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Mythology with a dash of western adventure in ‘Fab Four: The Legend of Garuda’

Srinivasan Gopalan   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“You will get new ideas when you are on the go,” begins Srinivasan Gopalan. He speaks from experience: the engineer-turned-investment and finance professional was on a holiday in Europe when an idea to “combine mythology with a dash of western adventure” occurred to him. Aided by his life experiences, the idea resulted is his recent book Fab Four: The Legend of Garuda (Author’s Channel). Dubbed as a ‘global thriller’ set in the late 1980s, the book has four protagonists — a Bengali detective, an aspiring civil servant, a Spanish actress and an American doctor. The protagonists are from different parts of the world, and the story has a historical context.

Though based in a fictional kingdom in India, most of the book is set in Europe. One of the protagonists, a descendant of Lord Garuda, brings in the mythological element. The murder mystery traverses locations in a hunt for motley suspects and the treasure of a 16th Century explorer.

Mystery genre

Mumbai-based Srinivasan admits he was not a voracious reader but was drawn towards the mystery genre in his student days. “I am more of a travel freak and an explorer,” he adds. His love for travel can be gauged by the prologue, which talks of a fictitious conversation between Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama.

Indian mythological fiction has seen a rise in the past few years. With more writers exploring the genre, mythology with a modern twist has been proved to be a winning combination. Srinivasan affirms that mythology connects with readers in India. “No matter which era we are born in, we grow up reading mythology. But I wanted to give it a global context,” he adds, hoping that this makeover will do the trick. “Most mythology-based fiction novels have stories with an origin in India, whereas my protagonists are a mix of Indian, non-Indian and western spies.”

Book cover

Book cover   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Srinivasan also states that engaging readers’ minds through compelling characters was his aim. Sharing his writing experience, he says, “One way to make people read through your book is to make them part of a story, and if they relate to those characters or feel as part of the journey, they get instantly hooked. I feel books expand our imagination and give numerous possibilities than films where thoughts are dictated by what is going on, on the screen and you lack the flexibility to think beyond.”

Srinivasan has authored a book on Vedic astrology, which initially began as a hobby. His maternal grandfather was also into astrology. Srinivasan is already working on part II of Fab Four. Without revealing much, he says, “There is an unexpected twist at the end of Part I and the second book takes off from there.”

Fab Four: The Legend of Garuda ( ₹ 299; published by Author’s Channel) is available at leading bookstores.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 10:45:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/srinivasan-gopalan-combines-western-adventure-with-mythology-for-his-latest-work-fab-four-the-legend-of-garuda/article33625432.ece

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