Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Review: RUDRAKSHA: When Gods Came Calling – an anthology by Readomania

I love mythology, especially Indian myths and folklore. Recently, the interest has been increasing after I did a lot of research for my A-Z mytho stories during the April Challenge. I came across a number of tales that I never heard off while I had been under the impression that I knew my Ramayana and Mahabharata totally. That’s also when I realised that there are too tales and characters out there to explore.

So, when I heard about Rudraksha, I was keen to read this one. Luckily for me, the publisher sent me a free e-copy in return for my honest review.

THE BOOK (from

Rudraksha: When Gods Came Calling is an attempt to bring together tales from across the vast length and breadth of India, a land that is steeped in mythology. It is about gods and goddesses, mythical creatures, ancient folklore and tales that abound in every village. Some of these are oft-heard stories. Some have seldom gone around. Some are spoofs. Some are parodies. They walk the ancient India or sound the chimes of modern India. From the celestial love of Shiva-Parvati, to the raging avatar of Kalki, from myths and legends of Brahmaputra to the stories of the Mahabharata, Rudraksh has it all. And there is more. Reading spoofs on present day icons provide high entertainment as do the satirical twists parodying modern issues; all through the perspective of mythology.


Caught in the Crossfire by Mithun Mukherjee 

This story is in the first person and is a modern account of Gods. Well narrated and crisp, this had me laughing my head off. I loved Mithun Mukherjee’s take on Indra and Varuna’s competitive nature. Shiva was a breath of fresh air, while the story ended perfectly. It is a must read.

Aftermath by Suhail Mathur 

This one was a confusing jumble of characters and probably would work best in a novel or maybe a novella. I also found the extensive explanations at the end uninteresting. It took away from the feeling of reading a fiction.

One Woman, Many Forms! by Sanchita Sen Das 

This is a beautiful story of Parvati and Shiva. The characters are Gods that we are familiar with, but set in a modern setting. It’s how Parvati sets out to find herself in an earlier life. Imaginative and striking, the story sure pulls in the reader. Kudos to Sanchita Sen Das!

The Story of Ahalya by Riti Kaunteya 

This one is a rant more than a story. Written in first person from Ahalya’s point of view, this has also been given a modern background. But it’s more in the form of an article than a piece of fiction.

Come Back As Anyone by Paulami Duttagupta 

Simple and beautifully narrated, this is the story of IAS Officer Sridevi and troublemaker Guruh who rides a white horse. But are things what they appear at first glance? I love the way the myth has been woven in the modern story. Good job, Paulami Duttagupta! I so liked the way Sreedevi calls out to Lord Krishna to “come back as anyone”. I wish!

Kalki—The End of An Age by Jatin Kuberker 

Okay, maybe I should have saved this for the last. This is the best of the lot, this masterpiece by Jatin Kuberker. I congratulate the author on creating a lovely story with a lot of research on Shambala, the lore of Kalki and more, bringing all the characters to life. I so loved the visual of Garud. I would love to read more from this author for sure.

The Goddam Thing by Siddhartha Yadav 

This story begins with a meeting in Swarglok and takes us to earth. I couldn’t help laughing at the characters that we know from our TV shows and it is a fun piece. Well written and beautifully presented. Enjoyed reading this one by Siddhartha Yadav!

Rudraksh by Ayan Pal 

This one is a hard-hitting story and superbly written by Ayan Pal. It takes the reader from Kolkata to Odisha where Rudraksh goes to research for his graphic novel. I am not going to say more for fear of letting out spoilers. But this one is a must read.

The Celestial Intervention by Sreelekha Chatterjee 

I am kind of dubious about this story by Sreelekha Chatterjee. It’s well written, of course. But most of the tale is what we know from Mahabharata. There’s just a bit of a twist that’s been woven in. I wish there had been more about the twist than the story that we all know anyway.

The Chronicles of Brahmaputra by Barun Bachracharya 

This story is based on a folklore. The scenes open in front of the reader’s eyes as Barun Bachracharya brings them alive with his writing skill. But somehow, I feel the humongous effort made by Raavati to escape being burned on her husband’s funeral pyre in the name of sati, for the sake of her little daughter – is wasted as the story goes along, turning and twisting away from the very purpose it started off with. Very sad indeed!

The Constant by Ayushee Ghoshal 

This story by Ayushee Ghosal is of Shiva-Sati, in a different setting from the mythology. Beautifully portrayed characters, with the background suiting the characteristics of the Gods. Well done!

The Woman Who Prayed! by Deepti Menon 

Yes, I had been waiting to read Deepti Menon’s story as I enjoy her writing. The author didn’t disappoint me. The story is about Savitri in a modern avatar, her prayers saving Satyavan from early death. Really good one! I have always wondered about Satyavan’s character in the mythology as he appears like a shadow beside Savitri. Deepti Menon has fleshed her Satyavan perfectly as he comes across as not a very strong person. I so loved the ending – it was perfect. I won’t say more for fear of spoilers. Deepti Menon, please keep writing!

The Curse of Alakshmi by Nitin Soni

I have never come across the character of Alakshmi, though it must have been obvious in the world of duality that we live in. This twin of Goddess Lakshmi has been fleshed out very well by Nitin Soni.

VERDICT: This one by Readomania is a must read if you like reading mythology and folklore. And I must say that the book cover is simply gorgeous and perfect for the theme.

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest review.

Buy here: 


  1. Such a detailed review.I am not too big on mythology but your review tempts me.
    But first I must finish my TBR. A big pile that is.

  2. Sundari, thank you for your generous review of Rudraksha! It makes one see one's work through different eyes!

    1. You are welcome Deepti Menon. Very true what you say. I am waiting to see a full length novel from you :D

  3. Wohooo.. what a review. I want to read this book NOW. A very intersting concept Sundari, won't you agree. Lovely presentation of the book. Adding it in my TBR list. Is anyone Hearing ? :D

    1. Yeah, a very interesting concept indeed. Some of the stories are true gems :D
      And thanks for liking the review. Coming from the reviewing ace, that's a compliment indeed

  4. This looks like an interesting read. Your review is just fabulous. Very detailed and well presented. Adding this one to my TBR. You are now responsible for the last two additions to my ever increasing pile. :P

    1. Thank you Shantala! :D Glad you liked the review. Yes, the book is definitely worth being in your collection

  5. Same here not a mythology reader. But sure would love to read this one. Sundari you got to suggest some book which has the actual story so that I can like reading the newer versions/spoofs to them.
    Suggest please. I read RK Narayan's Mahabharata in school, cant remember anything nor store in my brain so many tales.

    1. Amar Chitra Katha is the best source of that. You can read and tell your toddler too. Order the comics in batches :)