Some books are mere books, while others become ‘documents’. Among the documents that are made, there is also a category of books whose language is so simple and clear that even a person who does not know the ABC of that subject can understand AZ clearly. If the subject is understood, then the author can mold it in the form of fiction and convey the original point to the public. Arun Krishnan has written a similar book titled ‘Battle of Vathapi: Nandi’s Charge’, which tells the story of the war between the Chalukyas and the Pallava Empire at Vatapi in a new way.
Vatapi used to be the capital of the ancient Chalukya society. Today this place is known as Badami in Bagalkot, Karnataka. The Chalukya king Pulakeshin II died in this battle. Pallava king Narasimhavarman was victorious in this fierce battle that took place in 642 AD. In fact the Pallava kingdom had long wanted to avenge the defeat of their king Mahendravarman by Pulakeshin II. After the conquest, the Chalukya king got the Mallikarjuna temple built at Vatapi.
So this was a brief overview of the subject, now let’s come to the book. But, before that let’s talk about the author. Arun Krishnan, often a leftist on social media, is the founder and CEO of a company called ‘nFactorial Analytical Sciences’, which provides a platform for real-time employee-customer engagement. Apart from being a writer, he is also a data scientist and musician by profession.
This book is part of a trilogy, of which you can hardly wait for the next two parts, provided you have read the first part. In the ‘Historical Novel’ category, ‘Battle of Vathapi: Nandi’s Charge’ will be known for its brilliant narration and a vision of our ancient civilization. As you read this, you will be transported to the seventh century, and you will be speculating about the future of each character.
The thing is that leftist historians and novel writers never touched Indian history. He spent decades praising the British and the Mughals. Many such novels can come out from different angles from every single event of ancient times, historical documents can come out and solutions to the problems of the present can also be found. You can ask only 10 people in your home or office about Pulakeshin II or Narasimhavarman, hardly anyone can tell anything.
Our rich history needs to be exposed as it is, in whatever form it may come – it should smell of our culture, not slavery. The book is divided into 54 parts by Arun Krishnan, which makes it easy to read. This was the time when the number of followers of Buddhism-Jainism was at its peak and the Bhakti movement was beginning in South India. Arun Krishnan himself writes that even though what he wrote on paper happened exactly the same way, he hopes readers will get a sense of what actually happened.
The story in the book starts from Kanchi and ends in Ujjain. The most special thing in the book is that the characters are well molded. The character of Naganandi, the chief spy of the Chalukya Empire, impresses the most in this. Even though the story is of the Chalukya and Pallava kingdoms, you will find mention of other royals and kingdoms in the history of that time, such as the Ganga dynasty, the Pandyas and the Cholas, apart from Sri Lanka.
First of all, while reading the book, you will not feel at all that this is the first book of Arun Krishnan. An attempt has been made to weave this book like a thriller, which has also been successful. The maps depicting the then geography depicted in it remind that this story is real. When Mamla’s (Narasimhavarman) father counts his last breath and takes his son’s promise to fulfill his two unfulfilled dreams, it is only then that we know that the fun lies ahead.
We are not mentioning those two things here intentionally, because it would be better if you read yourself. How the Pallava general Paranjyoti forged alliances with other kingdoms, how it sometimes seemed that the dream of the late king might not be fulfilled and how many events are intertwined one after the other – well written Is. Yes, it is definitely an advice to the readers to read about each character well in advance, otherwise you may get confused in the future.
Women are often portrayed incorrectly in the name of historical fiction, the story is written accordingly, choosing a hero and a villain and playing with the story in the midst of suspense. There is nothing like that in this book. The biggest thing is that it is not even slow, which can be boring. Not only South India, people from the northern part of India should also read it. It is not that KM Munshi’s books on Somnath are only for Gujaratis.
Yes, in the next part, it can be advised to Arun Krishnan that along with bringing the characters to the fore, their background should also be given, so that they remain in the mind of the readers till the end. I believe that if the script is prepared based on this and it is molded as a web series, then it can easily prove to be a good content which will tell the world about a different historical aspect of India. There is also an interesting Chinese character named Hiuen Tsang in the story, about whom you must have heard even in childhood.
In the end, let us tell you that ‘Battle of Vathapi: Nandi’s Charge’ will give you the pleasure of not one, but three parallel stories. You will also see many events related to the present. It is interesting to read how many tactics and strategies were adopted in the war. Time is not wasted forcefully in the name of romance. Forest, water, land, fort – you will get to see war in many places. Hope. The book should be translated into other languages as well.