Book Review | Balan & Dheera: A Tale of Kaliyuga, by Mayank MahajanNovember 16, 2021
Humans and their connection with the divine have always found an expression. Whether it is through ancient texts or real-life experiences, this idea has always been fascinating everyone. However, in the modern times where the attitude is more scientific, it is considered that humans have moved away from the divine. In such a time, a work that meets the requirements of justifying itself scientifically and also connects it to the world of the divine would be a groundbreaking one. “Balan & Dheera: A Tale of Kaliyuga,” by Mayank Mahajan, is one of its kind present-day novel which achieves this feat without hampering or overlapping either of the worlds. While to some, it may appear to be a fascinating tale of adventures, suspense, and mystery, others may find the influence of the research done by the author first.
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Balan & Dheera may seem to be the name of two characters that appear in the book. But the significance of Balan & Dheera to the plot and narrative justifies their being chosen for the title once the readers reach the end of “Balan & Dheera,” As the book begins, the events appear to be ordinary and regular in contemporary city life. Through these ordinary events, the author gives the message that something extraordinary can always be born from the ordinary. Since there are quite less novels being written with a mixture of such elements, the readers may feel instantly interested on coming across the book.
In his novel, “Balan & Dheera,” Mahajan constructs a narrative that finds its roots in the present day but joins the dot between the different stages of time. The characters are a fragment of the present-day lifestyles, but their connection with the divine is something that fascinates the readers more than anything else. They are in more awe when they do not realize how smoothly the author creates this world. This makes the book necessary to be read page by page and not avoid any details. The charaters created by Mahajan are constructed through their thoughts and their feelings. Their internal monologues, thought-process, the ideas they have, happiness, sad moments, and pensive times are relatable for the readers. These elements make the characters appear more human and also close to life.
As a debuting author, Mahajan raises the bar for canonical texts that fill the readers with excitement, thrill, and awe. His fundamental style of keeping the narrative simple, concise, sharp, and focused is one of the salient features of the book to keep the readers’ interest intact. In addition, “Balan & Dheera” features characters born in an ordinary situation and exhibit the characteristics of a normal person who has dreams and aspirations. Still, their circumstances force them to make different choices. At the same time, Balan’s character conveys the strong message of the highly impressionable childhood and adolescence of a person. How giving the right attention in that time can make the person and how not giving attention can break them. Through his character, the novel opens to psychological study and examination of human lives in that light. Sathya, Maruti, and their colleagues show the life of an average human being, how work life and the necessity to prioritize moulds them and makes their lives take a course that they may not necessarily like.
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Although the tale is born from the world of Kaliyuga, the manner in which the author connects “Balan & Dheera” to the other yugas is a rare feature to be found in any work. Mahajan brings India’s cultural heritage to light with all that Indians have inherited, which has somewhere been lost as the generations passed. It does not have a relation only to religion, rather a more profound significance of the existence of Gods. The book assumes more immense proportions as its relevance expands to a more significant number of people, the ones who exist and those who used to live. Therefore, Mayank Mahajan’s “Balan & Dheera” can be read by all kinds of readers, whether they are grown-up who have the knowledge of the world or young readers who are yet to explore it.
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In his little more than 250 pages novel, Mahajan has the readers in his grip from the opening stages. The readers who like to read books that excite them with the world of mystery and suspense they create would like to read “Balan & Dheera.” The interesting factor is that even though the author opens the layers of suspense from time to time, yet their validity, in the long run, does not let the readers put the book down before they finish it. In addition, the plot development is quick; the layers of narrative in plot construction come to light at the right time. Mahajan also ensures that the readers are prepared for all that is to follow just before unveiling it.
Title: Balan and Dheera – A Tale of Kaliyuga
Author: Mayank Mahajan
Reviewer: The Literature Today Team