Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review : Trade Winds To Meluhha

Title : Trade Winds To Meluhha

Author : Vasant Dave

Publisher : Vasantrai P. Dave

E-format ISBN : 978-81-922506-0-1

In 'Trade Winds to Meluhha', the author Vasant Dave recreates the scene of Bronze Age in Mesopotamia and Indus Valley Civilization. As the title of the book suggests, the story revolves around the trade between the two ancient civilizations.

Samasin, the stable boy of a Babylonian - Nergal, gets accused falsely in a murder case of a visitor who happens to be a businessman from Meluhha. He absconds from that place in search of Siwa Saqra, the person whose name the dying man uttered. As the destiny would have it, he meets beautiful lass Velli and falls in love with her but she does not reciprocate his feelings because of her own reasons. There is another character Anu who is in search of certain men for revenge. Samasin with the assistance of Anu gets to decipher a Dholavira glyph which leads them to another adventure in the ravines of Saraswati. He does succeed in finding Siwa Saqra in Mohenjodaro but is there something more to the murder in Babylon than he knew already?

Gradually the mystery gets revealed behind the trade between Meluhha and Mesopotamia and the master mind responsible for the execution of wicked schemes is unmasked.

A very well thought out plot and is executed cleverly. While reading the book, the readers would surely get the feeling of travelling back in time and I must compliment the author in providing the perfect balance of authenticity and imagination in the narration. The way each character is etched, the names given to them, certain phrases of bygone era and the sensibilities of that society - make for an interesting read. It is evident that author has done a lot of research on that period of time, the people who lived then and their lifestyles and he has succeeded in creating the rustic feel to the story which is absolutely required for a historical novel.

But how much ever I try, I cannot avoid mentioning that the story is not free of typos, a couple of more editing iterations should have been done before releasing the final version. As I began reading the book, for initial 25-30 pages, I found it a cumbersome read because of introduction of too many characters too soon and completely unfamiliar kind of setting but slowly the saga pulled me in and then I realized that perhaps that kind of introduction is absolutely necessary for setting the stage.

This book claims to be the first professionally researched novel on Harappan Civilization. It is available as eBook on Amazon.

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