IS ‘RELIGION’ THE NEW BOOK CULTURE?
Karl Marx had righty said that ‘Religion is the opium of people.’ Religion and mythology have been the ruling force for most people. And off late, the secret recipe to success that every writer around the block seems to have learnt is the wrapping of a story around the ever so fulfilling theme of mythology. This combination has resulted in some brilliantly cooked stories that one can completely get lost in. The fun (and probably, the best) part is that these books are loved by all, even the ones who otherwise are far away from such topics.
Writers like Dan Brown have written books that are largely based on Christianity and are quite popular amongst all age groups. Moving home a little closer, we find extensive examples of books that have shaped our views in various ways. Writings about Mahabharata, Ramayana, Shiva and various other related topics have found audiences who are not limited to the subcontinent.
The number of books that are based on epics, Gods and Goddesses has increased four folds and the numbers of writers writing on such lines have increased even more. What these books do is that they provide us with a new element-Perspective. Our whole lives, we were told about Ramayana, Mahabharata etc. in a particular way, the way it was told to the generation before us. But, these books have made us question the way we have always looked at these epics.
These books stand on grounds that their version holds an element of truth in them. The list of books, which use a tint (to add drama) or are completely centred on the topic of religion, is long. However, here are a few books that have provided us with some insightful details and shown us the story from a different point of view-
• The Palace Of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni- We all know the story of the Pandavas and the Kurukshetra war, but, do we really know the story of the woman behind all this? Do we know who the unsung hero of Mahabharata really was? This book provides us with a romantic tale, something you never saw coming.
• The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghai- The story of the Blue God set in the modern days of Kalyug and a story like never before, this book will leave you for wanting more of Krishnas adventure.
• The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi was a new rage when it first hit the stands. Some say that the quality of the story deteriorated by the last novel, but, this book on Mahadev in a new avatar is worth the read.
• Jaya by Devdutt Pattanaik – A comprehensive book which serves well for first time readers, it manages to encompass the diversity and complexity of Mahabharata in meagre 372 pages. (Also read Sita by the same writer).
• The Vedic Trilogy by Rajiv G. Menon -Only the first part of the book, Thundergod has been released till now. The book talks about Lord Indra and his ‘ascendance’ into the world.
The list does not end here, Bhima-The lone warrior by MT Vasudevan, The Difficulty of being good by Gurucharan Das, books by Ashok Banker should definitely be added to your ‘to read list’.
Books with such elements have taken the market by storm and have found way into every reader’s collections. One is very safe in assuming that this book culture is the new trend and has come to stay for a long time.
So, let’s pick up one such book and read away, because there is nothing better than a good book in one hand and coffee in the other.