Book Review: Unstereotypical analysis of Meghnad
The epic of the Ramayana has been an integral part of the collective consciousness of us since time immemorial. We have developed such a strong affinity with the Saga of Lord Rama and demon Raavana that many a time we hasten to link several other literary works with the Ramayana which is completely erroneous and, thus, can be termed an act of "Intentional Fallacy".
Similarly, associating the recent work of Kevin Missal "Raavanputr Meghnad" with the Ramayana would generate an amount of unnecessary confusion. The author makes it evident in the disclaimer by asserting that this book is not based on the Ramayana.
In sooth, it sheds light on the life of Meghnad the spunky son of demon king Raavana and the entire narrative is constructed from his point of view. So far we were only familiar with Meghnad the personification of evil and ferocity, but with his fecund imagination the author skilfully manages to lend varied other hues to his portrait.
A loyal son, a passionate lover, a gallant warrior and a man of scientific temper are the new adjectival phrases with which the complex persona of the prince of Lanka can be depicted.
It is not only the charismatic character of Meghnad that captivates the attention of the readers; the book contains quite an engaging story line as well. The author appears to be well versed in the art of taking the readers on a fantasy ride.
His imagination runs amok which adds the element of intense mystery to thrill minds and prop the fingers to hurriedly flip through the pages. One can not savour the true flavour of fictional mythology with the constant intrusion of logic. Adhering to the idea of ST. Coleridge one has to suspend one's disbelief.
Analysing the book on the matrix of reason would be another goof-up as the authors have the literary freedom and a sort of poetic license.
Therefore, the world of Meghnad is surreal but charmingly appealing. A well knit plot that comprises the 450 days in the life of the chief character is deeply engaging.
The fluidity and the smoothness with which the narrative unfolds speaks volumes about author's virtuosity and innate creativity. Couched in excellent language the book is a must read for the aficionados of mystery and mythology.