I was very young when I read a classic tale – 1984 by George Orwell. It gave me all sorts of instruments to look into the future with my dark glasses on. I kept digging around since then to look for similar kind of imagination and vision. My decade-long search ended today while reading the last pages of DVARCA.
It is first of its kind by an Indian author; this book will take you through a scary journey of a dystopian future where Indian sub-continent is renamed as DVARCA – an Anarchic state with a religion Navmarg controlling all possible aspects of its inhabitants. You should work according to them, eat according to them, and even think according to them. Every possible definition of freedom is crushed under the strict Anarchic rule based on an orthodox system. The totalitarian government uses cutting edge technologies like genetic mutations and futuristic controlling devices to give pseudo belief of freedom. Your Karma and Dharma will earn you Punya based on the calculation of a mathematical formula. You will work your life out to earn Punya with the sense of false Moksha.
Vivid descriptions and lucid writing style give you goosebumps on more than one occasion. It helps you to create the imagined stage for the story as thought by the writer. However, I felt that some key characters were not described in detail (they might have been left out for sequels)! Some sub-plots too were left on a cliffhanger, definitely pointing to an upcoming sequel.
One special mention to the effort put in naming each chapter. Interesting titles of chapters actually gave flair to the book.
The author used some of the very ancient rituals and regulatory rules like Maika system, gender biasing, curse words, giving it a totally different dark perspective. All these seemed to be possible to me in distant future when I initially began reading the book. But as I made progress, it instilled primal fear in my heart and gave chills to my spine. I started questioning myself at the turn of every other page – ‘Can it even be possible?’ And when I started getting a ‘Yes’ frequently is when I really understood the real horror that might really occur in our life.
This book shook my belief and raised questions on the fundamental understanding of my religion. By the end of the book, I found myself wiser in my understanding of the complex concept of Religion.
DVARCA – A unique masterpiece, one of its kind
DVARCA started with a beautiful (and my favourite) quote by the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and did justice to every aspect of it:
‘He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’
P.S. – Shahtooti Anjeer will be a new catch phrase among dystopian fiction readers.
Reviewed by: Adarsh Srivastava
An engineer by profession, voracious reader by choice, and writer by destiny.
About the author:
Madhav Mathur was born and raised in Delhi. He lives in Singapore, where he works for an MNC by day and as a writer-film-maker by night. His first novel, The Diary of an Unreasonable Man was published in 2009. His award-winning films, The Insomniac and The Outsiders have been screened at numerous festivals. He hopes he is getting better at doing the things he loves.
Author: Madhav Mathur
Publisher: Prakash Books / Fingerprint
Genre: Fiction / Dystopian
Buy from Amazon