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Mrityunjay: Can Vivaan Unravel The Truth Behind His Grandfather’s Mysterious Death?

The most awaited work of Tantric fiction of 2024 is here! A gripping blend of mythology, suspense, and ancient wisdom, Mrityunjay by Parakh Om Bhatt is about Vivaan’s quest to unravel his grandfather’s mysterious death, discovering a hidden world of tantric secrets and ancient prophecies. Could it be that the severed fifth head of Brahma held the deepest secrets of the Kaliyuga?

Read this exclusive excerpt to know more.

Mrityunjay
Mrityunjay || Parakh Om Bhatt

***

‘Baba, what is death? Why did Mom and Dad have such a short life?’
Vivaan had asked his grandfather these questions numerous times to, only to get a more mysterious answer each time. Today too, he was thinking about death. His thoughts came to a sudden halt as the car stopped. He had arrived at ‘Vasant iwas. The beautiful childhood he spent with his grandfather, the old man’s moist eyes when Vivaan was leaving for London, the spark in his eyes when he returned with a journalism degree and the shock when he announced that he wanted to settle down in Mumbai— the memories were vivid and fresh in Vivaan’s mind. He stepped out of the car and stared at the house. He had never ever thought he would come to an empty home in Rajkot.

 

The vintage-style house was one of its kind in the city. Vivaan opened the huge front door and the light smell of sandalwood hit him immediately. He remembered his grandfather using sandalwood while performing his daily prayers. The scent of the sandalwood reflected Sudhir’s subtle presence. The living room had white marble flooring, antique furniture and glass showpieces. There was a huge, embellished living room, prayer room and kitchen on thefirst floor of the house. Every morning after finishing his daily routine, Sudhir would sit in the prayer room on his mat in a fixed place and was not to be disturbed for an hour–and–a –half. There was another room through the prayer room, the key to which only Sudhir had. Vivaan still did not know what was in that room. He was curious, but after an incident that had happened in his childhood, he had not probed further.

 

Vivaan was shaking as he entered the living room. It was only last night when Sudhir had taken his last breaths in this very room. Vivaan imagined his grandfather stepping out of the prayer room, giving him a warm smile and offering him some prasaad. Vivaan reckoned that he had lost the pillar of his life.

 

His entire existence had crumbled in the last twelve hours. Though he had put on a brave face all this while, he was broken from within. He did not know how he would go on with his life without any family. He forced his eyes shut and crumpled to the floor. Fifteen minutes passed in absolute numbness. The sudden and loud ringing of his phone forced him to open his eyes and come back to reality.

 

‘Hello . . .’ Vivaan’s voice was almost like a whisper.

‘Good evening, son. Have you reached home?’ Alok Chaudhary said, his tone firm but loving.

‘Yes, uncle . . .’

‘Freshen up and come to the morgue. I want to talk to you.’ There was an urgency in Alok’s tone.

 

Alok Chaudhary, commissioner of the Rajkot Police, was a close friend of Sudhir Arya’s. Though they were years apart, they got along well. At fifty-seven, Alok was a year away from retirement. He had achieved the position of commissioner after several years of hard work and was well respected by his department for his excellent observation skills. Many believed that Alok should be in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and use his reasoning and intellect for national security. But Alok had decided that after the wedding of his daughter, Riya, he wanted a peaceful life. He was no longer the same person he had been at the start of his professional journey, mainly due to the emotional turmoil he had gone through in his life. Alok had a profound reverence for Sudhir. Every evening after work, he would visit Vasant Niwas. He had a thirst to learn about history and mythology. And Sudhir Arya was a treasure trove of knowledge! Though he was
fifty-seven, Alok would listen prudently to everything Sudhir said. Their discussions would range from ancient history to the multinational companies that Vivaan ran. He had always addressed Sudhir as ‘Dada.’ When he heard the news of Dada’s death that morning, he could not believe it.

 

Alok had not been able to meet Dada for two days—he had been out in Gondal on business. After watching the news, he immediately asked his team to seal Vasant Niwas with strict orders that nothing was to be touched. Forensic experts were called in and even the tiniest things in the house were analysed. In the end, Sudhir Arya’s body was moved to the morgue. The death certificate was awaited. Alok had called Vivaan to take custody of the body and wrap up the formalities.

 

It was evening by the time Vivaan reached the morgue. Though the Diwali lights shone on Rajkot, Vivaan felt a void and darkness within him. The appearance of the morgue and the copper sign on the gate looked inauspicious. He forced himself to walk towards the room at the end of the lobby. Before entering it, he caught a glimpse of what was going on inside.

 

Alok seemed to be in an intense discussion with three constables and the doctor. They were all standing in a circle and vehemently arguing about something. However, Vivaan was not looking at them. His eyes were seeking his grandfather.

 

The stretcher lying in one corner of the room caught his eye. Unexpectedly, he sighed. He had to hold on to the handle of the door to prevent himself from falling. Hearing the low thud, everyone present in the room looked at the door.

 

‘Baba . . .’ Vivaan was on the verge of collapse as Alok ran towards him and caught him just in time. Vivaan’s eyes were still on the body of his grandfather, lying half-covered with the white sheet.

***

Get your copy of Mrityunjay by Parakh Om Bhatt wherever books are sold.

Exclusive excerpt from the trilogy’s finale

If you’re someone who shops from the mythological fiction aisle, you must’ve heard about the next big trilogy in the reading world, i.e. The Hidden Hindu series by author Akshat Gupta. Readers have been raving with reviews and waiting for the finale of the trilogy to be released and we’re pleased to inform you that it’s here! 

So, we decided to bring you an exclusive excerpt from the book. We promise you, once you start reading it, you wouldn’t be able to stop.

The Hidden Hindu by Akshat Gupta
The Hidden Hindu || Akshat Gupta

Hearing about Dr Batra’s lonely death, unheeded struggles, and how mercilessly he was thrown out of the submarine and into the unforgiving sea without a proper funeral broke Mrs Batra to the core. The last thread of hope of seeing her husband again was all she was clinging on to, but now, even that had snapped. Utterly devastated by the realisation, Mrs Batra asked Prithvi to leave and left the door open. Prithvi could feel her pain and knew that he could no way soothe her acute agony. He started to make his way out. 

‘Don’t you want to know what happened to those people who killed your beloved husband and why he was killed?’ asked Prithvi before stepping outside. 

Mrs Batra stood there for a silent moment, looking at Prithvi. She shut the door and Prithvi walked back to take his seat. She knew what her heart longed for, so she took her spot on the couch to hear how it all ended. Sensing that she was yearning to know more about Dr Batra’s assassins, Prithvi began narrating from where he had left. 

In the month of Jyeshth (May), when the whole world had come to a standstill due to Covid-19 and the death count was on a hike, stories of losses were painted all over social media, newspapers, and news channels. Optimism seemed to be dissipating as dark clouds of uncertainty fogged people’s lives. While the death toll from Covid-19 had crossed all estimations, headlines of other catastrophes began to make their rounds; the glorious and tranquil Mansarovar being overpowered by Rakshastaal; the destruction of Roopkund–the lake of skeletons; the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, suddenly turning black; and the overnight seize of the ghost village of Kuldhara. This series of unbelievable events was, connecting the dots automatically as the news read, ‘Mysterious phenomena clutching India adding to the miseries of Corona. Are these signs of Doom’s Day closing in?’  

A worried Ashwatthama sat in Gyanganj at Mount Kailash with his wounds still healing. He looked at Parshurama and Kripacharya’s still bodies as they remained trapped in Om’s subconscious mind. Next to them was Om lying unconscious after the battle of Kuldhara. When Ashwatthama asked Vedvyasa about Vrishkapi, he received another painful answer.  

‘Vrishkapi is on his deathbed. It’s just a matter of few hours before he gives up the fight for survival and leaves his body.’ 

‘I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if we have lost or won. I don’t know what I should be feeling right now,’ said Ashwatthama, consumed by his thoughts. 

Vedvyasa was about to say something but to their surprise, Kripacharya and Parshurama returned to their bodies from their astral state and stood up as normal as ever. Ashwatthama shot up to greet them.  

‘You’re back! How did you open that door?’ 

‘We didn’t have to. Something suddenly changed within Om and after that, there was no retaliation, no more tussle to trap us, and there wasn’t a door holding us back anymore,’ Parshurama replied, still wondering about the whys and hows.  

A confused Ashwatthama thought out loud, ‘But how could that be? Where’s the door gone?’ 

‘I destroyed it,’ came a voice from behind him. Ashwatthama turned in wonder, though he already knew who it was. It was Om who had also sat up but with a distant gaze. ‘There’s no barrier. No bridge. No door between me and my hidden past. Not anymore. I remember who I am,’ said Om, glancing at all four of them.  

‘Who are you?’ Kripacharya asked. 

Everybody’s intrigued stare was glued on Om. 

Om closed his eyes and took a deep breath, ‘I am Devdhwaja.’ 

‘But that can’t be! We checked and you don’t have the birthmark! How’s that even possible!’ Kripacharya said, trying to piece everything together around the new revelation. 

‘Hold on! I am confused. The birthmark of Devdhwaja that the immortals saw in Om’s memories was there on Nagendra’s foot and Om claimed to be Devdhwaja himself. So, who out of the two is Devdhwaja?’ asked Mrs Batra of Prithvi. 

Prithvi replied, ‘Both of them.’ 

‘You mean twins?’ asked Mrs Batra. 

‘No, they were not twins. They were the same person.’ 

 

***

 

Intrigued to read more? Get your copy of The Hidden Hindu 3. 

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