Tech Manager pens Curse of Surya
By Resmi Jaimon
When Dev Prasad, an IT professional from Bangalore, went on a vacation to North India in 2005 he did not foresee the longer journey ahead. During the trip, he came across various legends associated with the places he visited and realized that they were not very well known. Thus started his 5 year old journey of writing ‘KRISHNA: A Journey Through the Lands & Legends of Krishna’
The first book was a travelogue giving information about these places of religious importance juxtaposed with their associated legends. It was longlisted for the Vodafone Crossword Award. His second book, Pitch It! was a bestseller and won the Second Prize for the prestigious ISTD Book Award. It was also nominated for the Tata Literature Live! Business
Techgoss had first interviewed Dev Prasad in 2011 after his first book. We catch up with him after the release of his new book ‘The Curse of Surya’
Techgoss (TG): Tell us about your new book, 'The Curse of Surya.'
Dev Prasad (DP): “The Curse of Surya” is a modern day crime thriller that has a backdrop of Indian History and Religion. It is a very fast paced novel where all the events occur in just 40 hours. It is about a hunt for a very precious and invaluable relic that has been lost since 5,000 years. The story starts with the protagonists coming from Singapore and England to Agra. From there, the action shifts to various parts across India, including the Arabian Sea!
TG: How did you come up with such a story line?
DP:When I wrote my debut Book, a Spiritual Travelogue titled “KRISHNA: A Journey Through the Lands and legends of Krishna”, I travelled across the country and visited numerous Temples, Sarovars, Ghats and Kunds. On many occasions, my questions remained unanswered.
There was a corridor connecting Krishna Janmasthan Temple with a Mosque built by Aurangzeb. Why was this corridor built and where was this leading to?
Was Kansa Kila really the palace where Emperor Kansa stayed?
Was the Dwarkadhish Temple in Bet Dwarka Island the former residence of Lord Krishna?
Did a buried city lie below the Arabian Sea, off the Dwarka coast?
And finally, the billion dollar question - was Shyamantaka Gem, the biggest and most priceless jewel in the world, really lost forever? Was it hidden in Dwarka, or Mathura or stolen by the Mughal kings and taken to Afghanistan? Or was it the same Kohinoor diamond taken away by the British and currently in a museum in UK?
These thoughts continued to haunt me not only when I travelled to these places but even after my first Book was published. It was then that I decided to write a fiction, trying to knit together all these mysterious places and unanswered thoughts. This is how “The Curse of Surya” was born.
TG: Did writing 'The Curse of Surya' involve a lot of research on mythology?
DP: I had done five years of extensive research for my earlier Book “KRISHNA: A Journey Through the Lands & Legends of Krishna” and hat really helped me.
It involved visiting more than hundred places across the states of UP, Gujarat and Haryana. I had made multiple trips to Brij Bhoomi in Uttar Pradesh (comprising of Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Mahavan, Baldeo, Raval, Barsana, Nandagaon, Madhuvan, Talvan, etc) and Somnath, Prabhas Patan, Dwarka and Bet Dwarka in Gujarat and Kurukshetra in Haryana. I had read many Scriptures, spoken to many local guides and priests and visited countless Temples, Sarovars, Kunds and Ghats. All these came in handy for making the places and the legends come alive in “The Curse of Surya”. My stint in Singapore many years ago helped me to portray Singapore in an authentic manner.
TG: What are the challenges you faced while writing 'The Curse of Surya?'
DP: My first biggest challenge was to steer away from all religious controversies. That can easily happen when you are writing a Book that involves Indian History and Religion. For example, while describing events happening in Krishna Janmasthan Temple and an adjacent Mosque.
Similarly, when you are describing hotly debated topics, like the buried city of Dwarka under the Arabian Sea or the whereabouts of the Shyamantaka Gem.
When you are describing events that occurred 5,000 years ago, it can be a challenge to draw a line between fact and fiction.
TG: What are you working on next?
DP: The next project is still in conceptualization. It will definitely be another crime thriller involving History and Religion.
Maybe Christianity this time…………
Techgoss Note: Resmi Jaimon is a Kerala based freelance writer, who is now keen on exploring visual media through talk shows, food and travel shows. More about her at her website