Author: Vineet Bajpai
Publisher: VB Performance LLP.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Price: INR 130/free (kindle unlimited)
The story begins with the current time when a young business tycoon Vidyut Shastri is summoned by is dying grandfather Dwarka Shastri, to a land he was not supposed to visit, Banaras. The sudden summoning makes him tensed and suspicious as he was always to be away from the curse his family carries. The roots of the curse lie in the past, buried centuries ago in the most developed civilization unearthed, Harappa, justifying the books title. These two are the timelines on which the story majorly runs as Vidyut reaches Varanasi and is told about his true origins. In between the story is a small yet significant third timeline, somewhere in the not so distant parts of the 16th Century, when the secret was unearthed and attempted to be destroyed. The writer boldly trudges the story across these three timelines with a beautiful coherence of revealing the story, in a manner that the reader feels completely in sync with. This to me was the best part of the book.
The secret has to do with Vidyut's most powerful and respected ancestor, one who was thought as "God-like", and is so dark that it brought then the destruction of the entire mighty civilization of Harappa. What is the secret? Why Vidyut was kept away from it? Why should he know it now? What led to the destruction of Harappa? To know the answer to all these intriguing questions, grab a copy.
The author has managed an interesting amalgamation of story of history, mythology and fiction which is revealed slowly as the story unravels, one layer at a time. The story writing is similar to that of Ashwin Sanghi's book Chanakya's Chant, with a level of complexity above it as the writer runs the story on a track of not two but three timelines as was the case with former. The writing is lucid, crisp and the story is enriched with complex emotions of love, brotherhood, hatred, lust and trust. The writer ends every chapter on a note that leaves the reader waiting for more. The icing on the cake is the description of Varanasi, which to a traveler soul like me who hasn't visited the city was a perfect delight. There are a few spelling errors which aren't major yet could be avoided and the end could have been less abrupt.
Overall a delightful one shot read.