Mattreya’s claw-like left hand sank into the vampire’s neck

Mattreya’s claw-like left hand rose again and sank deep into the vampire’s neck. There was a collective cry. Those who had been standing too close to the stage were splattered with blood.

There was a second’s silence. Everyone started to clap in unison. A monster had been destroyed. Nobody seemed to care that it was another monster that had done it.

‘This is what iMagic can do for you.

‘Destroy all the evil in your path. Conquer the universe so that nothing can come in your way,’ said Vajrin

I couldn’t quite see the connection between killing a vampire and owning a device, but it definitely left the crowd on a high note. The Vama picked up the head of the vampire by its hair and showed it to the audience. They cheered and clapped.

‘Mattreya! Mattreya! Mattreya!’

The vampire’s body lay on the stage, wilting in plain sight as blood gushed from it. Someone behind me retched. I turned around to find Dakini throwing up over her stilettos.

‘Why the hell would someone do this in a civilized party,’ she bellowed when she regained her voice. She wiped the puke from her face. ‘I think I will leave right—’

‘HOW DARE YOU DO THIS?’

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Event: Talk at Eurocon – Trends in Indian Fantasy/SF

Pinch me. I’m giving a talk at Eurocon.

I’m writing this in a train, looking out at a blur of a rainy French day. On my way to Amiens from Paris. Amiens is a small town in France, where Jules Verne was born. A town where this year’s Eurocon 2018 will be held this weekend, Europe’s biggest convention for science fiction and fantasy. I’m heading there to speak about Indian fantasy and science fiction and my work. The amazing titles that are coming out of my country, the debut authors who are experimenting with a desire to read more Indian speculative fiction.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. There is a reason. (And this should’ve been another blog, but frankly I’ve become just too busy to write blogs. Hoping that would change soon).

Earlier this year, I said bye to my home for 10 years, Bangalore and moved house and husband to Zurich. It was in the middle of February and for a month, the only things I saw outside my window were cats and snow. I also met a lot of Swiss officials for the various paperworks it takes for two people to move in their 30s. (Yet. Another. Blog)

It gave me a lot of time to reflect and work. And travel. Quietly, without social media. It’s freeing, by the way, to have a hiatus from the online world. You should try it.

I managed to set up new home, finish my third novel in Anantya Tantrist series (another blog on that too. Soon. I promise), wrote a 20 page comic about Anantya, with a fantastic artist and three short stories which are going to come up in various anthologies around the world. I also travelled two continents, to a lot of cities and attended lectures in ETH in Zurich and MIT in Boston.

As I said, there’s a lot happening so I won’t write many blogs. Or maybe I will, because there’s so much I have to share! Well, I’m talking to a bunch of Europeans at the Eurocon. Telling them stories I bring with me to their country. Our stories. Wish me luck, peeps! I’ll tell you later how it all went.

Meanwhile, leaving you with a fantastic illustration done for Eurocon. See you soon.

   

The river Ganga: Myths, folklore and stories you want to retell

On Dasashwamedh Ghat in Banaras, people jostle with each other to touch the holy waters of the river Ganga. Old people take careful steps, while younger ones jump into the river from a height, slapping, playing, and laughing. Some mutter prayers to Goddess Ganga as they take dips ritualistically amidst the flotsam of rituals, decayed flowers and pieces of bones and plastic kiss the corners of the ghats. Cows munch on garbage while tourists crane their cameras from boats, their fingers pressing the button for panicked clicks. It’s a chaotic scene that celebrates life and death in an endless cycle.

She’s a goddess who travels through three worlds

For the river Ganga, with a whopping 2,525 kilometers of length that begins in western Himalayas and continues through the Gangetic plains into Bangladesh and then the Bay of Bengal, is not just a river for Hindus in India. She’s a goddess who travels through three worlds, making her an important highway if you want to reach either Heavens or Netherworld from Earth. In Sanskrit, Ganga is also called Triloka-patha-gamini or Tripathaga, or one who travels the three worlds.

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