April 04, 2018

Book Review: Kartikeya- The Destroyer’s Son by Anuja Chandramouli

Kartikeya: The Destroyer’s Son
Author: Anuja Chandramouli
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 3.5/5

It is riveting to roll up our sleeves and research on the origins of folklore and the origins of mythology. Kartikeya, also known as Murugan, Skanda, Kumara and Subrahmanya, is the Hindu God of War. Much has been read and talked about him in theological books. Much has been hypothesized. There are beliefs and there are myths. But isn’t mythology all about studying the myths and believing the ones that sound more logical? Different folks have different strokes and thus, the life of Kartikeya has been a debatable topic since ages because everyone has a different story to tell. Amidst this ambiguity, Anuja Chandramouli presents us with ‘Kartikeya’ that offers an insight, though not in detail, into the life of this God born to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Based on his war with Lord Indra, ‘Kartikeya’ focusses on the early life of this young, lively and suave child who becomes a God of war owing to the bitter circumstances. Backed by a strong narrative and velvety pace of the story, the book passes the muster. The story does not trace the events in Kartikeya’s life across the timeline, but instead majorly focusses on the war that freed the three worlds from the tyranny of Soora, Sinha and Taraka.

Anuja’s prowess lies in the lucid and provocative narration. The language caters to the interest of diverse readers and mythology is made interesting. Divided aptly into 24 chapters, the story delves into the birth and the incumbency of Kartikeya. The circumstance under which the protagonist was born, his intelligence, his relationship with people, his status in the society and his rational thinking- all make us coerce into forming a different perception of him. The authoress has also projected Murugan as promiscuous, which might not be liked by all. There are chapters that describe the superfluous emotions, which we believe that only the people of our kind (mortals) can experience. There has been an altercation regarding Kartikeya’s life in South and the book was expected to answer all the questions. Instead, it leaves the readers kvetching.

Joining the dots together, the book aims to bring the myths associated with the provenance, the rearing and the transformation of the God of War into the light. With powerful vocabulary, the book doesn’t fail to impress. A tantalizing cover adds on to the enticing opus.

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