Book Title: The Aryabhata Clan
Author: Sudipto Das
Total Number of Pages: 476
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Publication Date: 27 Nov 2017
Genre: Fiction / Historical / Mystery
The Islamic state has spread its tentacles in India, penetrating stealthily into the academia, media and politics. The mastermind is Shamsur Ali, a physicist from Bangladesh. To destabilize India, he wants to create a sort of apocalypse, which the 21-year-old Kubha must prevent at any cost, come what may.
In a brazen attempt at legitimizing the demolition of one of the most prominent historical structures in India, someone unbelievably, it could be both Hiranyagarbha Bharata, a radical Hindu outfit and the Islamic state resorts to a big deceit. Afsar Fareedi, a linguistic paleontologist, catches the fraud. In the melee, there are three gruesome murders, including that of her father, perhaps to eliminate all traces of a carpet which, Afsar discovers, has a lot hidden in its mysterious motifs. At the centre of all this is a verse composed by the maverick mathematician, Aryabhata, some 1,500 years ago.
REVIEWED BY SOHINEE DEY
The Aryabhata Clan is one thick book and it took me almost a month to complete it. Yes, a month. To top it, I hit a reading slump so, it was harder for me to push through it and complete the book. I was like, Girl, you NEED to WRITE the damn thing! The review was getting so delayed…like, so much for my own liking since I always stick to deadlines (of mine). Phew, finally done with it!
The author, Sudipto Das has another title to his credit, The Ekkos Clan which was well-received by the readers. Given the chance, I would really like to read that book too since, I happened to like The Aryabhata Clan. Das has crafted a really complex storyline in The Aryabhata Clan and I can’t even imagine the amount of research he had to do to create the plotline to what it is now. He has combined history, mystery and thriller. Published by Niyogi Books, this book features a female lead protagonist which I was really happy about. Female leads are very rare to find in books these days but the twenty year old Kubha was one hell of a female lead.
The plot stars Shamsur Ali, the antagonist, who is hell-bent on destabilizing India and wants to create a apocalypse. A physicist from Bangladesh, he is the mastermind behind plotting everything and his group of people sees to its execution. So, the plot has a Hindu-Muslim thing going on but the good thing is the author doesn’t point his fingers to a particular religion of the either two. He has Hiranyagarbha Bharata, a radical Hindu outfit and the Islamic State on the other side.
At the heart of the plotline, there are three more characters Kratu, Afsar and Parash who helps Kubha in decoding the verse composed by the mathematician, Aryabhatta, about 1,500 years ago which holds the truth about all the unburied secrets and which can also save India from being sabotaged by Professor Ali’s mind games.
The story begins in present time Delhi but then heads back in time where the story starts in the past. In Kubha’s journey of reaching to the heart of the situation, the plotline is lined up with three gruesome murders, including the death of her father. There’s another interesting factor : A magic carpet (unlike that of Aladin’s) which had a lot of hidden information in its structured motifs. Kubha’s father might have had information of the carpet for which he gets killed. An extensive amount of history, politics and paleontology went into the making of the plot and the characters. Since the backdrop is of a time when the Islamic State has crept into India, penetrating into its academia, media and politics, the characters representing the Islamic State holds extremist beliefs and are shown to be bigots. There is also this historical structure of India at the centre around which the story revolves.
Kubha is the only one who can now protect India from what Shamsur Ali has in mind.
In this book, not only was the protagonist crafted so well, the antagonist was equally a strong character. I never talk of the villain but Shamsur Ali was truly a mastermind. All the other characters were developed well throughout the story. Each character had something to contribute to the storyline and that’s how the story progressed.
The writing style of the author is definitely descriptive where he goes on to describe every single detail and always justified his thoughts in the narrative. There’s a lot of history in this book and history has never been my favourite subject back in school but I didn’t find all those historical details to be boring much. Maybe because the author used actual facts and figures and diagrams to explain everything. Bringing in the Aryabhata verse was another interesting part of the book.
I loved the language in this book. It was neither easy nor hard to understand. There were no grammatical errors that I found. My inner Grammar Nazi was doing a happy dance. It was a perfectly polished work of fiction.
As I have already said, the book is quite thick and has a lot of facts and figures. A lot of explanations and detailing. At some point, I did find myself overburdened with so much going on in the plot mostly in the beginning. I was having a hard time finding out what the story is all about but eventually I did understand the story. I had to take breaks while reading and it took me a lot of time to complete reading this book. I am not saying that the length of the book is a bad thing but yes, some readers can find it a bit boring. At times, I did feel that a lot of information has been included which could have been otherwise used to a minimum amount.
A well-researched, thought-through plotline with a compelling lead protagonist.
If you’re into mysteries, thrillers and crime fiction, definitely go for this but be warned there’s a lot of history and a lot of details in the storyline.
POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING : ⭐⭐⭐.5 / ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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