The Age Of Shiva: Manil Suri

This is the second novel by Manil Suri. First one being “The Death of Vishnu”
This is a great novel with a very touching plot. Simply loved the way Suri had begun the novel, with a rapturous account of a mother breast-feeding her son.  Just loved the way the author has described each and every incident in the book.
The complete novel is narrated by the female protagonist, Meera who is from a very well off family but gets married to Dev who is from a poor family. This story is about this ordinary lady, her loneliness, her struggle, her thoughts, her feelings, her sacrifices, her shortcomings, her failings and her love for her son! Suri has shown Meera a very strong, bold and smart character but have also shown the other side of hers, her occasional lies, her cruelties and her weird thinking (sometimes). And that is why I said above that it’s a story of an ORDINARY woman who has some imperfections as well, which makes her character very real. She is definitely not of those characters who are flawless, great and sacrificing and only exists in books. You will love her sometimes, you will sympathize with her at other times and she will make you hate her many times. But still, manages to maintain a soft corner in the reader’s heart.

Parallel to Meera’s personal  odyssey, Suri has very beautifully taken up other issues like India’s struggle of Independence and the partition, the politics and the weird philosophies and opinions of a hindu organization. Suri has tried to provide an appropriate and immense amount of historical information via this novel.
The only one thing which is little weird and really tough to understand is Meera’s uncomfortably close relationship with Ashvin, her only son. The novel doesn’t hide the near-incestuous feelings that surface between them when Ashwin is 15.  But no doubt, its been shown clearly that Meera’s only hope of living is Ashwin and she loved him immensely throughout the novel and the ending is very sad when Ashwin leaves her and goes away to some boarding school! I extremely dislike this part of the story… Meera’s story began with pain and sadness, and ended with the same. She had been a lonely character since the beginning. Later, it’s nice to see the way Ashwin brings happiness to her and fills that lonely part of her life  But again, the story starts becoming sad when Ashwin starts growing up into a teenager and that beauty of their relationship starts fading away gradually…

An amazing book to read. You will love the story from the beginning till the end. It has the capability to keep its readers engaged throughout…
Would like to recommend it to everyone.

Rating: 4/5

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