The night was fast approaching and there was a chill in the air. We were on the way to Rishikesh when our car broke down in the middle of the jungle. I was just a couple of pages into the book Tarikshir by Khayaal Patel when we heard a loud and deep roar, most probably by a Leopard. The book also begins with a horror and mysterious scene. And I chuckle, thinking that it is a perfect setting to read such a novel.
The jacket strongly indicated that there will be a lot of horror action in the story. There was a thick forest in the background of the book cover with focus on a spine chilling skull. I was completely delighted to read a horror story. But my excitement was short lived.
The first scene is about a greedy monkey Valikesh from Hanuman’s army who finds an attractive red stone in the treasure of Ravan. But due to its evil effect mysterious and horrifying things started happening to the poor monkey. It is at this point you will get a few glimpses of the dangerous monster Tarikshir anxiously waiting for a compatible and consenting host to come into action. That one chapter was mind-blowing and the book appeared to be promising. But sadly Tarikshir remains out of action throughout.
Tarikshir was a monster born from Goddess Kali who try to gift it to Lord Ram. The latter refused. Tarikshir had capabilities to destroy the whole world with its evil power.
The story is about a Rajput kingdom Devangarh which is under attack from various sources like British Residents, a supernatural evil power Tarikshir, a dangerous creature Tamingila, zombies, the Wind Asura, a revolutionary group The Red Tiger Rebel, an evil but a powerful red stone and a witch. Now it is upon the crown prince Rudra to save the state and its people.
As I wrote earlier the novel started as a promising horror fantasy but one after another, so many things started playing their roles that the story became confusing and uninteresting. Synchronization was not done properly. Their powers and characteristics were not clear.
The story line was weak and so was the entire setup. Not for once it felt like the story is about Rajput. The dialogues between the characters were average and doesn’t match wit that of Rajput Gharana.
If I talk about the characters, then none of them excited me, especially the protagonist Rudra. His character didn’t evolve properly. His character started as a confused and diffident, unable to take right decision and he remained so till the end. I didn’t find him inspiring. At least the author should have portrayed him as a great soldier with extraordinary fighting skills.
I have read better books in the genre. So Tarikshir failed to impress me or excite me as a reader.
The author tried to blend fantasy, mythology and history together, but sadly it didn’t work as it should.