Monday, July 04, 2016

The Tantric Curse - Review

On an amavasya night, eight-year-old Rhea mysteriously lands at the doors of Shaktidham, a Tantric house of worship, in a trance. Realizing that she is blessed with unusual faculties, the guru of Shaktidham, Satya, chooses her as a disciple over his own son, Krishnam, to carry on his lineage, a privilege previously bestowed only to males. But the lineage has been cursed for generations, and it is up to Rhea to either break the curse or perish in the attempt. Will she succeed in her endeavour? Will her love for Krishnam become an obstacle in her path? The Tantric Curse, an unusual story set in the world of Tantra that aims to dispel most of the myths about the practice, will keep you spellbound till the very last page.

About the Author
Anupama Garg was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. She has studied chemistry, business management and law. She has been training under her Guru, Baba Batuk Nathji, a renowned Tantric and head of the Bhoot Nath Charitable Trust, since the last twenty-two years. Today she conducts experiential workshops for corporates, hospitals, college and schools under the name 'Life by Choice'. She also devotes time at the ashram of her Guru, The Bhoot Nath Ashram. Anupama is married and lives with her husband and son.
If you stare at the cover for too long, you might, well, be forced to keep staring at it. Ah, don’t get scared, but the cover of this book seemed to have a hypnotising effect on me, and I was instantly drawn towards the two big eyes and the white silhouette of the girl. A good start one may say, signifying that the cover stands true to the theme of the story – Tantra.

Interestingly, Anupama Garg, the author, has been trained under a renowned Tantric, Baba Batuk Nath ji, which adds an altogether different dimension to the book. Tantra as a subject in India is surrounded by myths and controversies. It is often termed as dangerous to the society, a pre-conceived notion that does not tend to go away easily. The reason can be attributed to the fact that there are many practitioners who have used the knowledge of Tantra for their own selfish deeds, thus maligning the art. ‘The Tantric Curse’ intends to shed light on all misconceptions, clearing our thoughts and bringing Tantra to us in a refreshing and sacred perspective.

Rhea is the protagonist of the story. After the sudden demise of her parents, eight year old Rhea comes to Shaktidham. Satya, the guru of Shaktidham, allows her to live there and loves her like his own daughter. He soon realizes that Rhea is special, and has the power to foresee the future. He decides to make her his disciple, and imparts her with knowledge of Tantra that he possesses. Satya’s son, Krishnam, is a few years older to Rhea, and loves to spend time with her. The feeling is mutual, as they share their stories, dreams, desires and aspirations with each other. As time passes by, love grows between the two. Krishnam makes her feel like a woman, exploring her sexuality, and instigating a passionate fire between them.  Rhea wants to be with him, forever. When he leaves Shaktidham, her heart is still glued to him, knowing that he would always belongs to her.

Tantra is an art that should be worshipped. Anupama Garg brings out several facets of this art that most of us are unaware of. Through the protagonist Rhea, her teacher Satya, and her lover, Krishnam, the author imparts pieces of knowledge about Tantra. The use of meditation, the fruits of Sadhana and the meaning of Kundalini Yoga are briefly described, inviting the readers to learn more about them.

Rhea is a calm, level – headed and mature girl. The book depicts her journey from a little girl to a responsible adult, highlighting the challenges that she faced on her way, and showcasing the rewards that she deserved. She is there in almost all the pages of the book, which strengthens her character, but does not give much emphasis on the others, perhaps, apart from Satya. Krishnam disappears halfway into the book, and only makes an appearance towards the end. Other characters like Rhea’s and Krishnam’s friends come and go for brief periods of time, and are not able to make any lasting impression.

The author tries to introduce a few twists in the course of the story, like the moment when Rhea was attacked by the evil Tantric Bhairava. Though she braves the situation, and with the help of Satya and Krishnam she was able to save her life, I found it difficult to digest that the transformation of Bhairava came across quicker than expected. Dr. Vishnukant’s entry into the plot added another twist, as he slowly became obsessed with Rhea, trying everything to hold her back to him. I found it tough to comprehend that despite Rhea being fully aware of Vishnukant’s feelings towards him, and his sexual advances which she didn’t like, why did she still continue living with him. Perhaps, it was her own way to let him know that however he may try, she can never be his, as her past, present and future was devoted towards Krishnam. However, that doesn’t convince me much.

‘TheTantric Curse’ holds promises, with an unconventional backdrop. The initial chapters are riveting and don’t let you keep the book down. However, as the story progresses, the plot seems to drag a bit, and often sounds preachy. The book does have potential, but fails to linger on to you once you finish it. This is a decent one time read, and can be picked up for some valuable lessons on Tantra and the art of living life with love, peace and happiness.

Title: The Tantric Curse
Authors: Anupama Garg
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Publication Year: 2015
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 256
Price: Rs 295
My Rating: 3/5


  1. The plot is quite intriguing though.

  2. It seems it may retain its readers till the end.

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