Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review #68: Karma By Karanam Pavan Prasad

Title: Karma
Author: Karanam Pavan Prasad
Publishers: Conclave Media
Genre: General Fiction
Pages: 164 (Paperbound)
Source: Personal Copy

A first time debutant novelist, who took greater risk to write a novel on a subject like Death, Hindu Funeral Rituals and practices, etc… This novel is a blend of age old rituals, beliefs and traditions versus the modern cosmopolitan, scientific, questioning generation. This novel deals with a very taboo subject such as Hindu funeral practices, which is also called as KARMA, hence the title of the novel Karma. The book poses some serious questions, at the same time, gives its readers a sense of newly crafted novel. Not that, this kind of novel has ever come before, in fact, it has come at various stages and in various forms. But, the mixture of modern aspects like smartphones, IT, KFC, drinks, parties juxtaposed with that of traditions, practices, beliefs and other things is a new way.

The protagonist of this novel Surendra was responsible to carry out the last rites rituals of his father that just demised. Being working in a city as an upscale Engineer and married to an ultramodern woman Neha, he didn't seem to get adjusted to all those rituals, practices and traditions. He just toys around like a puppet listening to the head priest and following his younger brother in those rituals. During these proceedings, Surendra refuses to gets his head shaved, whereas, his brother Narahari agrees to it. (This is one of the rituals, where, the sons of the deceased person should get their head shaved in order to carry out this ritual, it’s called VAPANA). Day to day proceedings was making our protagonist lose his cool and made him act like a weirdo. He was always suspicion about his wife. He often gets these thoughts that; his wife is cheating on him with another man. This is strongly believed by him due to the past actions of his wife on numerous occasions before marriage. His wife had many partners just like him. However, his manly thoughts were not convinced to agree on such things.

The regular circumstances of those rituals have made him to come to terms with the traditions and he actually starts believing in everything. He often reaches out to head priest to understand the basics of the rituals which he finds occasionally funny. Sometimes, he indulges in serious conversations with the head priest and was asking any ritual practices so that he could father a child and so on. This kind of dilemma and regular taunts from his wife for being too orthodox has made our protagonist weak day by day. He gets mocked by his wife for conducting those ‘pointless’ rituals which was seriously offending Surendra. He also concludes that, he didn’t get a proper wife or he didn't become a good husband. This made him to get back to his last love interest ‘Vaani’ who was his Aunt’s daughter. Even here he faces serious disappointments.

As the book progresses further, we will realize many facets of these funeral rites, and this must be the take away from the book. The detailed explanation and beliefs behind each practice and tradition has explained pretty neat. There is an absolute twist at the end of the novel, which I am not including in my review. I ask people to read and savor the story.

All said and done, the novel has some weak points. Few of the characters were given little space. The entire novel could’ve been extended to about 30 pages. The background story of important characters was missing or was kept low. The Sanskrit verses and their meaning throughout the novel is a good attempt at explaining few traditional aspects.

Overall, a great attempt by the author and a fantastic rendition. He has a long way to go and this is just the beginning. I hope to see more of such amazing work by this author. Though, this book can be easily considered as a contemporary novel. It doesn't exactly belong to any specific genre. A must read novel. I recommend it for everyone.

My Rating:


  1. Thanks for the great review Pradeep! I have heard so many good things about this book.
    I really want to read this and one of these days I will buy it and read it :). Thank you for the very informative article.

    1. Hey, thanks for the comment. You're absolutely right. This novel is very good and an out-of-the-box kind of story. Happy Reading and thanks for stopping by.! :)

    2. this is an amazing book . i bought it from mybookadda.in , i got the book with one day and i finished it in 2 days. it is a great book by karanam pavan prasad. his second book nunni is also excellent.

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  3. I read KPP sir's Grastha (meaning: like we say shapa grastha, where grastha means 'one who has suffered' ) novel... Excellent book. I found myself in that book. This book answered all my under burried questions. Salute to u sir..


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