Neelkanth review: Brilliant piece of imagination

1+9+8+2+1+9+8+6 = 44, a sum total of both digits (4+4) = 8. Never, before in the last two decades of doing book reviews, I have been given a numerical start to a book. Trust me, it is with a reason which shall be revealed in due course of time during this read.

‘Neelkanth’ means ‘the blue throated one’, a term often referred to Lord Shiva. According to a mythological tale, during the churning of the ocean (samudra manthan) by God (Devas) and Demons (Asuras) in order to extract Amrit, the ocean threw up poison too. Lord Shiva consumed and accumulated this poison in his throat, which made it turn blue.

The authors, Satyam Srivastava and Rajeev Garg, have done lot of intellectual churning in their very first attempt at fiction, which is certain to have a captivating effect on readers' minds.

An unconventional approach towards a story that has truth, lies, deceit on one side, and science and spirituality on the other, makes it a mind-stimulating read right from the start. There are shades to every event that takes place as well as the characters woven into the plot.

I have refrained myself from revealing the characters or certain events scripted in the book, letting every reader get a fresh or rather first hand introduction to them. Mystery unfolds with every chapter, yet you get a feeling of ‘so near, yet so far’. Be it the crime scene, the victim, the suspects, the investigating unit or the investigating officer in-charge. Nothing seems to come easy for any of them.

Authors seem to have taken a calculated risk of infusing scientific diagrams and mathematical calculations perfectly linking it to Vedic principles and further to the plot of the story. After you have read this book, if you are a chemical engineer or an expert in the field of Chemistry, you shall look at the formula for Amobarbital chemical C11H18N2O3 in a completely different perspective.

Somewhere, amidst fiction stories written and published, Neelkanth definitely has strength to build up a curiosity among its readers. Simple language, continuity in the flow of narration not diverting from the main subject at any given circumstances, makes it even more worthy among crime fiction lovers.

Finally, back to where I began this review. According to Saivite Saint, Appar alias Thirunavukkarasu, of the seventh century AD, Lord Shiva enjoys offerings with eight flowers ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. It means he likes eight flowers and eight good qualities in a man or woman. Shiva is termed as ‘Ashta Murthy’. The Sanskrit word ‘Ashta’ is the root for English ‘Eight’. The birth year of author Satyam Srivastava is 1982 and that of Rajeev Garg is 1986. Sum total of each numeric of both the authors’ birth year is 44, which further adds up to Number 8. Is it sheer coincidence or destiny scripted by none other than the ‘Neelkanth’?

Book: Neelkanth

Author: Satyam Srivastava and Rajeev Garg

Publication: Leadstart Inkstate

Price: Rs 299

Pages: 291

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