15 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Aahwan: Khand 1 by Saurabh Kudesia (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1864th BLOG POST

26th Book of 2020!

I am generally into reading English books but there are times when the title, cover page or the synopsis of a Hindi book fetches my interest that lands me into having the book in my shelf. One such book that I am done reading just yesterday is Saurabh Kudesia’s debut novel named “Aahwan: Mahabharat Aadhaarit Pauranik Rahasya Gaatha Khand 1”. The book is of around 300+ pages which initially made me doubt if I would be able to finish such a lengthy Hindi novel and over that, the initial 3-4 chapters have very tough vocabularies which made me doubt even more. But the moment the characters come into the picture and the thriller story begins is when the book becomes easy for the readers to go through and it took me just two sittings to complete the same – 80 pages in first and 224 pages in the second.

The book is based on several different dimensions of the story which makes it very interesting as there are terms and concepts that we are introduced with which we aren’t aware about. The great thing is that the fiction story based in the decade of late 2000s is connected with the era of 350 years ago and in a case, several thousand years back too. This is what comes as a shock because death has taken place in a completely simple middle-class Indian family and when the case starts getting linked with such phenomena, it gets surprising for the characters in the family and even for the readers. I wasn’t expecting such references of Mahabharata and Vedas but the way they have been synced up with the stories tells us about the capabilities of the debut author.

The narration of the book is little difficult – the section before the story begins -  which might make many readers keep the book for some other day considering the tough vocabulary but later on, as the book begins, even when the concepts discussed in the story are tough and unheard, the way author handles it makes it very easy for you to understand them and even remember it. The characterization is very powerful. Rohan, even when dead, sounds like the protagonist of the book which is the first time I have felt while reading any murder mystery. The chemistry between Jayant-Rathod and Jayant-Dr. Mazumdar is treated very well. Even the plot is very thickening, author keeps on lightening it with the humorous conversations between the later pair. Some sentences literally made me laugh loudly. The support of characters in the Rohan’s family is also nicely woven in the storyline - the characters which I believe shall have magical role in the 2nd part of this book.

Initially, I felt that author would just relate few of the Bhagwad Gita’s quote to connect his story with Mahabharata but I am surprised with the kind of research work that the author has gone through that there are certain scriptures, Vedic texts, archaeological findings, Mahabharata, Bhagwad Gita, signs, symbols, images which play a big role in the story. How today’s technology is proven to be existing even thousand years back in our culture is what made my reading experience more delighting. Few characters are shown having super-human powers which is handled so beautifully that you trust that something like this can happen. Even in the pre-climax, when the mystery of Rohan’s death becomes more complex with the revelations of Dr. Verma’s findings, you end up believing everything – author should be applauded for making readers connect with his fantastical world in such a way. Author has given duly references wherever needed as many parts of his book refers to religious texts or real findings.

Now, talking about the drawbacks- As already mentioned above, the vocabulary should be such that book can be understood by maximum of readers. Secondly, the book doesn’t end up with clarifying any of the mysteries but only making it more complex – author should have scripted it such that something should have given a complete feeling to this book itself. It’s like investing your time in reading 300+ pages and not finding any result to the story. Thirdly, I believe there are few scenes which author has described too much which could have been handled with little less details – it would have helped in summing up this part of the book in just 250-odd pages.

Overall, this is one of the best books written in this Mythological fiction genre with a very unique concept which I haven’t read before. Also, the story has power to make you complete it in one-go with its fast-paced narration and thrill to know what more shall get revealed in this murder mystery. I am definitely waiting for the next part of this story. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. Yes! Please do read it.



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