I am writing this book review today for Aurijit Ganguli’s debut novel The Shambala Sutras, a novel that blends adventure, thriller, the quest for truth, history, mythology and religious messages in a perfect proportion, wonderfully enough to give the readers entertainment they might be looking to extract from contemporary literature and also a message to the critical and serious readers that they are often looking to find in contemporary Indian English fiction… Yes, I am saying all this about a very debut work by an emerging novelist and I am fully aware of my words! Let’s get into details of the novel and you will find why I made such bold assertions at the very beginning!
Well, I am fond India’s rich and vast history and have started reading books comprises of Indian culture and it’s heritage, about the great Indian rulers, their kingdoms, tales of Mahabharat and Ramayana and so on. It has always surprised me. The reason behind my love for history is my mother. She’s a history teacher. Keeping my experience aside, I would like to tell you that Indian history is not only rich in nature and vast in size, it has enormous important lessons to teach each one of us, almost about everything, so that we can foster and flourish in various aspects of life. A retelling of the history is as tough as reciting a poem of Kabirdas or Surdas with the same emotions and feelings. Aurijit Ganguli has taken his debut attempt at writing historical fiction and we have his work open for our opinions, feedbacks and review. I read this book recently and let me tell you at the outset that history is not as boring as we might have been told by historians or our history teachers! Aurijit has created wonderful spectacles for the readers to enjoy and guess what, most of them comes out of our rich history! The Shambala Sutras is about the history, whereabouts, mystery and magic of a kingdom called ‘Shambala’, also called as ‘The Land of Wonders’ or ‘The Land of Living Gods’, in both Hindu and Buddhist mythologies. And I must say the author has done a wonderful job. He has kept me completely arrested with the development of the story and I could not offer my eyes even a two-minutes rest until I finished the novel from the first line to the end of the second part, the conclusion… and conclusion was the best possible culmination of the novel…
Shambala is a Sanskrit word which means ‘place of peace’ or ‘place of silence’. It is a kingdom, an untouched paradise, in the snowy Himalayan peaks where peace and universal policy is indescribable. Spoken of in the ancient texts, including Kalachakra Tantra, Vishu Purana, and ancient scriptures of the Zhang Zhung culture, Shambala is a place where only pure souls can live, a place where love and wisdom prevails and where people resistant to all kinds of sufferings, desires, or old age. And these details are revealed in the book by Aurijit in a manner that makes learning about the secrets of Shambala an interesting thing…
Now, let us jump to the storyline of the book. The story of the book begins with a mission, a mission of finding out Sanjeevani Plant, commonly known as Sanjeevani Booti in India as it was mentioned in our epic, Ramayan, during the battle between Prabhu Ram and Ravan. Hanumanji carried this herb from the Himalayas to Sri Lanka to save the life of Lakshmana when Ravana’s son Indrajit (Meghnad) hurls a powerful weapon, called Shaktibaan, at him. The two protagonists in the novel, Arjun and Lisa, visit India from New York with the intention of exploring more about the plant and its characteristics which are still unknown to the masses. But, the author has smartly turned the whole story in the direction of Shambala. As the novel progresses, Arjun and Lisa are keen to locate and reach to the place shown in a map, which they discovered during their expedition of the Plant. Will they reach to Shambala or get lost in the snowy peaks as many others have been through in the past? The novel also exposes some of the theories, stories, wild claims, tall hypotheses and secrets associated with Shambala and various attempts at digging deep inside – sometimes in search of power and sometimes in search of peace. Our lead characters are on their way to Shambala, a way that they are not sure about… what all difficulties or challenges will they have to face along the way? What if they encounter with a wild bear? Will they find goons and thugs on the way who have created hyper about Shambala? Will they find yogis and sadhus who claim they have been to Shambala which is a kingdom in a different dimension of time?
I also loved the conclusion part of this novel which perfectly sums up the entire journey, the twists and the sharp turns of the plot. Aurijit Ganguli has been nearly perfect with his very first attempt at writing fiction and we have to give him a round of applause for that. His novel is written in a simple language and impressive style. His story has entertainment, thrill, excitement and also the adventure that modern readers often try to find in modern writings. If you are a modern reader and you are interested in novels that can keep you glued for the period you read, you are SURELY going to love The Shambala Sutras. Do read it.
You can get a copy from Amazon India by clicking the link given below:
Review by a reader for Featured Books
The Shambala Sutras by Aurijit Ganguli: Book Review
- Featured Rating
The Shambala Sutras will keep you alert, curious and also entertained… from the very first page to the last line. A novel that you must read if you like reading adventure fiction with a mythological and/or historical connection.