By Vaibhav Anand. Grade: A
In the beginning, there was no such thing as heaven or hell. All that there was then, was earth… There are raconteurs and mischief-mongers in our ranks and I have no doubt they shall pervert the truth with their self-serving versions. The events of history – this history of our land – shall thus inevitably have many versions, doubtless. But, I was there with General Ramm, I fought by his side…”
-Sanjaay, official chronicler of General Ramm
Around 12000 B.C., Hindustan (or Hind) as we know it today, comprised five kingdoms of man, sandwiched between Parbat – the kingdom of the Gods in the north, and Lunka – the kingdom of the demons in the south. The ‘Legend of Ramm’ unravels the story of the military general called Ramm in the kingdom of Ayodh and how his actions came to define our world as we know it today.
Vaibhav Anand’s words in the ‘words for the wise’ section ring true for me. Our obsession with Gods and fascination for mythology is as ancient as the myths themselves. For all the myth-geeks (for I am one), this novella is a perfect blend of fact and fiction; fact ,for a lot of characters will strike a historical note in you, and fiction, for that is what our author wishes us to believe it is. It is a beautiful, captivating rendition of Ramm, and a breath of fresh air, in the era of clichéd love romances.
The historical fiction set in the India of 12000 BC, the storyline acting like a precursor to our Ramayana. It traces the history of Ramm, his valour and courage, and the deep seated nexus of war politics. While it is tough to bring out a narrative with central characters that are known, and also revered, by the readers, the author transcends this with ease and achieves success in the mammoth task of reaching out to his readers with a gripping tale that makes you question the part where it’s supposed to be a ‘work of fiction’.
The battle scenes are the highlight of the narrative, which have been dexterously researched upon, and have elements of different historical significance. Techniques of warfare range from Ancient Roman to Mughal. They are very vivid and imaginative, and cover a host of different cultures in its precinct. There is supernaturalism, with our very own deities playing a minor but vital role in the progress of the story. There is even a cameo by Ravan. The intricacies of character relations have been dealt with great sanctity, be it Ramm’s relations with Jankee, or the Hanohman-Ramm association.
What makes this book a good read is the simplicity of language and an easy and racy narrative style. The plot hardly ever slows down enough for the reader to lose interest as one event leads to another. The narrative, in spite of its dealings with history, has a modern flavor to it.
The Great War of Hind is a first in a series and shows enough promise to attract readers from all walks of life. The characters are not new, but the tales, told in the third person omniscient narrative is as engaging as it could be. This book will surely take the readers on a journey through our historical past and we may find, to our disbelief, certainly convinced.