The Dravidian – Book Reviews by Shalini
It’s been very long since I read a book written by an Indian author. And when I got the opportunity to read this, I took it with great expectations and eagerness.
The story goes like this, the sacred Dravidian Tribe, one of the most ancient tribes living in India, has protected the SanJeewani plant, since the time, when the Gods lived on this earth. The plant has miracle life-saving effect, so with modern life being as it is, the Dravidians decide to pass on their traditional knowledge to be used for greater good in saving the life of every living being. The pharmaceutical companies who promised to do that initially, show their true money grabbing colours later. And to fight them, we have the hero, Arjun whose brain is as sharp as his temper. And the twists in the story occur…
The author, Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala, has taken his experiences as an IP attorney and used it to bring about this legal thriller between the ancient generous ways of the tribe and the modern money-minded pharma companies. His main character, a lawyer for the underdogs, Arjun, is a brilliant, young and blind, yet he does not allow this disability to erode his work, in fact, he uses it to his advantage at some points in the book. Arjun is accompanied by his wife Shreya, an intelligent researcher, paralegal, his assistant Jose and his dog Neo. I loved the camaraderie between these three; they provide relief when the court scenes become tensed.
It is nice when an author understands the Indian mythology and uses this knowledge in his book, giving it a modern twist. Such a book becomes a great amalgamation of the old with the new. The SanJeewani herb with its life saving properties, which every Hindu has read about in the Holy book of Ramayana, is well recapitulated in the prologue. To bring this SanJeewani plant into the story as the crux of the legal fight is a great idea by the author.
The author, Dr. Kalyan, has also delved in extreme detail into the workings of the pharmaceutical companies and their profit only attitude. It is well known how they use underhand techniques to get the product and patent it in their name, and Dr. Kalyan has taken great pains in keeping this story authentic to their ways.
The first courtroom scene in the special IP Court which introduces Arjun is hilarious and the wackiness of the plot brings an instant smile. These pages go on to show Dr. Kalyan’s sardonic and witty humour, with which he has penned his words.
There are some niggles, the book uses a lot of legal terms regarding patents and trademarks and the laws governing them, so it becomes a little difficult to understand those parts. Also the flashback scenes which occur do not have a time line so it is confusing initially when the story goes back and forth.
Being a legal thriller, I expected only courtroom scenes but this book has adventures in the valley, running from danger, hiding in caves, a secret garden, secret passages and tunnels along with snipers and warriors with bows and arrows. This book is the perfect combination of the ancient with modern and at 179 pages, it can be read in a single go in a couple of hours. Well, that’s what I did…
My rating : 3.5 stars
About the Author
Dr. Kalyan is a renowned IP attorney, professor and author from Bangalore, India. He works with BananaIP (BIP) Counsels, a leading IP firm in the country. He also teaches at premier institutions such as IIMB, NLSIU and IIMS.
The Dravidian tribe in the Western Ghats holds the key to ancient knowledge capable of redefining the fundamentals of modern medicine. When an army of Bio Pirates descend on them, the warrior tribe is faced with an adversary that must be taken down at all costs to avoid complete destruction. The last weapon in the Dravidian arsenal is Arjun Mamidi, a young, blind lawyer.
Can Arjun save the Dravidians and their invaluable knowledge from impending doom? Or will the knowledge and the men guarding be lost forever?
Publication date : 24th October 2017
Publisher : Self
Language : English