Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Destiny of Shaitan - Bombay/ London

Hi Everyone,
My name is Laxmi Hairharan and I am the author of kindle bestseller The Destiny of Shaitan (#1 Chronicle of the Three.) This YA, epic fantasy novel is a delicious blend of gods & humans, offering a glimpse into your own power. Partially set in a futuristic Bombay, this coming of age story is painted against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world.

Synopsis: When Tiina accompanies Yudi on a mission to save the universe from the ruthless Shaitan, she seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Driven by greed and fear for his own survival, Shaitan bulldozes his way through the galaxy, destroying everything in his path. Tiina wants Yudi to destroy Shaitan, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Shaitan being killed by his son. But she finds that Yudi is hesitant to do so. The final showdown between Tiina, Yudi, and Shaitan has unexpected consequences, for Shaitan will do anything in his power to win the fight, even kill Tiina. The stakes are high and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled? Get your own copy of the novel here

I am really pleased to be here on the Goddess Fish blog, and I wanted to tell you a little more about the origins of my novel. I grew up in the chaotic, bustling, megapolis that is Bombay. The city formerly known as Bombay itself does not exist anymore, for it is now Mumbai. Hence Bombay itself is a mythical city. Packed to its seams with almost twenty million souls, it is the most alive city on this planet, perhaps.

Festival of Ganesh - the elephant headed God, Bombay
When in Bombay, all my eight senses pop open—assaulted as I am by the vibrant colours, overwhelming noise, unable to move without jostling into someone else or a car, stuck in traffic inhaling the fumes, hearing the latest Bollywood hit song blaring from the radio of the taxi; I love it and I hate it. I have a paradoxical relationship with the city of my birth. It squeezes the words out of me, forced as I am to put pen to paper for there is no other way to describe how I feel when I am here. Yet I am left longing for just a moment’s silence, a smooth-piece-of-quiet which I can sink into and rest my conflicted soul. All I had to do was take what I see of this city in my mind’s eye and transpose it into a future. Where will this extreme city be, almost thousand years later in the year 3000?

Scifi meets Bollywood : Ra.One, one of my fave movies

The crowded, dirty, dusty, cosmopolitan Bombay of today may be on a real path to a desolate, dystopian landscape by the year 3000 if its citizens keep up their current rate of abuse of the environment. It was simple then to fast forward to 3017 and Tiina, Yudi and Rai are racing to save the world from an evil Shaitan. The scenes of Rai’s growing up years are set in a futuristic Bombay. It is a gritty place where Rai is left when his mother, one of Shaitan’s mistresses, escapes to give birth to him. He remains in the world of sleaze, sex, and drug abuse until Mimir, the wise master comes to him and pulls him out. Java—Tiina’s adopted home planet or Pluto—Yudi’s adopted planet, these other settings are steadily given more merit as being fantastic while the audience spends time with Rai in Bombay which is so grounded in grime.

Futuristic Bombay - very different from the city where I grew up

Compared to the lush planet of Java, Bombay and Earth are disgusting, and in some cases, downright horrific. The cool, abundant environment of Java, is inspired by London—the greenest city on this planet, and a polar opposite to the city of my growing up years. It is here—in the wide, woodlands near my home where I walk off any lingering tendrils of wanderlust, while trying to capture forever the fragrance of eye-catching flowers that I grow in my back garden—that I found my voice. The healing, blooms lavish their love, closing into the cracks of discontent, rooting me into calling this place home. And having anchored myself, I find I can now write. The words pour out of every orifice, the spoken and the written, through my every expression.

London: the calm after the storm

Camden Lock: near my house in London

It’s a special year too for my adopted city. London is physically at the centre of the universe and this year it spiritually is at the eye of the storm too. The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, followed by some wonderful movies I saw at the London Indian Film Festival — which I also helped organise—and the Olympics. I find a rush of love for my adopted metropolis overwhelm me; even as I continue to draw inspiration from Indian mythology, which features some very strong feminine role models and goddesses.
The Queen's Jubilee, 2012, London
Eye-catching flowers in my back garden
My fave pink sneakers... miles to go before I sleep

Tiina is inspired by the goddess Uma, who is also the divine mother, the supreme goddess of power. She is divine life energy (or Shakti), stronger than any other god. Yudi is inspired by Yudhishtra. In Indian mythology, he is the righteous one, the one who always speaks the truth, showing unflinching adherence to fulfilling one's moral duty. But, my favourite character in The Destiny of Shaitan is Artemis; she was only an in-animate spaceship, but from the moment I gave her a feminine point of view and had her develop a crush, and a kind of hero-worship for Tiina, everything changed. The dynamics between the two are fascinating. Tiina is such a strong character and there is a very masculine side to her. This automatically resonates with Artemis.

Tiina in The Destiny of Shaitan: 
Inspired by the divine mother goddess UMA 

In #2 Chronicle of the Three, titled Return to Seven Islands, I plan to delve deeper into the psyche of Tiina, and her adventures with Artemis. I stay in the world I have created, in the futuristic galaxy of ten planets, but I zoom into futuristic Bombay, setting this novel entirely on the original seven islands which Bombay is built on. I hope you will enjoy this book too which releases next spring (Holi 2013.)

Coming soon: Return to Seven Islands, #2 Chronice of the Three

Holi : the joyous festival of colours

That's me and Naman - my husband

My first born

The Destiny of Shaitan is available on Amazon The critics say: 
"A delicious blend of gods and humans, sacred and profane; an enlightening spiritual journey entertainingly disguised as Sci-Fi. It will take you on a gripping ride, catapulting you into a world that gives you more than a glimpse of your own power and potential. Let this author show you where we can all be headed when we get out of our heads and limitations and into a richer and deeper place, the expansive world of imagination." - Pippa Merivale, Author of Rescued by Angels & Harps of Gold, pioneer Colour Therapy, Founder Metatronic Healing System.

"Rarely is the Indian view of the world set in the far future, the land of science fiction, which almost exclusively seems to be the domain of the Western World. How refreshing it therefore is to read Laxmi Hariharan's coming of age drama partially set in a post-apocalyptic Bombay. A must read!!" - Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Creative & Executive Director, London Indian Film Festival.

“…The writing is almost poetic which makes the battle scenes all the more gripping which made me think of the baptism scene in the Godfather. So much murder, so much violence and blood and yet there was such purity about those few clips…A definite must-read for anyone who is in the mood for something different.” Ravina Andrea Kurian, Mommy Adventures with Ravina.

You can also reach me- Laxmi Hariharan - here, I'd love to hear from you.
Twitter at @laxmi

If you like my writing, and would like to be profiled on my blog as part of my Reader Avatars series, then please do email me:
Thank you everyone, I enjoyed writing these posts, I hope you liked reading them too :) Thank you Goddess Fish for providing this great platform for meeting kindred souls!
- Laxmi
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Catherine Lee said...

I love the pink sneakers!

catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

city said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.