I am an avid reader of the fiction genre and try my best to keep up with the latest content in the field. Being a fond reader, I am also very quick to like or dislike a book based on the first few chapters. Balan and Dheera: A Tale of Kaliyuga (Authors Press, 2021) definitely did not allow me to take a break, and whenever I did so, the story kept running through my mind thinking about what would happen next.
It has been a long time that a story has kept me this intrigued. I have long appreciated the works of Dan Brown and have been waiting for an author to make the same intricate connection between a murder mystery and Indian mythology. Although it is still too early to tell, but based on this particular book, I feel that my desire has come true. The story covers everything from the most heinous acts of crime to the most fundamental questions of existence. The most interesting aspect for me was the writer’s take on religion. He has critically analyzed the most prominent flaws of modern society and magnificently placed its exploitative nature in the cosmic concept.
Moreover, the story also attempts to bridge the gap between science and religion, by looking at cultural knowledge through scientific eyeglasses. I never expected the laws of motion, time-space continuum, parallel universes to be integrated into a religious tale. Something that even caught me off guard while reading the book.
As I write this, I am still unable to choose who my favorite character in the book is. Balan reminds me of how we live in a world full of shades of gray, while Dheera and Baij Nath teach why it is important to keep faith in the light at the end of the tunnel. From the detailing of the key of the character to the story to the depiction of cultural legends, the author has managed the content balance quite exceptionally. As a reader, I experienced the thrill of visualizing the entire story like a movie reel playing through my head. Each chapter is full of events happening back-to-back, by the end of each one the reader is left wanting more.
For me the most interesting parts were the relations drawn between the fictional tale and the actually documented parts of the Indian mythology and vividly elaborated elements of the culture that, like myself, many would-be faintly aware of. This made the book also into a learning experience and a trip down the nostalgia of a childhood filled with epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.
I would definitely recommend everyone to read the book and show encouragement to authors who want to take fictional literature to new heights while staying deeply connected to their roots. It is filled with entertainment, thrill, action sequences and an important message for all. The book was worth more than its value and I hope to read more of such content in the future.