Friday, May 9, 2014

Myths & Truths Behind The Ekkos Clan

The Ekkos Clan is essentially a mystery novel, where there are a lot of riddles in the form of Kubha’s stories, each leading to some prehistoric event or anecdote, all of which together tell a tale of our civilization, our culture. It deals with fanaticism in the garb of an extremist nationalism, something that gave rise to Nazism. It deals with the identity of India and the Indian civilization. It deals with the gradual evolution of hierarchies in a society and many more.
The Ekkos Clan is a work of fiction. Along with all the other elements that create a story – the characters, the turn of events, the mystery, the climax and above all the love and passion – history also plays a very important role in it. The Ekkos Clan tries to bring into life the history of an obscure age, the history that has been very controversial ever since its importance was first realized, the history that has been interpreted and misinterpreted multiple times to fit into a preconceived idea of the scholar, historian, linguist or even a dictator and a number of nationalists.
As this history has barely left behind any discernable mark it’s best left to the imaginations of the future generations, to recreate and reconstruct it in bits and pieces. But a reconstruction always has some degree of creativity in it. It takes the color of the prism through which the creator recreates it. It never looks bare and ruthless as reality. It always looks pleasant and wonderful like a poem, like a piece of art, like music. A detective, or rather someone really very boring, can always uncover the layers of creativity and dig out the bare history and find it silly. The Ekkos Clan may not be for these detectives. It’s for those who can let free their imaginations, go a few thousand years back into antiquity and realize the thrill and amazement of the poet who had composed the first ever poetry of the mankind, feel the excitement of someone who had made the first chariot, understand the inspiration that had driven a group of people to cross thousands of miles just to see new lands, make new friends and learn new things. The history is not about the wars they fought or battles they won. It’s about their culture, their language and the way of their lives that evolved gradually over thousands of years and finally comprised almost half the world. It’s the saga of a group of adventurous and wonderful people who lived on this earth more than five thousand years ago. They believed that “to see is to learn”. For them vision was akin to vidya, knowledge, wisdom. They had just one word, weid, for vision, wisdom and knowledge. Their yearning for seeing and learning severed them from their original homeland, their urheimat, and took them to unknown lands which eventually became their new homes. They never looked back. They kept on travelling for thousands of years. No one knows what finally made them stop their journey. Did they reach their final destination? Did they attain that knowledge, that vidya, for which they had travelled thousands of miles for thousands of years? Or did they get weary of their long trail? Or did they really stop their journey? Can’t it be that they are still travelling but, no one knows of it?
This is where the history opens up for imagination. This is the premise of The Ekkos Clan. This is where we can liberate the string of reasoning and let the kite of imagination fly high, but the latai, to which is wrapped the kite’s string, should be held strong on the ground. The Ekkos Clan is meant to let loose the imaginations but not the history. Like the latai, the history, should be held strong on its ground. Myths & Truths Behind The Ekkos Clan is an endeavor to provide the historical ground of The Ekkos Clan. The strings of imaginations are left to the readers.
The history we’re talking about is the history of the Indo-Europeans, the history of the Aryans and the history of their trail from their Urheimat to India. It’s the history how the original word weid, which meant “to know” and “to see” evolved into Sanskrit veda and vidya meaning knowledge, Greek oida meaning “to know”, Latin video and viso meaning “to see”, German wissen meaning “to know” and English wise, wisdom and vision.
Kubha’s stories, which form the basis of all the mysteries in The Ekkos Clan, are all about the Aryan Trail and the Rig Veda. Myths & Truths Behind The Ekkos Clan is meant to provide the historical background behind each of Kubha’s stories, some of which is provided in The Ekkos Clan too in bits and pieces. But, as mentioned in the beginning, the historical background we’re talking about is not meant purely for any academic purpose, but for a leisurely reading rather, trying to bridge the gap between the fiction and the facts on which it’s built.
I’ve relied heavily on the papers written by Michael Witzel of Harvard University, for most of the historical background. I’m indebted to him for the correspondence he exchanged with me and the time he spared to browse through some of the chapters.

As many of the topics are very controversial and still not accepted unanimously by everyone, academician and layman included, one particular line of thought has been presented all throughout, may be often in a partisan manner which fits into the thought process of The Ekkos Clan. I have followed the school of thought espoused by Witzel et al.

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