There’s something within that Hermit of Kailash that amazes me. Perhaps His matted hair, from which Mother Gangga flows. Perhaps His hermit stage. Not His snake… not His snake… (I respect snakes, but only because they’re part of the ecosystem, thank you very much).
“Uma, this cannot be. You must fight her.”
And then, the most beautiful painting, as He holds Uma’s unconscious form and said:
“The Sleeper slumbered again. For it was Uma who opened her eyes. Perhaps it was the fatigue of battle that quelled the primal will. Perhaps it was the power of the All-Mother. But sometimes I like to think…maybe… Just maybe… it was me.”
My only nitpick is that Shiva was shown smiling only in 1-2 panels, particularly when Uma was around. I mean, yes – Shiva has the dark Rudra side, the destructive side. But He also has His sweet, beautiful side. The Dance of Life, or Nataraj, is danced with love. His love: sweet, tender, beautiful love. Such spirit is not really shown here, hence might mislead new readers or those who are not familiar with the Vedic tradition, thinking that Shiva is 'only' an all-angry God who destroys everything.
Personally, I would rather have the book cover depicting the benevolent Shiva, He who smiles peacefully as He watches the world from the top of Kailash. But I understand why from the sale point of view, the artists and creator preferred the scarier form of Shiva. Here’s the hope for the second volume, where Shiva is depicted with gentler smile, as sweet and gentle as He gazes lovingly at Lady Parvati.