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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Author Interview : Malay Upadhyay, author of ‘Kalki Evian : The Ring of Khaoriphea' (Part 1)

Malay Upadhyay
Read up, the first part of the much delayed Interview with Malay Upadhayay (Part 1), author of Kalki Evian : The Ring of Khaoriphea’. The central idea of the story is reflected well in his interview,  and that is 'we must all break free from our presumptions of time and space. So, whatever and however it is, it is okay.' So, let us hope for that.
In this part, he tells us how the book came about, the kind of research which, went into the making of this book, the similarities between the main characters and the lives today, whether his characters or the storyline took precedence, what the most challenging part of writing this book was, and a lot more in the second part, Folks...

Could you describe the journey of ‘Kalki Evian : The Ring of Khaoriphea’? How did it begin? What kind of research was put into it?


Kalki Evian’s story is not entirely his own, given the very idea of a connected species and universe engaged in continuous chain of cause and effect. His journey involves time travel. Therefore, to narrate it, one must first understand the past that influenced it to begin with. While one may expect an immediate focus on the legend of Kalki, it is important to know that he is, at this point of time, just another human.


The concept behind the ‘The Ring of Khaoriphea’ originally comes from my Masters dissertation at Bocconi University, Milan. At the time of its conception, I was already planning the Kalki Evian series but on more spiritual-cum-social grounds. The idea of techno-economic evolution lent excellent contemporary structure to it.


The research for the book and thesis went in tandem initially. Given the curricular requirements of that time, there were instances when I was working simultaneously on three projects. Soon enough, I had enough data to make a book of its own, and organizing it became a bigger issue. But then, it’s an ongoing process. One has to stay on the lookout for information, and allow time to do its work.


How would you relate the lives of Qin or Kanha Evian or Friuli or Fridgeon to the lives today? Any similarities?

All lives are exceedingly similar to ones we see around today. Qin is the determined prodigy who has learnt to ‘control the drama’. Kanha Evian, before he becomes Qin, is aggressive and almost rebellious in questioning the foundations of what he sees around. Of course, it is towards the end of Book 1 that we find out who Qin and Kanha Evian really are. 

Friuli, meanwhile, is a been-there-done-that woman who has matured beyond the traps of cluelessness and fickle needs. Fridgeon is gullible, shifting from naive innocence to brutal revenge without much thought to the larger picture.

There are others too, of course, including probably the two most important characters of the story. But for now, they remain in the backdrop.

How do you think your book is different from everyone else’s?

Every story written with genuine intent and heart is unique, for they are inspired from life experiences and perceptions. And each of us differs on those two points.

Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence?

Difficult to say. The storyline takes precedence in the main novel, of course. But it is the characters that truly shape the plot, since the story and writing revolves heavily around the psyche and experiences of each character.
That is why they take precedence in all the short stories I have written, and one gets to know more about them, their past and their mentality.

What was the most challenging part of writing this book?

Explaining the Fish Model of growing and sharing a renewable form of money, without making things too academic. 

It was vital to explain why society would change the way it could but equally important to ensure the story retains its flow. To balance this was both challenging and fun.

You can Read the Review, right here

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