Friday, August 17, 2012

As usual, I have not been posting as often as I would have liked to - and only partly out of laziness, I'm proud to say! A big reason has been the fact that I've finally managed to roll up my sleeves and plunge back into the world of Kaal, and am working hard on the sequel to Jaal. I'm calling it 'Vikraal' which, for those of you who have never heard the word before, translates into something like 'terrifyingly immense'. About 150 pages are already written _ I'm still patting myself on the back!

This is where the story shifts gears, moving onto another plane altogether. In Jaal, the seeds of the story were planted and the basic framework of the tapestry - the size, the pattern, the colours - was laid down. Vikraal will fill in the details, as it were: there is intrigue and politics, strategy and mischief on a grand scale, individual ambition interwoven with the fates of kingdoms and empires, metaphysical evolutions, life-changing discoveries and, at last, love (the dazzling variety)and, ahem, lust (the sizzling but aesthetic variety; I'm not planning to compete with Fifty Shades of Grey, at least not in this trilogy!). I would, however, love to hear your opinions on that...

I have also, very recently, started a Facebook page for Jaal, and the attempt will be to keep in touch with all of you there more regularly.        

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Help needed!

Finally back in London after a crazy 3-week schedule in India - only to find our internet down, for SIX WHOLE DAYS! Have been dying to talk about the wonderful things that happened on the Jaal front, but what can you do when stymied by technology?! Well, at least all of you know that the three launches - House of Lords in London, Kingdom of Dreams in NCR/Delhi and Landmark, Hyderabad went off like a bomb! It was a real kick to see the book everywhere - from airports to big book-stores to hotel shops - and  to hear that it's doing so well. A friend, who also happens to be a Professor of Literature, told me how she and some colleagues were discussing the Kaal Trilogy, and concluded that if Jaal succeeds, it would herald a totally new and grippingly different genre and prose style to Indian writing. Thanks to all of you, and so many others who are picking up copies of the book and enjoying Arihant's journey 'across lands and mindscapes' (as the blurb of the book aptly announces!), the Kaal Trilogy just might end up doing exactly that.

I would like to personally thank every one who has commented on the book, have shared their thoughts and impressions with all of us. I hope more of you will get back to me with your reactions and responses - particularly now that I'm planning to gird myself and get down to writing the next book, Vikraal. Oh, and I'd particularly request those of you who have made unflattering remarks on the looks of this blog-site (with which I happen to entirely agree!) to give me some suggestions about how to make it look better! You see, I'm a technically challenged person who lives in cold terror of all such tools; even this sad excuse for a blog-site may not have existed if the publishers had not insisted that I start one! So any guidance/suggestion would be received with sincere gratitude!            

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hi Everyone!

Its been a busy month, with the launch, the interviews and the reviews all coming out.  Its been a heady time and with the book doing well, its a dream come true for me.  I hope to now really do up the blog with all the material that is now available.  There are photos, videos, interviews and other things to add to the blog and I will be doing it soon.  So I hope that all of you will be patient for a bit longer!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

In case you all are wondering what it takes to write a book like Jaal, I'll be spewing several pearls of wisdom on that in the next few days! It does take a sort of a dustbin mind in which all kinds of strange and interesting information generally accumulates!  One example of such curiosities is the news you can read in the following link.  It is nuggets such as these gleaned over the years, mixed with a liberal dose of imagination, that creates a fantasy-epic such as Jaal!!  Besides, of course, trawling through the writings and recorded wisdom of saints, philosophers  and other interesting, different and amazing  people.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

For all I know, Jaal is already rolling hot off the press at this very moment! Sitting here in London, it's impossible to keep real-time tabs even on matters of such grave import, and makes me wish I had delayed giving in to the temptation of a posting for another year or so. However, since I did, I can only sit here and chew my nails and feel like a manic depressive - wildly elated one moment, terrified out of my wits the next. After all, it's not everyday that an author's very first book takes concrete shape - and this one's taken longer than most. If I hadn't lost my way, for many long years, in the dark valleys and alleys of self-doubt and depression, I might have faced this incredibly exhilarating, heart-stoppingly scary moment twenty years ago. After all, I wrote my first novel at 15, followed by almost a dozen others before I graduated from college - any one of them could have been my first in print! When my school and college friends first heard about Jaal, the reaction I mostly got wasn't 'Wow!' or 'How amazing!'; it was simply 'What took you so long?' A rhetorical question that was as flattering as it was disconcerting - everyone seems to have expected far more from me than I expected from myself through a crucial chunk of my life!       

Jaal began, in fact, as a sort of last-ditch attempt to reclaim myself - a kind of 'singing-in-the-dark' bravado, a ritual exorcism of the darkness that had shrouded my heart and my mind through long years of self-denial, of cutting myself down to fit other people's perceptions, of the gradual crumbling of all my preconceived notions about myself, my existence, my relationships and the choices I had made. Jaal began as a sort of defence against my bewildered despair and, amazingly, metamorphosed into a vehicle for my transformation. That is why, perhaps, the only name the trilogy would ever accept, no matter how hard I tried, was ‘Kaal’ - that tricky Sanskrit word denoting both Time and Death, and resonating, at other frequencies, with the connotations of healing, renewal, rebirth. As the world of ‘Kaal’ acquired form and substance, the original concept I had started with underwent constant, often astonishing, metamorphosis, inducing as well as reflecting my own evolution. And yet, it is not a self-indulgent book - nothing like the disguised autobiographies that often take the shape of a first novel. I have put my heart and soul into it, but it is not about me at all - it spans a whole universe of concepts and ideas that define what lies beyond the self-centred, humdrum, everyday world so many of us choose to live in, for one reason or another. As the home page of the website says, Jaal is  'A heroic epic; A journey of self; A tale of inward realization of potentials; A vision of Time and Death, of healing, renewal and rebirth.' 

In my next post, I will talk a little more about the parameters that define Jaal - and the colours that make it so vibrant.