“The Eight son born to Devaki will bring you Death”.
As the Akashvani resounds, the wheel of time began turning. Uddhava, Akrura, Animish and his friend Asareer are travelling to Mathura to witness the grand wedding celebrations of Devaki and Vasudeva, find themselves tangled up in the lives of Devaki, Vasudeva, Kamsa, Krishna and their families.
Set In the Naimisha Forest, located along the banks of the Gomti River, a safe and serene place actively engaged in the study, preservation and classification of Vedas and Puranas. “Naimisha” by Sesha takes readers on a journey through a story that is set a decade before Krishna’s birth, the Eighth Avatar of Vishnu, along with the story of Animish that runs parallel to the story of Krishna and the Pandavas and Kauravas.
Asareer is blessed with a special ability to manipulate his voice in several ways without moving his lips. Soon after the Akashvani, his voice dies out, and his health declines sharply. Worried about his friend’s health and seeking help, Animish carries his friend to a nearby ashram with many questions in his mind.
Why was the eighth child born to Devaki destined to kill Kamsa and not the first? Why did Asareer lose his voice and his health deteriorate immediately after hearing the Akashvani? With many questions plaguing his mind, he decides to visit his master back to Naimisha Leaving his friend in safe hands. Little did he know it would take a long time before his friend would speak again.
While Animish and Asareer are grappling with their problems, Uddhava and Akrura, a few miles from the duo, hear the same prophecy. Uddhava eagerly awaits the arrival of the eighth avatar of Vishnu, while Akrura heads to the court of Kamsa try his luck.
Sesha paints a vivid picture of the political controversies surrounding Mathura, Hastinapur, and Magadha, as well as the eventful happenings at Vasudeva’s abode. He delves deep into the emotions of each character, be it Devaki’s sadness, Jarasandha’s love for Kamsa, Kamsa’s anxiety, Kunti’s worries, and the troubles faced by the Yadav clan.
What I loved most is the way he incorporates the details in every event, with evocative multiple plots, making the reader think about the different aspects of the story. Sesha’s writing style is captivating and engaging. What stood out for me was each character’s voice and the point of you. The strong dialogue adds depth to the story. Here the reader travels back in time, to ancient India.
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With vivid and descriptive narrative, with multiple eventful happenings at the same time, Sesha adds the element of suspense and curiosity to the story while he narrates the political and historic aspects of the story, keeping the readers invested. With each chapter, the story gets more exciting with unheard stories and Krishna’s adventures.
I especially loved the chapter where the author dives deep into Animish’s curious mind. The insightful conversations between the master and the disciple keep the readers deeply invested in the story. The dialogue offers a different perspective to readers when it comes to seeking the truth and believing everything that you know.
The characters are strong and well-developed by the author and one could relate to each of them. Uddhav’s character shines throughout the story. His journey throughout the book and his wish to befriend Krishna was heart-warming. Animish’s urge to discover the truth excited me. His conversation with Asareer after he recovered was thought-provoking.
The book introduces us to numerous unheard characters and stories, adding depth to the story. You’ll smile at Krishna’s mischievous adventures, and you’ll feel sad for Kunti, while Animish’s quest will make you ponder about the truth as we know it. This book offers a unique perspective on the stories we know so well and the historical characters that we have grown up with.
“The pieces were all in place, rearing to go, and the first move had been made to begin the game. It’s a beginning of a long story, waiting to unfold.”Sesha
It’s a smooth-paced story, but a heavy read with too many details and characters. In some parts of the book, I found it difficult to keep up with the story.
While the many parallel plots may make the story a bit heavy at times, it is a fantastic read for lovers of Indian history and mythology. The climactic climax is interesting, revealing part of the sequel of the story, which I eagerly await.
In all, “Naimisha” is a brilliant read with layers of exhilarating stories.
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