Indian novelists have been indulged in mythological fiction for a while now and many ones have tasted their shares of success as well. After authors like Ashwin Sanghi and Amish Tripathi became popular, it was a kind of rally by the aspirant novelists in writing mythological fiction, based on ancient Indian history, to offer to the readers. No doubt that the readers do take interest in such kind of novels, however, they love different, extraordinary and something that goes beyond the usual retelling of history. And for all those, let me say, I have brought a title that will certainly interest them. Aurijit Ganguli has come up with his debut novel The Shambala Sutras which is based on the Kingdom of Shambala, a place that finds mentions in many scriptures. Moreover, there are many aspects in the novel that goes beyond merely a repackaging of history and that is what excites me as a critical reader.
This is not a final review of the book and that is why I will only take you to a preview tour of the novel. Aurijit’s work features twists planned in a way that the novel relates the present with the past, with some rather unexpected links that would certainly surprise you in more than many ways, and offers what the readers call in general terms awe-inspiring moments in fiction. Believe me, you will be more than surprised and more than – Aurijit Ganguli has done well as an author in his very debut work.
The central characters in the novel begin their journey from the United States of America and reach India in search of the mysterious and divine Sanjeevani Booti mentioned in Ramayana. However, the search leads to many other revelations and they somehow busy themselves with the search of mythical Kingdom of Shambala, a place revered in Buddhist scriptures as well as important with its connection to Dashavataram, relating to Hinduism. What is the connection between Shambala and India? What is the connection between Shambala and Bhagwan Vishnu? Will the researchers ever find it? What will be revealed to them?
Aurijit’s The Shambala Sutras also indicates, in a way, that emerging novelists are looking beyond merely following their ‘heroes’ and the masters of respective genres. It is satisfying to me and I suppose many other critical and regular readers of fiction by Indian novelists that many new authors are coming up with their original ideas and not with a dignified copy of others. This is something that every reader of Indian fiction, who reads seriously, would appreciate.
A book review is on its way and you will read it very soon. One of our readers will get into the novel by Mr Ganguli and bring to you the pros and cons of his debut work. For a preview, I can only assure you that you will find this novel interesting, worth your time and exciting as well. For critical readers and students of literature who are curious about what’s going on in Indian English fiction, Aurijit’s work offers a clear picture of the contemporary philosophy – do something new with limited resources.
All the best!
by a contributor for the preview desk, Indian Book Critics