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Avyakta Kamala by Satyendra Dhariwal | Book Reviews

Recently I came to know about a book named Avyakta Kamal (अव्यक्त कामल : कलि-काल के धोरों में जन्मी एक महागाथा – The Involute Dunes: an epic saga born in the age of Kali) by young and aspiring author Satyendra Dhariwal. Though it is not his first book, but it is the first by him we got a chance to read. Fortunately, from our team, I got a chance to read it and I really loved it.

Though it is a work of fiction but the author has incorporated some historical places and incidents quite interestingly into it. And so, I would like to consider it a historical fiction.

Book Title : अव्यक्त कामल: कलि-काल के धोरों में जन्मी एक महागाथा
(English: The Involute Dunes: an epic saga born in the age of Kali)
Author :
Publisher : Spur Press; Published: (10 May 2018)
# of Pages : 4204 KB, 757 (Kindle EBook : Hindi)
3839 KB, 612 (Kindle EBook : English)
# of Chapters : 31
Purchase Link(s) :

The book is bilingual and is available in Hindi and English both. The author has provided us both the versions and this review is for the Hindi version of the same. Reading this book reminded me of another book we’ve reviewed recently, though it is a poll apart.

Cover Page:

Let us take a look at the cover page of the book.

Avyakta Kamala by Satyendra Dhariwal | Book Reviews

Avyakta Kamala by Satyendra Dhariwal | Book Reviews

How much we say that don’t judge a book from its cover page, a majority of readers are going to look at it that way only. Each of love good packaging, and that is the human psychology. Why otherwise we love the food items to be decorated and presented in a good packaging? Anyway, the cover page of the book has a light shade of cheerful colors showing a desert in the background along with the illustration of a castle. It is not very attractive.

The book comes with a theme song for the same. This is quite interesting.

कथानक गीत
‘व्यक्त’ नहीं ‘अव्यक्त’ था ये कामल
अपने उजाड़ वक्ष में अनेकों गूढ़ताएँ समेटे
व्यक्त होने की चाह में संतप्त था ये कामल
यहीं भिड़े थे सहस्त्रों योद्धा रण में
उनके अदृश्य अवशेषों का स्थल है ये कामल
यहीं से प्रविष्ट होता था पश्चिमी व्यापार भारत में
इसी कारण अत्यन्त समृद्ध था ये कामल
यहीं रचा गया था वह दारुण षड्यंत्र
जिसकी असंभवता पर स्तब्ध था ये कामल
इसी ने सुरक्षा की थी राज्य के भविष्य की
राजा के निष्कासन का आश्रय था ये कामल
यहीं दूर हुई थी सारी दुविधाएँ
मोक्ष प्राप्ति का भी साधन था ये कामल
पतन से समृद्धि, समृद्धि से पुनः पतन
सब देख चुका है ये निर्विकार कामल
कुछ कालजयी मानवों की गाथाओं को सुनाने
‘अव्यक्त’ से अब ‘व्यक्त’ हुआ है ये कामल॥

The Plot:

Let us take a bird’s eye view of the book plot.

The story is setup in historical time when the Islam started rising. India was still known as BharatVarsh. It was the glorious time of Bharat when it was a golden bird. The canvas of the book is setup at Jesalmer (aka Jaisalmer). The place is considered as the western gate of India (that is Bharat) because of its key position on the famous “Silk Route”.

Mihirdev was ruling Jaisalmer those days. He was a very genuine, just and brave ruler. It was his time when Jaisalmer’s financial might was increased a lot. The traders from around the world used to come and do business with the city. On the outskirts of the main city of Jaisalmer, there was an entire city was established. And, it was a home of many local as well as foreign citizens. There were many so wealthy citizens were living in this city outside which are even wealthier than many of kings. So, there was a time of wealth and prosperity. And, of course, the peace too. Because, if the peace is not there, no economy can blossom. Mihirdev tried to manage peace at borders and during his time there was no war between Jaisalmer and Marvad; otherwise, both the kingdoms has a history being at loggerheads.

Mihirdev was a lucky king who got a genuine wife who supported him in all his work. And, they were blessed with a curious, brave, intelligent and mischievous child named Kehar. Jaitang, the commandant of the armed forces of Jaisalmer was a brave and ferocious warrior whose bravery and war-skills were exemplary. His loyalty to the king and the kingdom was above all the material things. Actually, both the families had great relations which were carried forward in in the next generation as well. Prince Kehar, Subhau and Gaj enjoyed a friendship which is rare to exist. Mihirdev’s younger brother Lekhraj was the prime minister of the kingdom and enjoyed almost same power as the king him.

Jalaluddin, a ruler from the fast east muslim kingdom was en route to Gurjardesh. The area which was very wealthy. Actually, the people of the area was considered quite soft. They were exceptionally good at business and a lot of wealth is earned by them. A lot of the wealth was donated into various temples and they were quite insecure. And, the big problem with Bharatvarsh of those days was the lack of the “concept of a nation”. All the small kingdoms were always at fight with each other and thus were not united. So they were the soft targets for invaders who wanted to loot the wealth. Jalaluddin was accompanied by his son Subuktagin and a large army of no less than 40000 soldiers.

They were approached by a traitor from Jaisalmer. The traitor came with an invitation to attack Jaisalmer where he was keen to help them to let the kingdom fall! While, Jalaluddin was not convinced, Subuktagin seen a great opportunity for him in this proposal.

Was Jalaluddin convinced to attack the invincible fort of Jaisalmer which is stand tall till these days (and is one of the tourist attractions of Rajasthan)? Who was the traitor and why he wanted his kingdom to fall? What the future holds in for Kehar, Gaj, Subahu and others? Who is Abdul Malek? Who is the mysterious gigantic human who came reciting the shlokas from Shrimad Bahvad Geeta? So many questions right? Well, you need to read the book to get answers.

Views And Reviews:

To read any of the books (or any media for that matter), the price is considered as one of the most important factors, I will however suggest you to consider your time (which you spend to read a book) even more important. So, the book price doesn’t matter much. At the same time, if the book is too costly, then it will keep many readers away from it. This book is available for Rs. 69 (Kindle edition) when I am writing this (both Hindi and English version has the same price), and in that aspect, it is definitely value for money.

It seems that the author has a lot of influence of his native and folklores and think high about his motherland, which is visible in his writings. At the same time, the way he weaves mythology, history and even some of the problems which we face even in the modern days in the story is simply superb. He talks about the glory of historical times and the problem of internal conflicts and traitors in quite interesting way.

The desert plays an important part here, and is no less than a prime character in the book.

The author seems to be a well read fellow and has explored Indian mythology quite well. And, when we talk about Indian mythology, Mahabharat is something you cannot miss. The way the author understood the philosophy of Indian way of living is something you will be impressed.

If you love reading the philosophies of life and beyond, coated with logical and scientific layer, then, you will find the chapter 26 of this book quite interesting. It seems the author has enjoyed writing it thoroughly.

The book is written in quite poetic language. In fact it starts with the lines:

उस सर्द अंधेरी रात में, थार रेगगस्तान की गोद में वो चला जा रहा था, तीक्ष्ण वातावरण के अस्तित्व को नकारता सा। उसके कंधे झुके हुए थे, चेहरा युगों की वेदना दर्शा रहा था। कदम उसके लड़खड़ा रहे थे, बोझ ही इतना था उन पर, सही चलते भी तो कैसे? बोझ, सिर्फ तन का ही नहीं, मन का भी।

The book has some philosophical lines written in matter-of-factly tone:

सीमा से अधिक लालसा इंसान को अँधा कर देती है, किसे डरने चला था वो मुर्ख!

Though, most part of the book is focused on war and politics, the book comes with a message of peace. There are some interesting lines in the book which explores the emotions of common men in natural tone.

यदि ये युद्ध नहीं होता और काफ़िर-म्लेच्छ मित्र होते तो परकोटे पर खून नहीं बहता और होता ये कि अस्ताचल होते सूर्य का नज़ारा उनका मन बाँध लेता और दोनों साथ खड़े होकर देखते तो महसूस करते; स्वर्ण नगरी के नाम की सार्थकता|

The author is good at exploring the emotions in interesting tone:

काश! एक बार फिर बिजली चमकती और राजा उस धूर्त का चेहरा देख पाता|

The author got an interesting way to explore scnes and surroundings:

वरुण देवता चाहे कितना भी ज़ोर लगा लेते, उस रेगिस्तान की प्यास कहाँ बुझने वाली थी, वो तो अनन्त थी|
— — — — — —
मनुष्य तो शांत हो गए लेकिन कुदरत किसी मनुष्य का हुक्म थोड़ी मानती है, बरसात वैसे ही सरसरा रही थी, पुरे वेग से|
— — — — — —
रात पल-पल जवान हो रही थी और केहर प्रतिक्षण जर्जर; बुरी तरह थका हुआ था वो| रात के साथ ठण्ड भी ज़ोर पकड़ती जा रही थी, उसका मन और शरीर दोनों सुन्ना थे; कारण सर्दी थी या उसकी भनायें ये समझना थोड़ा मुश्किल था|

Here are various lines which are somehow related to wars and battles:

दोनों और के महारथी उदास मन से अपने-अपने शिविरों में लौट रहे थे, जैसे युद्ध करना उनकी मज़बूरी था| देखकर लग रथा था की उनके बस की बात होती तो इस लड़ाई को तुरंत रोक देते|
— — — — — —
शौर्य प्रदर्शन की नहीं, आवश्यकता की वास्तु है राजकुमारी, व्यक्ति की महानता इसी में निहित है।
— — — — — —
तुम्हारी असि उठे तो मात्रा रक्षा हेतु ना की आक्रमण हेतु। ये एक भाषा है पुत्र, जो तुम्हे सीखनी ही पड़ेगी क्योंकी कुछ लोगो को मात्रा यही समझ में आती है।
— — — — — —
लेकिन जलालुद्दीन अपने बेटे की तरह धर्मांध नहीं था; उसके ऊपर एक विशाल साम्राज्य की जिम्मेदारी थी|

Here are some more interesting lines from the book:

… भावनाएं ही तो अविश्वसनीय करवाती है इंसान से|
— — — — — —
…इंसान अपनी मंज़िल खुद चुनता है| मैं कुदरत से छेड़-छाड़ नहीं करता और न ही किसी की किस्मत बदलने की कोशिश करता हूँ|
— — — — — —
समय पर दिखे वही विद्या है, असमय तो अभिमान ही दीखता है …
— — — — — —
इसका अर्थ हुआ की मनुष्य जैसा विचरता है, जैसा मानता है, ऐसा दृष्टिकोण रखता है, उसका सत्य वैसा ही होता है!
— — — — — —
… मुझे दौलत से ज़्यादा अपनी इज्ज़त की चिंता थी जो मेरे हमवतनो की नज़रों में गिर चुकी थी, उन्होंने मुझसे कहा था कि एक बेगाने मुल्क में मुझे कौन इन्साफ़ देगा। लेकिन अब मैं उनके सामने फक्र से का सकूंगा कि इन्साफ़ किसी मुल्क, किसी मझहब की जागीर नहीं होता। किसी खुदा, किसी भगवन का ग़ुलाम नहीं होता।
— — — — — —
यदि उसकी ये बात कई ईश्वर सुन रहा होता तो खूब ज़ोर-ज़ोर से हँसता और उस हंसी में ज़रूर कोई ना कोई भेद छुपा होता।
— — — — — —
कुछ वस्तुओं का वर्षो तक कोई हल दिखाई नहीं पड़ता, मनुष्य आशा त्याग देता है, नीवं नीरस लगने लगता है। समस्याओं का जितना समाधान ढूंढने का प्रास करो वो उतनी ही जटिल होती जाती है, तत्पश्चात सहसा एक ही बार में सब सुधर जाता है, स्व्त: ही। ये जीवन हमारी सोच से सैदव ही कठिन व सारा होता है। सत्य है, ईश्वर की लीला को कौन समझ सकता है।
— — — — — —
कभी-कभी इंसान का एक अवगुण भी (यदि वो सीमा पार कर जाए) उसके संपूर्ण-शानदार चरित्र में दाग लगा सकता है।
— — — — — —
क्योंकि मात्र शाब्दिक अर्थ इंसान को गलत सन्देश दे सकते है, हर एक को शब्दों का गुलाम बनने से बचना चाहिए, हर बात को अपने हिसाब से तौलना चाहिए।
— — — — — —
श्रेष्ठता तो समयानुसार परिवर्तित होती रहती है भ्राता। अच्छी वर्सु सदैव अच्छी नहीं रह सकती एवं बुर सदैव बुरी नहीं रह सकती। श्रेष्ठता तो मनुष्य की योग्यता पर निर्भर करि है, किसी वसु अथवा अस्त्र-शस्त्र पर नहीं।

The book has its share of printing/grammatical mistakes.

… उसने वहाँ पहुंचकर ऐसा हा-हाकार मचाया की थोड़ी ही देर में वो दरवाज़ा मुँह बाए खड़ा था अर्थात उसे खोल दिया गया था|

So, by now, you got an idea about the kind and quality of writing you can expect form the book, right? Telling more about the content than this, will bring in some spoilers which I consciously would like to avoid.

The other positive attribute of the book is its characters. They all are strong. The author has given proper footage to all positive and negative characters regardless of their gender. If the book is marketed properly and bring to potential readers, it has all the qualities of impressing readers and being a bestseller. In fact, the author has delivered something significant which even some of the bestselling authors are unable to.

And yes, some people shall be interested in exploring the fort of Jaisalmer by reading this book. In that case, if a single reader is motivated in such a way, the book shall be considered successful in achieving its goal.

The book is added with some maps and war plan illustrations, adding positives to the book.

Summary:

Overall, a nice historical fiction which weaves history, fiction and mythology in interesting ways. Strong characters and fast pace makes it gripping. The book is quite long in the length but the crisp writing doesn’t let the reader feel it.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 8 to 8.5 out of 10.

Quick Purchase Links:
Over to you:

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