The Boy from Pataliputra Paperback – 22 Mar 2017
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"The narrative is detailed and descriptions are so vivid that it feels like an eye-witness account. Equally commendable is the characterisation. This is a story that will transport you to a different era, keep you hooked and leave you wanting more"
- The Indian Express
"This historical novel goes back to Alexander’s invasion of Bharat. An off-beat adventure about a young man who took on Sikandar’s army"
"Mr. Mitra’s research for the book, which is the first in a trilogy, is mind boggling, as is his eye for detail. The writing flows smoothly, with short chapters that don’t tax the reader’s mind. He handles history with a deft hand, weaving facts into the story seamlessly"
-The Asian Age
"The book excels in the way it depicts historical events
- New Indian Express
"The story has within it funny, scary, violent, romantic, thought provoking, imparting knowledge, filled with anticipation and mystery moments; which in fact is the whole package. What more can you ask for!"
- The Pioneer
About the Author
Rahul Mitra grew up in Delhi and is currently working as an it Marketing Professional with a multinational company in Mumbai. Passionately interested in all things Indian, Rahul is vociferous in his opinions about India, its people and its culture. Like many others before him, he believes he can change the world and influence people though his writing.
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Aditya, the main protagonist of the story, is our boy from Patliputra. Being born in the upper caste families and brother of petrol guards of the city, Aditya was a spoilt teen. Roaming freely and carelessly was his favorite time pass. Even at sixteen when most of the people of his age started settling down, he was not serious about life. All he cared about was his horse and hunting with his Chandal (low caste) friends. Sometimes it takes just a small spark to destroy the whole forest. A similar fire had destroyed Aditya's life when his brother was sentenced to death due to corrupt and irresponsible governance in Pataliputra. Things that were taken place during that incident had changed complete future of Aditya. He left Magadha and went with a caravan to Takshashila. Life was never same for Aditya after he left Magadha. He went through the complete transformation. Things in Takshashila started on mixed track and shifted to better with passing times. But they say only change is constant. A threat was lurking on Bharatvarsha. The Alexander was preparing for a war against Indian ganarajyas. Aditya was about to get into this massive whirlpool.
I never say no to Historical or Mythological fictions. When I first got my hands on this book I was under impression that book might be about Chanakya or Chandragupta. But the author has completely new plot under his sleeves. This first part is divided into three parts: Transformation of Aditya, Progress of Aditya in Takshashila, Alexandar's entry into India.
- I liked the way story evolved in the first part especially after Aditya left Pataliputra. His journey towards Takshashila reminded me Shiva's journey towards Nashik from Shiva trilogy.
- The second part was mixed with medium pace along with one of two fast pace incidents. This part has more resemblance with one's college life. Well at the same time, the author has also maintained enough political and war tempo to remind user they are reading historical fiction around war.
- As everyone knew the role of Chanakya and Takshashila University during Alexandar's seize, the third part had covered it till war of Alexandar with Porus (Puru). This part was like a fantastic cherry on a cake. I finished this part uninterrupted.
Though it was a historical fiction, the author has wonderfully portrayed few nostalgic points that can remind us our college life:
- Aditya's hopeless love towards Devika can remind you many of your college friends who run after girls even after knowing they are not destined to be one.
- Aditya's experience and fun in drunkard state. One can easily correlate with hostel fun.
- Aditya's visit to Tanku's can remind you college canteen visit, where people sit gossip about various things. And Tanku will remind you that moody canteen owner.
I will eagerly wait for the next book in series.
When I read the title of the book, I thought that the story might be about Chanakya or Chandragupta. But set against the backdrop of Alexander's invasion of India, this tale is actually about a boy Aditya (from Patliputra) and his journey from being a wayward aristocrat to a dignified man with principles.
Story is divided in three segments; the first part is about Aditya and his elder brother Ajeet who works in Magadha's task force and lives in the capital Pataliputra. Though Ajeet reprimands Aditya for his carefree behavior, he also loves him to bits. Everything seems fine until one unfortunate incident turns Aditya's life topsy-turvy and forces him to live a life of a runaway.
Part two is all about how Aditya with the help of his friends, takes the reins of his life in his owns hands and changes his destiny. He lives in the city of Takshashila now and has finally achieved everything; a fine job in King's army, reputation in society and a beautiful girl whom he loves.
But just when everything seems alright, a new dark threat in the form of Alexander hovers over Bharatvarsha. After the conquest of Persepolis; capital of Persian empire, he is on his way to conquer and obliterate India. As all the local rulers shake hands with the enemy, the students of Takshashila University including Aditya's friends declare open rebellion to upheld Chanakya's ideology of Akhanda Bharat. Aditya is in a quandary. What will he do in such a situation? Will he tear apart his carefully constructed world for the future of India?
Author has perfectly amalgamated fantasy with reality. I loved the fact that rather than distorting the actual historical facts and the stories of real historical figures from Maurya Dynasty, Mr. Mitra crafted a tale of a completely new fictional character set against the tumultuous backdrop of Indian history in 4th century BC. Also there is a lot of information about India's internal politics of that period. For example, though fictional it gives us an insight into turbulent relationship between Kingdom of Magadha and Bauddha Bhikkshus . It was also interesting to read author's viewpoint on 'As a King treats another King' in the notes section.
I liked the language used by the author, which is a blend of modern day vocabulary with ancient words. The narrative would have turned into a boring essay if he had only used archaic words. The usage of modern day words made the conversations interesting. However my only issue with the story is its underdeveloped characters. Apart from the main protagonist, most of the secondary characters lack depth. To spice up the story, there should have been a little bit more focus on atleast some of the characters.
Considering this is author’s first book, he did a fantastic job of merging history with fiction. The story surely didn’t disappoint me. Also the cover of the book is enchanting. I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the Pataliputra Trilogy.
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