How did I get it? From the author.
THE BLURB SAYS:
Today Suraj’s construction firm develops beautiful living spaces for its customers in Dehradun. Apart from marketing and construction, Suraj has keen interest in writing. He has been writing since childhood. Initially the hobby started out as writing poems in Hindi for school magazine. His love of poetry continues, and his collection of Hindi poems can be seen on his personal blog that goes by “poems.surajkothiyal.com”.
As a child, whenever Suraj went close to the mighty mountains of Himalayas, they whispered a story in his ears. These stories later ignited a passion in him to write historic fictions and it’s his endeavor to bring to light the highly diversified and rich culture across the world. This book is inspired by a popular folklore in Bali that talks of a Hindu saint namely, Maharishi Markandeya, who came to Bali from India and introduced Hinduism on the scenic island.
For starters, who actually is Neer? Why is he blue? Why does he wear the stone on his arm? What powers does it have? What about his life in the Himalayas? How did he make his way from the Himalayas to the sea? No answers. Yet, he is the protagonist.
How was Erlangga’s mother convinced by Raahuran to wear Rangda’s mask; what was Gajah Meda’s issue; what are the mysteries of the magical masks and nyoms? There is no elaboration.
Then, the ways of Balinese people come in bits and pieces. I wished there were a proper background connecting to the present plight they faced in the story. Also, I was not really convinced how quickly the Balinese discarded their traditional beliefs and embraced the new dewtas.
Nonetheless, you will get a glimpse of Balinese beliefs and ways and get to know about concepts like Sekala and Neskala. Balinese Hinduism is quite different than what is practiced in the Indian subcontinent. Reading this book made me curious and got me reading other stuff about Bali.