Monday, December 21, 2015

[Short Story] The One who Stood against Shiva


The northern winds blew over the inn and creaked the door open. The cold breeze blew inside sending chills down Vinayak's spine. He shuddered and went to closed the door again. He gasped at the door, cursing his job. He was the inn-keeper of this family INN. It was started by his father and provided wayfarers a place to rest and have a hot meal on the highway. Vinayak glanced at the clock on the wall- it showed closed to midnight. No one is going to come here now. He sighed, no one will come here anymore, it was the coldest night. He might as well close down and go to sleep.
Just as he was about to lock the door, an old Sage stepped inside, "Room for one, please?"
Vinayaka rushed to the door and helped the Sage inside, "Please come in father, where are you going in such a cold night?"

The Sage could barely stand and was leaning on a wooden stick. His thin frame of body bends from the spine. The long flowing gray beard complimented the back and created an arc. Vinayak chuckled under his breath.

"Chaturmas begins today," the sage replied, placing his right hand on Vinayak's shoulder, "The four months when we sages do not travel. The environment becomes hostile. I was looking for a shelter."

"Feel free to stay in the inn for as long as you want, father," Vinayaka said, "Let me close the shutters for you. There is some hot Chai kept on the counter."

"Thank you, son, you have come to help me like the Vignaharta Vinayaka."
Vinayak smiled, "How do you know my name is Vinayak?"

The sage looked at the innkeeper, a mischievous smile under his beard, "That is a happy coincidence, I was talking about your namesake, the one with the face of an elephant, the one who is protected by Shakti and the only one who challenged Mahadev and survived, I was talking about Ganesh, the leader of Ganas of Kailash."

Vinayak had never heard of him before, on the highway, there are all sorts of storytellers but never the one who told the story of his name. "Tell me more, please."
And the sage started the story,

"The times in Chaturmas are harsh, it is an inauspicious time. The sun God starts his journey south, the days are getting shorter and the nights longer. Just when people are tired of the harsh climate, comes forth the vigna-Vinayaka, the Vignaharta. Lord Ganesh leads people from darkness to the light, from harsh climate to the harvest season."

"Shiva, Mahadeva is an noble sage, he denies existence and destroys creation. He does not worry about the world, He is a world in His own sense. But His attitude is not good for a civilization, for life. For Shiva to support the civilization, he needs a companion. Shiva needs to open His eyes to see the pleasures of mortal skin and thus see the world we live in. Thus- it is told that just after the celebration of Rain God, the colorful festival of Holi, soaked in rain, Parvati, domestic form of Goddess Shakti asks Her husband, Shankar, the domestic form of Lord Shiva for a child.

"Why do we need children?" asks Shankar, "Producing children makes us mortal, makes us... human."

"But children is the only way to conquer death, it is a way where a marriage is consummated. It is the process when a soul touches a flesh," argues the clever Parvati.

"Why do we need flesh? Why not renounce the flesh and embrace the immortal soul?" replies Shankar, "Flesh is all about emotions and pain."

"But with pain, also comes pleasures. You cannot renounce both pain and pleasure. You have to embrace both. Life is all about dealing with death, the joy of birth, the sorrow of suffering and the celebration of success. You cannot enjoy life without the flesh."

The eternal hermit soaked in the bliss of the soul does not understand the argument. Life is but an eternal struggle between nurturing the soul and pleasing the flesh. Lord Shiva in His eternal bliss rejects the mortal pleasures while Goddess Shakti in Her mortal form and immortal rage accepts the pain and pleasure of the flesh ignoring the soul. Hence, it is said, that they both together form the perfect couple. One cannot live without another.

Not able to argue with her husband, Parvati decides to take matters in Her own hands. It is said that 16 Goddesses rule this world and Parvati has the power of each one of them. Filled with the joy of motherhood, Parvati makes a child out of the sand and blows life into it.

Thus, born is Vi Nayaka or Vinayaka, the one who that born without a man."

"Ganesh, thus born is exactly opposite of His father. While Mahadev is a hermit who rejects life, Ganesh indulges into lavish meals that celebrate life," the Sage smiles, "Little Ganesh defies His father very often but escapes punishment using clever tricks and smart words. But the first time, he did not survive."

"Goddess Parvati created Vinayak without the knowledge of Her husband. Creating life is an exhausting process, she asked the child to guard the door and went to take a bath. At that moment, Lord Shiva craving to see his wife walked towards Her chamber. He was surprised to see the young child playing near the gate. Ignoring the child, Lord Shiva walked into the bathing chamber calling for the wife.

"You cannot pass," said Vinayak stopping the Lord and quickly obstructing the path.

"What is your name, Son?" asked Lord Shiva.

"My name is Vinayak and I forbid you to enter this gate," Vinayak announced.

Lord Mahadev smiled and said, "And why cannot I pass, Vinayak?"

"My mother has forbidden anyone from entering this hall until she wishes, I cannot let you pass," said the Loyal Vinayak.

"Then inform your mother that I have arrived and she will allow me," said Mahadev.

"My mother has forbidden anyone from entering the chamber," said Vinayak, "That includes me too."

"This is a ridiculous conundrum," said Mahadev, "What if your orders are wrong and your mother wishes to see me now?"

"If that is her wish," said Vinayak, "She will tell me that. Until then, you can wait."

"But I wish to her now," said Mahadev, his temper growing, until this day no one had dared to stop him.

"You don't understand, do you? My mother does not wish to see anybody, She may wish to see someone afterward or not. It is her wish that matters right now, not yours."

Lord Shiva is known for his fierce temper. There are very few people in the world who have survived his temper. His blood boiled at the audacity of the young, ignorant child blocking his way. His eyes bloodshot and His hand raised, he boomed, 'VINAYAK. MOVE'. The voice shook the entire Kailash mountain. Ganas who were busy working their way on the mountain stopped. Nandi, the loyal Ox, rushed to the direction of the voice. Everything froze in their track. The birds flew away, animals rushed out of the mountain.

In all that commotion, no one but Lord Shiva heard the feeble voice of a young child, 'NO.' He was trying with all his might to raise the voice against Shiva.

The commotion was heard by Goddess Parvati inside Her bathing chamber. She hurried to get dressed and step outside to calm down her husband.

But she was too late, for the angry Mahadev had already shown His wrath on the poor child. When Goddess Parvati stepped outside the bathing chamber, she saw Her child lay headless at its gate. With tears in Her eyes, the noble Goddess hugged the cold, dead body of Her child. If there is one thing that is dangerous than the fury of Shiva, it is the fury of Parvati. Mahadev and Shakti are equally powerful but only because the Goddess chooses to be. Shakti is the most powerful sentient being in the universe who can create and destroy the reality in one single thought.
Tears in her eyes, blood curling, and temper raised, Parvati screams at Her husband, "You had to demonstrate your strength in front of a young child? A child that was following orders from his mother? You are the God of all Gods and you couldn't curb your male ego for some time? Why was it so much threat to you, that you had to behead him? You denounced flesh, you did not want to participate in the creation of a child, you worship the soul. So tell me Mahadev, tell me, what part of your soul justifies the killing of a child?"

In a moment of indecision, Mahadev had acted out of his character. He did not understand his decision. If you deny reality and mortality, how do you justify anger? A soul cannot have emotions. Why had he acted this way?

He looked at the head of the child lying motionless. He bend down and picked up the corpse and spoke, "A head once severed cannot be connected again. However, Vinayak will be born again, this time with a new head. Find me the head of a creature, given out of free will in the north direction from here," he ordered Nandi, "The soul will be preserved until we get the new flesh and he is born whole again. Vinayak followed his duty without any prejudice, fear and insecurity, he will be a great leader for my Gana and will also be known as Gan-esh," said Mahadev.

Mesmerized by the words of the Sage, Vinayak did not realize that time had passed. The old man was radiant telling the story, lost in its world, "Thus, Lord Ganesh was born. Nandi would later find an elephant who gave his head for free will. Ganesh was reborn with the head of an elephant and body of the boy. He would be the perfect balance between the soul and the flesh. Having a pure, unselfish and wise soul but still indulging in the pleasures of life. Ganesh was born to show the world, what was the perfect balance between the soul and flesh," concluded the old man.

Image: Hand-crafted statue of Ganesha by my partner, Deepika Kabe



Mythological fiction is aimed at rewriting the existing mythological stories from Hindu mythology in a completely new form. These stories are innovated using the creative liberties while keeping their existence form and message intact. The story is completely fictional.

Friday, December 11, 2015

[Short Story] Him

I received a request to write a story on the ever loving Krishna and I chose this. There are lot of things already said about Krishna, the controversial warrior-poet. He was a great leader, strategist and orator but he rarely drew the following like his predecessor Ram. He was cunning, manipulative and a fierce lover and a lot has been said about him in mainstream storytelling. But what happened in his enemies mind? How did other warriors saw him? Everyone feared him, some worshipped him, some hated him but no one could ignore him. 
This story is entirely fictional and creative adoption from the text of Jaya, that describes the Kurushetra war in detail. 

"We need to talk," Bhishma walked into the war room unannounced. No one had dared disrespect Duryodhana before in his own war room but this was Bhishma.

"I gather you got my message?" Duryodhana asked, "Come."

Bhishma looked at the audience that was gathered in the war room. Sitting in the circle were Duryodhana, Dushashana the two sons of Drutarashtra, to their left sat Dronacharya, the brahmin-warrior and his son Ashwathama, the evil king Jayandratha, the chiranjivi Kripa, the moral sworn enemy of Krishna, Kritavarma and finally, the slippery tongue Shakuni.

"You have quite a support group here," Bhishma said, "Duryodhana. What is the meaning of this?"
"We are at war, grandfather," Duryodhana said, "You heard them? This war is important for the Kuru clan. We have to win or the house of kuru will be gone in the hands of traitors and gamblers."

"Is that why you have send for me?" Bhishma asked.
"Who else than the master strategian to lead our vast army? We are preparing 11 akshauhini, all led by the admirable warriors and leaders of our time," Duryodhana pointed to the gathered people, "We need the greatest kshatriya there is to led us."

"Don't," Bhishma screamed, "Don't drag me into this. I do not want to take any sides in this petty feud. You are as dear to me as Bhima."
"Yes," Duryodhana said, "I knew that but I did not ask you about your personal opinions... grandfather. I merely ask you will you defend the kuru clan and the kingdom of hastinapura from external forces?"
"Don't," Bhishma said and took a deep breath, "It is my duty to protect this kingdom from its external forces..." he glanced at Shakuni, "...and internal. It is the code of a kshatriya warrior to not run away from a fight and I will fight."
Duryodhana grinned. With Karna and Bhishma fighting together, there was no chance for Pandavas to win.

"I will fight your battle Duryodhana," Bhishma said, "But do not make this the battle of the kingdom. I will fight with you but I will do it on my terms and you do not order me."

"Please grandfather," Duryodhana said, "I am your humble servant. Help us form the strategy."
Bhishma looked at the papers spread on the table. He studied them carefully and then looked at Jayandratha in horror, "This..."
"Yes, it was my idea," Jayandratha grinned, "The ultimate battle formation, the chakravyuva."
"This is a murder machine," Bhishma exclaimed, "You..." he looked at Dronacharya, "You approve of this?"
"I have to say it is ethically questionable," Dronacharya said, "But it can gain results."
"I do not care about the outcome," Bhishma got up from the table, "If you want me to lead this army, I have few rules..."
Duryodhana was annoyed at the sentence but he needed Bhishma on his side. The Pandavas were brave but they would never fight against Bhishma. He needed Bhishma.
"First rule," Bhishma said putting a feet down, "I am not going to be part of this murder. I won't use chakra vyuva till I lead the army."
"Second rule, I will lead the armies against the Pandava army only. I will not harm any of the Kaunteya."
"But..." Duryodhana exclaimed.
"This is how it will be," Bhishma said, "If you want me to lead your army, these are my rules."
"Fine," Duryodhana said giving in to the conditions.
"Good," Bhishma said, "So now then, give up these stupid murderous and barbaric plan and listen to some sound strategy. First," he pointed at Karna, "You will not battle while I am in the ground."
"This is unfair," Karna screamed.
"For these reasons only," Bhishma said, "You will not listen to my command and you also know that. You are way too powerful, almost my equal. If something happens to me, you can still win the war for Duryodhana."
"But father..." Duryodhana began.
"If we both are in the ground," Bhishma said, "We won't have a good chain of command, which is imperative for the battle," he glanced at Dronacharya. Dronacharya bowed his head, "Karna is valuable and learn to use your wild cards properly. Others are expendables."
"Second, I hear Krishna is in Hastinapura staying at Viduras house," Bhishma said.
"I know," Duryodhana said, "That milkman is in town to discuss peace. He has requested attendance tomorrow in full court."

"Good," Bhishma said, "This gives you a strategic advantage. If you cannot sign the peace treaty with him atleast treat him with respect and invite him for royal dinner tonight. We want Him on our side."

"Him!" Kritavarma exclaimed, "That milkman from the villages is not the leader of Yadav, not my leader. I can get you the yadava army to command, I have already gathered most of them on our side."

"You are a fool," Bhishma said to Duryodhana, completely ignoring Kritavarma, "to call that man only a milkman. He is the biggest strategist in the whole world, a brilliant leader and sound orator. He commands the greatest army of warriors called Narayani Sena but that army is not important. That Man can command a group of monkeys to bring down an entire civilization. Some people call him God, he can steer your way into the battle only by guiding your chariot. Whoever side he decides to choose, automatically wins the war," Bhishma said, "And as far as this murderous plan of your," he glanced at Jayandratha, "Krishna can break open the Chakravyuva too."

"Fine," Duryodhana said, "I will invite the milkman in the royal house. I will treat him like he was never treated before. He will dine with the royals today. I will get the Narayani Sena on our side."
"Do not act like a fool," Bhisma said, "We do not need his army, we need Him on our side. Duryodhan, if you want to win this battle you will listen to what I say."
"I have listened to you," Duryodhan replied, "It is your duty to lead the war and I respect your experience but do not forget, Bhishma Pitahma, I am still the king of this kingdom and I will expect the respect a king deserves. So do not tell me on how should I treat my guests, I will be talking to him on your request."

Duryodhana stormed out of the place followed by his commanders.

Only Dronacharya remained behind, "You knew," Dronacharya said, "Having Karna on the battlefield will give us a strong advantage. You do not wish to fight them do you?"
Bhishma smiled at the old teacher, "I wished for a lot of things, Dronacharya, but I do not wish to fight an unfair battle. Karna is powerful than all of us together, he will be valuable for you when I am defeated..." Dronacharya tried to speak, "Do not disturb me... when I am defeated, Pandavas will get an unfair advantage over Kauravas. Use Karna to level that advantage, give Duryodhana the fighting chance. Use your murderous plan to your advantage. I will be defeated, Dronacharya, for I am fighting against the Dharma but I am duty bound to this land. Kaurava army will be helpless them, do your duty Dronacharya, guide the Kauravas towards moksha."

"Only today's invitation will decide on whose side dharma is on," Dronacharya sighed, "Only He will decide."

Duryodhana did send the invitation to Krishna who politely refused to dine with the king. Enraged by this disrespect Duryodhana would have Krishna arrested in the court next morning. Krishna will escape and that singular moment will change the course of entire battle as we know it. 

Karna will enter the battle after the defeat of Bhishma and Dronacharya will implement Chakravyuva. Abhimanyu would be killed trying to break the formation and enraged Arjun will hunt down Jayandratha to avenge the blood of his son.


अस्तो मा सद् गमय तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय मृत्योन् मा अमृतं गमय्

Friday, November 20, 2015

[Short Story] The Trial of Hanuman



On the southernest peak of Bharatvarsha the army of monkey kingdom Kishkinda camped near the ocean bank. Few were busy preparing food for the rest, while others were sharping their weapons. There was a murmur among the army about crossing the ocean.

At that time four people huddled at the beach discussing their option. Ram, Lakshman, Hanumaan and Jambavana discussing the strategy for crossing the ocean.
"We need to find out if Ravana is holding Sita captive in that kingdom. I do not wish to battle the king without any sort of proof," Lord Ram said.
"King Ravana rules Lanka. He is one of the most powerful and the richest king," Jambavana said.
"But is there is a way to confirm if he has held Sita captive there and..." Lord Ram spoke, "... I need proof that he holds her captive against her wishes."
"Brother!!!!," Lakshman gasped, "Do not doubt Sita mayya please."
"I do not but as prince of Ayodhya and the leader of the army, I need definite reason to attack." Lord Ram said.
"Perhaps," Jambavana explained, "I can help. I know the ancient vidya of leaping high but since I am injured I cannot do it myself. I would be happy to tell one willing participant the secret to flying."
"I can do it," Lakshman volunteered, "if anyone can fly, I would like to do so."
"No brother," Lord Ram said, "You are a prince of Ayodhya. Stepping inside the kingdom of Lanka will put both kingdoms in an awkward position. A third party should do it, someone like Hanumaan."

Hanumaan looked at his mentor and bowed.

"Hanumaan," Lord Ram said, "I know it seems herculean task but if there is anyone who can do this, its you. I believe in you. You have to jump across the ocean and find Sita. Once you find her, give her my ring as a proof that you are my companion and inform her that I am on my way to save her."
"Why can't Hanuman bring Sita Mayya back?" asked Lakshmana, "If we have the knowledge of flight. If he can leap across the entire ocean, he can as well bring her on his shoulders."
"Yes he can," Lord Ram said, "But that won't do justice to Ravana. By kidnapping my wife from my own house, Ravana has challenge me to defend my house. By sending Hanuman I am asserting that we are going in the correct direction and we will build a bridge across this ocean to cross it."
"But brother, with all due respect, we have a band of monkeys. If our knowledge is correct we will be facing a horde of monsters, demons and what-not in that kingdom."
"Perhaps we will," Lord Rama said, "But we cannot let that deter our efforts can we? We can fight the battle with best of our efforts and hold Ravana in my court. It is not an easy task, I agree, no one has defeated the King in so many years. He is good but by taking my wife against her wishes, he has made the battle personal."
"Ravana is evil," Lakshmana spoke, "Ravana is evil and his trickery knows no bound. Why do we even fight the battle in just way."
"We fight the battle in the just way because Ravana is evil and we are not like him. He used trickery to kidnap Sita, we cannot use trickery to bring her back. That way there will be no difference between him and us. We will follow the procedure, protocol and we will bring him to justice."

"Are you ready Hanumaan?" Jambavana asked.
The revelation troubled Hanumaan, can he leap across an entire ocean? He though to himself. Jambavana was the wisest among all, he was the advisor to Sugriva in the kingdom as well as Prabhu Ram. What if he failed? What if he never reached across and died in the way? He would let his mentor down.

He looked Jambavana in fearful eyes, "I know what you are thinking vaanar raj." Jambavana spoke, "The task is difficult. You will be having a lot of questions now but this is a leap you have to take on faith. Just believe Vaanar raj, just believe. It will all come to you from now, you will be able to enlarge or reduce your body as your will too. But for once, answer me this?" he asked, "Do you trust me?"

All the doubts, all the questions Hanumaan had vanished at the question and he answered, "yes, I trust you."

"Then jump Vaanar raj," Jambavana said, "Jump."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

[Short Story] The Trial of Ravana


Ravan was pacing hard in his royal chamber. A disturbing trend was brought to light in his peoples court today. His advisors informed of rise in corruption among the civil servants.  Ravan had always tried hard to instill discipline in his people. He tried hard to maintain peace and policy in the golden land of Lanka. We are the richest kingdom ever, don't they see it? he asked himself, If everyone is rich, why is there corruption?

He kept asking question again and again. Why are the people corrupt? We are just and fair to everyone, we do not over tax them, no one is poor? Then why do we have corruption?

Watching him agitated Vibhishan walked towards him, "Anything worrying you brother?"

"Why is there corruption Vibhishan? We have given them everything they want.... why corruption then?" Ravan asked, "Even the poorest of the villager eats in the plate of Gold, then why do we have corruption? Why can't we end it once and for all?"

Surpanakha was sitting close by watching a few ants carry the block of sugar to their house, she quipped, "Of Course there is a way to end it forever, I have been telling you since ever. Burn one or two corrupt officers in the middle of the kingdom for the junta to see... fear will make them obey."

Vibhishan looked at his sister horrified at the thought and turned back to his brother,

"I can't burn my own subjects," Ravan said, "What message will that send to others? The king hates them?"

"You are the demon king," Surpanakha said, "What is there to like about you? You are not like those sissy Ayodhya people whose prince gave up his rightful throne just for the wishes of a half dead king," she said simply drowning the ant in the glass of water.

Ravan watched her drown the ant and felt agitated, was he as the king only suppose to impose fear in his subjects? Why would people live in his kingdom then?

Vibhishan kept his hand on his brothers shoulder, "As a king you need to have faith in your subjects and so should they. Corruption begins when you loose their faith. The prince of Ayodhya gave up his rightful throne to keep word of his father. It was not done because he loved his father well, it was done because if he refused there would be a clash in royal household. Why will the subjects listen to the king if his own son won't? A strong royal family..." he glance at Surpanakha, who had lost her attention in the talk and was busy in her ant drowning"... can restore faith in the just king. If we can take some advise from the prince of Ayodya it was, the prince will lead the subjects, not by ordering them but by bowing before them.

As a King, instead of making stringent laws, ask them to have faith in the system. Build the system so strong that no external agent can peak inside it. Only then can you curb the corruption from inside. ."

Vibhishan's words only were drowned by the screams of Surpanakha, "Stupid ants... they all biting me, get away. Shoo Shoo..."

"If the subjects fear you, sooner or later they will revolt against you," Vibhishan concluded.

P.s. The story is entirely fiction. Characters adopted from Indian Mythology Ramayana


Friday, October 30, 2015

A Complete Guide to Writing Fiction using Evernote

If you know me in my other life, I proudly boast of myself as the Monk Who Sold His Computer for the Cloud. I do not own a computer, apart from video editing, and invest a lot of time trying to replace my computer with cloud services. One of the most important problem faced by me in this period was how do I move novel writing services to the cloud?


Can an internet based service be used for Novel writing? The service should be such that it can be used to sync on the phone, iPad as well as Web.

With NaNoWriMo around, I decided to put on the thinking cap and setup my workspace in Evernote. If you are new to this world, Evernote is a note-taking tool that helps capture text-based-notes, picture based notes, Web-Links (Clips) and even voice based notes. So let's get to work. 

Evernote lets you create Notebooks that can store your notes together. The notebooks can further be grouped together in something they call 'Stack'. For the purpose of the blog, I am going to delve first into use of Evernote to write the whole fiction, if you are using some other tool, like Scrivener, I suggest you jump down to the next section where I explore using Evernote as a supplementary tool for writing.

Using Evernote for Writing Fiction

Writing Chapters
One of the first thing to do is create a stack for the project you are beginning. I usually give mythological character names as working title to the projects I am working on. This NaNoWriMo, I am starting on  a project Narkasura. The first I did was create a notebook, N-Chapters which will contain chapters in their Numbers (Or title) and add it to the Narkasura stack.





Ideas Notebook

The second and most important notebook for me is the Ideas book. I usually write Faction (Which is a mix of facts and fiction) and to get the facts write, I research a lot. These notes are kept nicely in the Ideas book. The best way to ideate is to write down the stuff that you think of. Using the Evernote document scanner, these notes are easily uploaded to the relevant notebook. This was the first notes for the project Kumbhakaran



Characters Notebook

If you are anything like me (and I hope not) you have this maddening urge of making characters that are so real. In my characters book, I detail the character and its journey throughout the book. For e.g., if in chapter 6 Dev Karmarkar (he is the one I am working on nowadays) breaks his ankle, I make a note so that I can set a proper time-line for him to get healed.


Structure

Ironically, the structure notebook is for the unstructured notes and things I think of, which are sometimes useless. If you are working on a thriller and have the need to detail out a crime scene, this unstructured notebook comes in handy. Sometimes, I also add time-line of events to help me focus on the correct sequence. When writing a crime-thriller, it is essential to do a exact layout of the murder location. I usually do it with a pen-and-a-paper, you can scan the document and attach it to the notebook easily.



Evernote Supplementing writing

Evernote makes a wonderful tool to supplement your writing. Be it taking notes in the spur of the moment of taking photos etc.

Research

Internet is a good researching medium. The research notebook can store all your research in one place. I often use it for storing clipping related to my story as well as taking photos. If you want to describe a scene, it is often good to have a accomplishing photos. The photos also help when writing a script, you can give them to the director who can turn them into shots.


Evernote also brings with it a tool called web-clipper. It can clip articles immediately on click of a button.



Make Audio Notes

This tip was given by Amar Vyas on Facebook. You can always record audio-notes that describes a particular character or a setting to be referred at a later period.

Bonus: Managing conventions

If you visit a lot of conventions and literary festivals, you get a lot of pamphlets and business cards. This information may not be useful at that point of time but it may be valuable in the future. Evernote can be used to safely store the pamphlets in a unique notebook for future reference,

The best part is, Evernote business card scanner, scans the business card and creates a contact in your phone automatically.


It is obviously not the best tool for writing out there but you can use it for writing faster on any device. Once you are done with your chapters, they can be simply copied to a word processor for further editing.

This is how I use Evernote to keep track of my writing, research and conventions. What tool do you use for writing fiction?


Sunday, October 11, 2015

[Short Story] Winds of Change

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 56; the fifty-sixth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write.
There are moments that come in time-traveller's life when he has to look over his entire existence and asks himself - Is this it? Is this the moment when you determine if you are in the right time-stream?

Look, those who do not know time-travel, here are the basics- in space we can travel. We can go from point A to point B in private vehicles, public transport or even just walking. It's easy, you learn it when you are 3 or 4 years. The first time you crawled from the end of the room to the arms of your parent you feel, this is it , this is your biggest achievement. But then in the next few years, your parent take you to a garden and then you think... woah, can I run from one end to another? Sure you can, you try that and you feel good about it. You try to tumble, you try to crawl, you know different ways of travelling in space.
Everyone learns to travel in time when they are born. All you have to do is sit in one place and time will go on. You will travel forward without any effort. Ask that to a man shot in his guts and waiting for death. The twenty seconds of his existence shows him the value of time moving forward. Or ask any marathon runner the significance of a second, that had made the difference. So time-travel forward is easy. The tricky part is going backward.
Can you sit in one place and time reverses itself? That is what I was thinking for a while, almost my entire life. The thing I forgot was, time does not stop for a time-traveller to think about time-travel. Let me give you few seconds to read that sentence again. So, when I was thinking about reversing time, it was moving ahead without bothering about my experiments.
Thus, when I actually completed the maths for the first time jump, I was eighty years old. Too old to attempt a time-jump. With a weak heart and a high-blood sugar, I feared going to the local supermarket, let alone going back in time. So the problem I had to solve was, how can I go back in time when I was still young. I know the solution - you don't get an IQ of 180 to not know a solution of any problem.
The solution is this- I go back in time when I first started thinking about time-travel and give myself the secret of time-travel. Take another few seconds to re-read that sentence. So here is where we are today. The plan was simple, I go back in time and I give myself the secret to go back in time. Wait, let me read that again. Yes, that is right.
The issue is, what with a weak heart and my blood sugar, it will be difficult for me to return back alive. So here is where I keep this note for whoever stumbles upon my lab. I will always be the first time-traveller in the world.
- Inspector Khan re-read the note twice. He still couldn't make sense, who was the person burnt to crisp in front of him? A strong gust of wind blew the letter from his hand and he chased outside to catch it. Behind him the body burnt to crisp had vanished. He couldn't understand why was he revisiting a man who died two years ago in a gun violence? He left the place making a mental note to get himself checked.
The note was another secret buried in time, never to be found again.

Picture Courtesy: AJ Montpetit ~ Stocksnap.io
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: XX.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Bio of Professor Shastri


Born: 14 January 1978
Hair: Curly, partially bald
Profession: Founder- 'Takshashila institute of Advanced research'


Anyone who met Professor Sampakta Shastri always had an undeniable urge to punch him hard in his face. Prof Shastri was a self-proclaimed expert on everything under the Sun. His theories and ideas were famous around the world. He was also known to have an outburst of information about everything in the world. He used to share it in random conversations with no moral obligations of any kind. He liked to give prolonged lectures, which he was fond of giving, at any unfortunate moment. Sometimes, irrespective of whether anyone was willing to listen to him or not.

Professor Shastri was in his late thirties and had a round face and a big belly. From a distance he looked like a giant panda with short and curly hair, dark brown complexion and no facial hair. Depending on who you believe in, he was either a modern day Einstein or a lunatic devil worshipper. There was no real proof about what he did or who he was; only rumours. The only fact known about him in public domain was that he was richer than most people on the planet. He had earned the money from his countless patents.

There were rumours that Prof. Shastri was working with many governments. There were rumours that many governments wanted him arrested for uncertified human experiments. He was also rumoured to go missing for days hunting some treasure or a lost city or a lost civilisation. The only real public information about Prof. Shastri was that he was the founder of 'Takshashila institute of Advanced research'. The five-storey building housed and sponsored experts on many subjects in different fields.

Known Associates

Advika Shetty- Intern

If you met Advika Shetty for the first time, you would not believe her. It would be difficult for you to understand that she was a PHD student training to become a neurologist. It would also be exceedingly difficult for you to understand that her father was Professor Shetty. The infamous professor of theology and comparative mythology. It would be even more confusing to know that her mother was the unpopular Christina Pillai. Christina Pillai was a theoretical physicist who challenged many religious institutes with her theories.
Advika was the after-product of a heated debate at the university about the concept of God and a weekend of drunken madness in Goa. Her parents never got to a proper marriage. But still managed to raise a beautiful scientist according to religious principles. She considered herself a perfect balance between religion and science. But she missed realising her ambition to join the glamorous world of air hostess by an inch. She was an inch shorter than the mandatory requirements of becoming an air-hostess. Her hair were too straight for any possible good hairstyle. Out of pity most hair stylists gave her the same shoulder length haircut with angled bangs on her forehead. After her dream for air-hostess crashed to the ground, she had to choose between joining a convent for studying religion with her father or a PhD college like her mother. Her mother was proud on the day she Takshashila Institute hired her as an intern.


Dr. Meghana Banarjee- Colleague, Head of Psychology Department, Takshashila Institute of Advance Research


Dr. Meghana sported short, wavy, layered curls. They suggested that she was a fun person and also that she didn’t spend a lot of time managing them. She was in her early 20s and wore simple doctor's apron over the salwaar suit. No one would believe she was the the world’s leading authority on the brain functions. She held three PhDs on many subjects by the age of 23. She had written ‘The Theory of Morality,’ an international bestseller. She had received 30 different awards in 17 countries for her research. She was the best of the best and was often called in to help when no one else would know what the problem could be.

These characters and more are going to set out on the most epic adventure ever. Buy the book today


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What makes us believe in something - The idea behind Ragnarok


The idea behind Ragnarok, my upcoming science fiction satire, came exactly three years ago when I was talking to a friend. This friend of mine (who has explicitly asked me not to name him) was harping on and on about how religion is necessary for faith and belief. That put the idea of God in my head. For as long as I remember, I was an agnostic about the concept of God. I never faced any crisis that would make me look for a higher power or ask for forgiveness.

But my friend put the idea that there has to be someone out there looking out for us. That was the definitive moment when the idea popped into my head. See, here is the thing, we all want to believe that someone out there is looking out for us. Everyone, even an atheist, at one point in time want to look up and say, hey this is not my problem, this is yours.

Here is the idea, if everyone (or most of us) talk to someone all powerful to solve their problem, what kind of pressure are we putting on that one person? And what if, he is as limited as our imagination? 

The idea of God is personal to everyone, we all choose to believe in someone. When I set to write my own God, I had to believe in something. Having never believed in anything, it was a difficult proposition. That set me on a journey to read as many religious dogmas as I could. I met some incredible people who made some incredible points and slowly a picture of what I could believe in emerged. 

The idea behind Ragnarok is massive and it certainly isn't conventional. It is not a story that has a protagonist and an antagonist, not in conventional term. It is not a story where a hero battles against all odds to defeat the villain.

Ragnarok is about life, about the idea called HUMAN BEING. Ragnarok is about the ultimate test of faith. And finally as the actors on this stage will tell you, Ragnarok is about proving ourself what it takes to remain Human in terms of extreme duress.

What will you do when everything you know is about to end and the thing responsible for the ending is the one thing you believe in?

So as I said before, get ready for the journey of epic proportions through space and time. And what's more awesome? Before the epic launch, the book is available online at a discounted price. If there is a best time to buy it, it is now.

http://www.amazon.in/Ragnarok-Siddhesh-Kabe/dp/8192893642/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1439671732&sr=8-2&keywords=siddhesh+kabe

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Why did I choose the name: Ragnarok?


I stand on the eve of a monumental achievement. After a long effort of four years, I finished my first novel- Ragnarok. It is a science fiction satire based in a fictional world just like us. There were a lot of questions around Ragnarok and I chose to answer some of them. The most common one was, why Ragnarok? Those who know me, know about my obsession with Hindu Mythology but still for the first novel, I chose a title with Norse Mythology.
To those wondering, my Ragnarok is not about mythology. It is a science fiction satire based in a modern world. The only thing related to the old mythology is the title of the book and the chartered name of the secret society planning on world domination.

Just as a disclaimer, it has nothing to do with the Marvel movie. Ragnarok literally means The End of Gods in Norse mythology. Ragnarok is described as a decisive battle between Gods and Titan to determine the successor for the throne of Odin. The following is a poem that is roughly translated in English about Ragnarok.

Brothers will fight
and kill each other,
sisters' children
will defile kinship.
It is harsh in the world,
whoredom rife
—an axe age, a sword age
—shields are riven—
a wind age, a wolf age—
before the world goes headlong.
No man will have
mercy on another

English translation of old Norse poem Volva, The state of Humanity during Ragnarok


If we look at modern world, I believe we are fighting the same old battle against God. We are perfecting the world that was given to us by making better roads, better houses and better lives by destroying nature. At the same time the nature is turning unpredictable; we have seen increase in natural calamities. It is resisting our efforts. That according to me is modern Ragnarok.

No other mythology comes closer to this moment. Essentially, Ragnarok leaves the end hanging. All other culture show that Gods obviously win but in Ragnarok, the end is indecisive. Sometimes the Titans win and sometimes the Gods. Norse Ragnarok talks about the triumph over the most powerful force in the Universe. My Ragnarok deals with modern humans, scientist and researchers, trying to take over nature.

The story is same, the titans are new. US. Humans. Between this battle of Humans and Gods, which side will you choose?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Get ready for the Journey of Epic Proportion



It's been a year of gruesome writing. What started as a small short story for a blog, turned into a hailstorm and now is coming out as a novel. Get ready for contest, cover launch, teaser starting August and your chance to win goodies, signed copies and (if you really really plead) un-signed copies.
Join me on the facebook page where most of the contest will take place. The social media links are available on the sidebar.



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Understanding the 'Defination' of Internet Trolling

A recent controversial article by Chetan Bhagat tried to highlight a moot point of how the Bhakts (as the Narendra Modi supports are called on internet) are sexually frustrated, male egoist and are people with no proper English dialect (which might summarize the last three characters in his books or any Bollywood film for that matter). But while his observations are completely without any research (as are his flat stories or half-cooked Bollywood plot boilers) the main purpose of this article to set the record straight.



Lets look at the facts without any masala added to it. Since the dawn of internet there were trolls who loved to seek attention. They first started email marketing sending countless emails about the exclusive offer they had. But as technology grew closer we brought all sorts of people together and with them we brought these trolls near us. This is a global phenomena and not limited to India.

A definition of an internet troll by Wikipedia is as follows

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
Based on this definition I am a bit confused regarding Mr. Bhagat claim about Bhakts being internet trolls.The purpose of the article by Mr. Bhagat was to sow discord on the internet by starting arguments or upsetting people by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community. If we understand the definition correctly, Mr. Bhagat is the troll in the whole episode who is doing what every accused person does, blaming the whole world for his problems.

But let's take a step back and look into the interesting topic that internet was debating a while back. Mrs. Shruti Seth posted something inflammatory and off-topic message during the #SelfieWithDaughter campaign and faced the ire of the same Bhakts (mentioned above). Obviously, she played the victim card and went above and beyond to teach the whole world a lesson. She was applauded by a few known people who love to discuss the issue in fluent English over cocktail dresses and evening gowns. But again if we look at the definition above, she was the troll in the whole episode.

What was missing in Mr. Bhagat article (and perhaps in his books as well) is the understanding of the bigger picture. What is missing in all our discussions is that - people are frustrated, yes. They are frustrated of living in a third world country with the third rate infrastructure despite being the worlds largest producer of engineering students. They are frustrated because despite working for twelve hours in a day, they cannot get proper peace and quiet that they deserve. They are frustrated that despite they paying all their taxes on time, the garbage in front of their doors just piles up. But not all of these frustrated people become Bhakts as Mr. Bhagat would like to see.

Some of these frustrated people leave India in search of greener pastures. Others are either waiting for that opportune moment or letting the frustration vent out on the internet. But then something changes, a lot of unforeseen (or perhaps foreseen) changes happen. A leader appears and captures the imagination of these frustrated people. Yes, he is a Hindu right wing leader but he does not speak religion, he speaks to them to their frustration and to their problem. They are the so-called Bhakts we love to hate. But some of them are still not convinced. Another young leader follows him and he manages to capture the imagination of few. He has no credentials but he speaks to a subset of the Bhakts, these people are called AAPTards on the internet (both the terms are not coined by me and merely used as a reference). What Mr. Bhagat missed in the article or for that matter a lot of the other so-called columns missed was that - this was democracy at its best.

Today in a country of 51% young adults workforce, majority of them are actively taking part in discussions surrounding their elected leaders. In a country where a few decades ago there was a mere 51% of voting, today we are having almost 70-80-90% of participation in elections. What Rajdeep Sardesai learnt in Madison Square park was something we all should learn- this is a new India that we are witnessing. This is the worlds largest democracy waking up having active discussions around their future and about their past. They are trying to identify themselves to their roots (be it connecting with being Hindu or Hindi).

We are amidst the biggest change this democracy has witnessed, it will have its repercussions. Some people will have problem (change is always unpleasant) and India will change - for good or for bad, only time can tell. But amidst all this chaos there is one thing keeping them all- the bhakts and the AppTards and the other frustrated Indians- glued together and that is hope.

Hope is never bad. Is it?

When someone like Mr. Bhagat or Mrs. Shruti Seth tries to upset the sanctity of their hope. They get upset and they respond in the only way their are taught. It might not be pleasant or rosy or mature. The responses may be wrong but their intent is not. The intent springs from a new-found hope that they are trying to hold onto amidst the frustrations.

Finally it is not they who are trolling anyone, they are responding. Those who try to upset them by posting inflammatory and disturbing comments might want to rethink, who is the real victim here?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Tooth Raider: The Calcium of Teeth


"Don't be afraid, there is nothing to worry," usually when you hear these words from a pretty lady you are glad. Especially when she wears Chanel perfume, especially when she has the perfect smile, especially when she can challenge Galadriel (The white lady from Lord of the Rings) in beauty department but still I am not convinced. Mostly because she said those words while holding a drill near my mouth.

The story doesn't begin here and it doesn't end with me waking up from a nightmare (I hate when stories end that way).  A few days ago something moved in my mouth. The mouth inspector, tongue, sent a distress signal up to the head office. Turns out the thing that moved was a broken fragment of a tooth. Some calcium smuggling germ ring had camped on my tooth and were busy mining for the precious mineral. Turns out they wanted to reach the roots.

The thing about tooth disease is, no one wants to go to a dentist immediately. Mouth is the one organ we cannot see but use often. The though of having metal instruments used inside that organ is in itself scary. Considering the facts, I decided to let the shaky tooth remain as it is and pretend it never happened.

That is until four days later, the shaky tooth broke off . After a scary hollywood moment (remember those moment) I decided to do the walk of shame and let them judge me on my use of toothpaste.

The dentist clinic has a peculiar smell, isn't it? That smell, for want of a better word, is peculiar. It is not bad, it is not good, it is just. That is how you tell you are in a dentist clinic.

Another thing about the dentist clinic is that the dangerous chair they operate on. It looks like the design of the chair is inspired from a medieval torture machine. On top of that the lady dentist who was going to operate on my tooth was burning a pair of tongs on a burner.

The tooth raider was ready to raid the ruins of my teeth with weapons and flares. She was hunting for the illegal enemies who had camped on the places they shouldn't. "Tell me when it hurts," she said.

That doesn't look right, she just told me it won't hurt and now she tells me to inform when it hurts. This sort of mix messages gives dentist the bad name. She numbed my roots and continued digging. I lay there motionless, fearing every heated tong, every needle that went close to the mouth. I tried to focus on the Chanel smell, trying to guess which one was it but that still couldn't ease out.

And that's when I realized, getting the roots cleaned for your teeth is not for the weak. The tooth raider, like the legendary Tomb Raider fights daily battle against the germs in the ruins of a great civilization.

And also the real pain starts when the numbing agent starts wearing off and in the middle of you writing an awesome post on that experience.

Ouch.

Photo credits: Patryk Sobczak, Stock Images


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lessons learnt from a Year of Writing

The past year was something of a golden period for writing for me. For those who came in late (or not following me on Facebook page), I had a big writing year.  I finished the most epic science fiction book this year titled Ragnarok. The book will be released this August or September. A graphic novel titled Agatya is set to release immediately after that. Agatya is a book about the last line of defence between Heaven and Hell. That's two fictional releases back to back. There is one more technical book coming out soon (no release planned). And finally a short film based on a Short Story from this blog. (Read Original Ginger Chai if you are in that sort of thing)
I am writing a lot in the past year and that was a shameless marketing plug for my Facebook page. With all these books and releases I had a big writing year behind me since last May. I was writing and editing most of the time. And as with any normal human experience, you learn things. Here are some of things I learned during the writing year. We all know writers are self-righteous folks who will not go down without a fight. So here is a disclaimer, there are my observation and mine only.



1. Writing is all about discipline
Writing is a profession filled with people who procrastinate a lot. There will be times when you will have no idea in your head. There will be times when all you want to do is give up, all those times you just don't. I had endless hours of staring at laptop screen. I spend hours stalking other writing friends on Facebook. But procrastination does not put food on plate. So had to push myself to do more. Write one more sentence at a time.

2. There has to be a trust between writer and publisher

The publishing process is a complex one. My lawyer always used to tell me, never run alone on a treadmill (during the startup days). You need a team to bring a product out in the market. While a writer does a creative investment on a book, a publisher backs it up with money. There could be a editor who is helping you out trim the book, there could be a marketing expert. All these people are putting their efforts in the book, trust them. Once you finish writing it is no longer your book, it is a product.
When I talked to Half Baked Beans for Ragnarok, their efforts were sincere. The editor gave a lot of suggestions, I may not agree with them but you have to understand them. For Agatya we had the artist as a stakeholder too along with Fablery. Writing a graphic novel is a collaborative process. There were discussions, there were arguments but what matters is that there was trust. As long as you trust the other person is doing what he things is best for the book, you are good.
3. There will be distractions
We live in the world where the attention span of humans is shorter than their thumb. There are weapons of mass distraction at the click of a button. Netflix releases Sense8 just when you want to finish the chapter. There will be a facebook notification or a phone call, right when you are thinking. The distractions are many and you will lose track of what you were doing. But you need to focus, bring yourself back and write. The chapter won't be as amazing as before but you will get there.

4. Self doubt is your best friend

As a writer you will feel sad about the work you do after some time. You will question it, you will burn it and you will hate it. What you feel about your own works will make the critiques sound like muppets. When I started Agatya, the story changed so much that Nethra had to give out an ultimatum.

5. There always will be a better way to do something, but draw the line somewhere

There is always a better way to write. Better way to form a story. Better way to create a character. There always will be. But writing is not a Mother Teresa charity, it is a money making profession. And as with any money making profession there is a time limit, a deadline. You have to draw the line somewhere. There should be a logical point when you say, 'NO MORE'. (If you understood that doctor who reference, hifi.)

6.  You have to be unbiased about the characters.

When writing Agatya, I came across a character who acts as a villain in the story. The acts that he does and the pleasure he drives from them were unsettling. But writing a character with prejudice does not justify his grandeur. No one in the world things he or she is evil. Everyone does things for good. So when writing characters you have to think like them objectively. Also it is not a good idea to fall in love with your own character, that shows you need therapy.

7. Deadlines are there so they can stay dead

While I was learning this lesson, the editorial team was learning patience. I kept missing deadlines after deadlines. It was not on purpose, just my chant of adding extra hours in twenty hour did not work as expected.

8. Get ready for some harsh criticism 

I learnt this lesson when my technical book hit the market. You get all sorts of emails. Some from people who enjoyed the book. Some from people who felt the book saved their life. And some of the people who judged the book and had some harsh. While you accept the later, you learn to not let the former become your pride. 

9. Nothing beats paper, not even rock 

In the course of the year, I used multitude of tools. From Celtx for script writing to final draft for novel. I used Google docs for collaborative editing and Microsoft word for formatting. But when you are stuck you pull out a pen and a paper and start writing. 

10. Keep writing 

The most important lesson I learned, and this one is a bit philosophical so bear with me. After you finish everything, you keep writing. You move on to your new project and you and your ideas out there. While I prepare for the marketing for these books, I have started ideating on the next! More on that later.

Those were the lessons learnt in past year of writing. Obviously before you leave, hop on to the Facebook page for exclusive give-aways, merchandise and news about the book.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Don't judge me by what I wear, I am awesome even in my underwear.



In olden days India was prosperous, people where happy to get one langot (a horrible undergarment) and a dhoti (a even horrible over garment) but then the British could not see it through and with that they brought ships and ships full of zippers, pant buttons and clothes. When the freedom struggle ended, the Brits left shamed and angry and to take revenge left the final nail in the coffin, the fashionable clothes.

It was a fitting revenge, the untamed world now knew shame and pants. It was a slow poison for the destruction of the greatest Indus valley civilisation. A slow depression that would bring with it, new clothes, trends and horrible accessories.

The new trends bring with it scary moments, how many times have you been asked by the barber carrying the sharp razor, "Would you like to try strawberry face cream?" he politely asked. I stared at him, eye the razor.

Every female you meet in your life, your mother, your sister and your girlfriend or your wife will point out at every waking moment of your life that you have a bad fashion sense.

'We are going for a movie,' I tried to argue.
'So what you will wear this plain old T-shirt and jeans?' she argued.
'The T-Shirt is just 6 months old,' I brought my best argument in the picture.
'You know... when I was buying you a new t shirt last week, you were busy in your phone...' she argued back.
I wanted to tell her, it is biologically impossible for a man to identify all the colours a woman can see in the world, how do I choose between the two green shirts, I was going to argue with this, but sadly there is no materialistic cure for woman's rolling eyes.
Now can someone tell me, in the four hours of our meeting, I'll be spending 3 hours in the darkness of the theater, why should I dress up for that, beats me?.

If this was confusing enough, my mom started, 'That half pant is from your college days, why are you still wearing it?'
'Its night time, and I am just going to sleep now, who cares if I even wear the pant at all...' I argued.
'You are an engineer for god-sake, please act like one...' she shouted.
'What has my degree got to do with my pants?' it was an innocent question, and no harm done.
I thought that was the end of it, but no, the next day when i came to office, the same half pant was fulfilling its destiny by wiping the floor with it. It broke my heart. My mind actually sobbed to see the loyal pants which saved by private parts for 6 years.

This fashion trend creates so much confusion, nowadays it is hard to differentiate a Male from a Female, walking on the street. Girls sporting boy-cut and boys attempting to grow and iron their hair.
I once told this problem told the wise man who drank the free coffee at the pantry with me, 'This has turned into a critical issue man...' I said.
The wise man replied, 'No way, brother...I have a simple solution for this problem.'
He silently enlightened, 'Suppose you are walking down the street and you see a girl and boy walking. Now you want to know which is which, so a simple test will prove it. All you have to do is, go near them and tell an adult joke...' he said.
I looked at him with wide eyes.
'...whoever is ashamed by that adult joke is definitely a boy...' the wise man concluded.
I now realised why he was slapped yesterday on the street.

The fashion trends change so drastically that I once saw a complete rainbow in the hair colour of a girl in just two months. When I met a girl with pink hair in the conference, it was hard to believe she was a big authority in cloud computing. I assumed she was some college student and did not take her seriously, resulting in her furious comeback,
'You know what you are...' she shouted, 'A hair-color-racist. You discriminate people based on their hair-color... you should be locked away in a prison far far away for hair crimes.'
She did not specify who will be the guard at the prison, black haired people or pink haired people, but I thought its not wise to ask.

I am not sure where this fashion policing will lead the humanity, but I am a simple man, who still believes that it does not matter what you wear, if you are awesome enough. Ok, I am a simple man with complex taste, but awesome I am.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Building a Multiverse around Hindu Mythology

For those who are aware (and many of those who are not, don't fret awareness is just temporary) I am currently busy building a multiverse. A lot of questions were asked around my multiverse and I had to answer them at one point or the other. So here is a compilation of my thoughts (and a little bit of progress) around my multiverse. It might be a tiny bit of long post BUT towards the end I am leaving you with a bonus sneak peak of my Universe, don't miss it.

If you do not know what a Multiverse is, Multiverse is basically a shared Universe where multiple characters live (not in harmony) and jump in and out of stories. For e.g., Incident happening in some story are refereed in another story sometimes via close related person or maybe through public medium. Designing a multiverse is a herculean task in itself for little little things matter in this universe. Like Harry Potter lives in his own Universe. It has its own Laws.


The Central Theme of the Multiverse

My multiverse is not magical (atleast not completely magical) and its roots are found deep into Hindu Mythology. The multiverse is exactly like the world we live in, with same physical properties, however in this universe you also meet Hindu mythological creatures like Gandharvas, Yakshas, Apsaras etc. All the story lead are Human and the stories are set in Kalyug, the time when demons rule and not God. But you find different creatures in supporting role choosing sides.

The Multiverse begins on the day Krishna dies leaving the world, taking the Dwapar-yuga with him. A lot of changes start talking place in the world and it begins with Gods and Sages who have attained Nirvana start leaving the world. A lot of changes start taking place on the planet, starting with humans kingdom being formed and subsequently countries etc.

The Death of Krishna and the opening of Kalyuga was part of my short story collection The One Who Stood Against Shiva and Other Stories.

This has been the central theme around the Multiverse, the stories are written in modern world where we meet non-humans, magical creatures hiding in plan sight. We see a lot of individualistic creatures, like a Gandharva attempting to become a post-man because he things its the most challenging task in the world. Or a Apsara, unable to go to heaven, joins a brothel where atleast her body is appreciated etc. These characters even though find their origins in Mythology, no attempt is made to change the 'original' context, features and aspiration. The multiverse spreads across space and time blending seamlessly fantasy, thriller, adventure and science fiction.

***BONUS***

Now for the bonus feature, you can go deeper into the multiverse with some stories about few characters that I have created.

The Runner

If you have never met the Runner, you probably are one of those people who live a fulfilling life. Have kids, play it safely till retirement and then wait for death. Not runner, nope. He has met Death, twice by some account, messed with Devil, raced from stone age to the future and is running forever since the beginning of time. Runner is the messenger for those who did not want their messages to be read by Government, Gods and Ghouls. Extremely resourceful with the knack of escaping the law, bullets and even death, twice so far. All his adventures begin and end with one conclusion. He is mysterious.

Agatya 

Fortune favours the bold and brave they say, but not for Agatya. The fearless man who walks the gate of hell, knocks on the doors of monsters and yet guilt ridden over a lot of wrong choices. Follow the journey of the first man born in Kalyug as he struggles to fulfil his promise made to Krishna during Mahabharata. 
The legend of Agatya is being published as a Graphic novel series by Fablery in 2015

Trisha (Also known as Halahal) 


Born out of harassment of a village feud, Trisha underwent a very deep psychological and physical change. After burning down her entire village she went ahead to turn into the greatest mercenary out there. She is a hero or a villain depending on what is larger, her mood or money.

Dharma (Also known as Death)

I personally like Dharma very much. He is part of the brother-sister family of incorruptible Dharma and his highly mischievous twin sister Karma. His character is inspired from Dharmaraj, the God of Rules in Hindu Mythology. A highly misunderstood but nevertheless incorruptible ruler of Death, goes around performing his duties against those who do not wish to die. Hates Asuras for their practice of Necromancy (bringing dead to life). Dharma has no gender and has been seen in multi-form at different points of time.

Captain Anant Mahajan- Space Pirate

Captain Anant Mahajan started on as loner who wanted to see the world. His journey into space made his age growth slower. He is also the first time-traveller in my Universe. He makes a brief cameo in my upcoming Science-fiction Novel on time travel- Ragnarok
  • Journey
  • What if
  • The last rock on which Universe Collapses (This story will be released as part of an Anthology soon)

    The Professor/ The Secretary/ Ragnarok Society

    Professor Arunachallam Shetty is a discredited scientist and is known as the man who weaponized anti-matter. He is one of the man villain in the upcoming novel- Ragnarok. His unethical experiments often come back biting him. There are more than one people who take upon the mantle. The one who leads the secret science society called Ragnarok is titled The Secretary. The Rangnarok is a secret society of scientist formed in the court of King Ashoka (based on the original society of nine unknown men). They deal with advance/ fringe science pushing the limits of human evolution. Some of their secretary are ethical while some not. 
    Ragnarok is the title of the 2015 science-fiction novel that features 3 past, present and future secretary of Ragnarok and the society itself.

    Bhairav aka Shatir

    The smartest thief on the planet, stealing things that he shouldn't. Notorious for stealing Krishna's conch towards the end of days, Bhairav is the one person you would not want to mess with.
    Welcome to my multiverse, you are here to stay.


    Photo: Green Chameleon from https://stocksnap.io


    Have you read my book yet?

    Have you read my book yet?
    An epic adventure across space and time