Spoiler Alert: Some crazy details about the story might have been given away in this review. A 1000 apologies! 🙂
Indrah, the leader of the devas is on the brink of loosing his immortality and is on a quest to find a magical cure to fix his hair woes, loss of strength and sagging skin! His beautiful city, Amaravati is heavily in debt and Goddess Lakshmi, the treasurer is not pleased! To add to his woes is Ramba who doesn’t get why her Indy is no longer as strong and dynamic as he used to be…..
At this really low phase of his life enters Viru, leader of the holy trinity Viru (Vishnu to some) whose initial curiosity to understand why Indy has been spending so much on moonstones, ultimately discovers that Indy has been cursed and is slowly turning into a mortal thanks to an erstwhile plot of the holy trinity to get rid of an asura! But not to worry; as always Viru has a solution and this time it is to turn Indy into an immortal God again. Name of the solution: The holy nectar of immortality!
Then there is Bali – the forward thinking and modern asura, who has developed his Tripura to be none less than Indralok. Asuras are no longer raving lunatics with bad hygiene issues but those that are experts in the arts and sciences and take pride in their modern way of life and latest fashions. But Bali is being stalked by someone who wants to be the king of Tripura and it finally sinks in when he is attacked by a humongous snake, forcing him to think about the repercussions to his beloved Tripura after he is gone. It would be a good idea if he could just remain immortal…
Enter Viru’s solution into this confused big picture; a secret project to uncover the hidden holy nectar that would turn its drinkers immortal. The details of the this project would make anyone slip into peels of laughter 🙂
Operation Name: Oceans 12
Team Members: 6 Asuras led by Bali, 6 Devas led by Indrah
Also starring: Jai (Siva to some) with his trademark chillum and Samba (Brahma to some)
Goal: Extract the “Nectar of immortality” from the ocean of milk
Distribution plan: The nectar is divided equally between the devas and the asuras
Other Ideas: Make sure that the devas get away with all the nectar giving the asuras the slip
All of the above and what do you have?? A comic caper of sorts, at least for about 50% of the book. The book was a laugh riot for most of the first part, what with dear Jai having hid the nectar in what seems to be a highly secure spot at the bottom of the ocean, of Mount Mahendra and Adisesha complaining about getting tired due to constant churning of the ocean which seems to look like muddy waters rather than a beautiful milk body. To top it all Goddess Prithvi seems upset with the whole lot of devas and asuras for not going easy on the environment and upsetting the balance of the earth thanks to their quest. What took the cake was Viru disguising himself as a turtle and even doing a mini pirouette of sorts to the surprised devas right before the start of the ocean churning
However the book started lagging behind from the point when Indrah steals the nectar and gives everyone the slip and Bali becoming an outcast in his own land! The quest for Bali to reclaim what if rightfully his and the Indrah realizing his mistake etc., was filled boring sequences of events, a slow narrative and more long pages with plots and sub-plots that kind of made me yawn. The humor which filled the initial pages of the book seemed to have reduced to some occasional references to how Tripura had become slaves to material comforts and pretty things from Indralok (references to the west and rest of the world anyone?) and I felt like skipping a few pages to know how this was going to end. But I did not skip the pages and did manage to finish the book but was pretty bored by the time I did.
I liked the fact that the author, Nilanjan Choudhury has attempted a spoof about our Gods and their mischievous natures, but I don’t think it would go well with all types of readers, especially the conservative ones. I could immediately recall my Sanskrit teacher from school who had been upset because some of the students had done a spoof of the Ramayana with some popular Tollywood music of the times during some school celebration..For those of us who really like a good laugh, this book is fun at least half of it was. I would recommend that such readers give it a go…
P.S – I want to thank fellow blogger Kofykat for actually reading this first and reviewing it way before I did! I did enjoy the book……