SVAHA – A BOOK REVIEW
Svaha, by Pratik Kamat, published by westland ltd as a paperback and ebook, is a fantasy fiction,229 pages long, and will set you back Rs 350 and a couple of hours of your time.
This is Dan Brown in a Lungi. In fact, it is Dan Brown and Eoin Colfer doing a Lungi Dance.
And why not? Why freak out over Judeo Christian mumbo jumbo which practically dates to yesterday when we have our own far freakier stuff that are genuine antiques?
Here we have superheroes, symbols, chants, curses, bloodlines, gods, monsters, superpowers, sacrifices, Armageddon, all from our own mythology rubbing shoulders with hacking, Harley Davidson, terrorists, commandos, corruption, border disputes, ethnic cleansing, Kargil, encounter killings, what have you! In fact it is too rich a diet. Ingredients from all super hit recipes come together in the classic Indian dish, the khichree. But, with so much masala, it is a little difficult to digest.
But if your digestion is strong, pitch in. You will meet Superman and Hulk in their Indian Avatars, a hot teenage biker heroine in dreadlocks and tattoos; watch the classic battle between good and evil, a hint of romance, some code breaking, some philosophizing, and have a bit of patriotism thrown in.
The plot is as bizarre as an average Bollywood blockbuster. A pious Tamil fanatic changes Hulk like into Ravana to avenge Tamil honour by individually massacring indifferent Tamilians, arrogant North Indians and Villainous Sri Lankans and IPKF ,all with a magical sword, to be thwarted by a teenage girl, an incarnation of Sita who true to times doesn’t need a Ram to protect her, but a little divine help is welcome.