I beg to differ here, as in my opinion it is rather tricky to fuse such elements together and that too in such a precise manner, ensuring that all elements, whether mythology, history, or even the scientific component, have been acknowledged, and that, in the end, the story and the characters, rather than any particular plot or sub-genre, are the heroes of the entire ensemble That for me, is the winning point for the Author, to make the story larger than anything else, even the genre it stands in. So that when you finish reading it what stays back with you is actually the story, the characters, their trysts and the eventual outcome rather than other trivialities such as its genre and other minor details.
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The writing is splendid and this being his first, Akshat has done a stupendous job. Well researched, the story starts gathering pace, catapulting at breakneck speed after the first 50 pages, making you sit back in wonder and mull. What shall this lead to now? A riveting roller-coaster read! The perfect heady mix of mythology meets thriller, here is the stellar debut, a superb mythos from the latest star on the firmament.
So, hope you guys liked this review of The Hidden Hindu by Akshat Gupta. Do let me know in the comments on what other books would you like me to read and review.
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