Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Aryabhata Clan

“The Ekkos Clan” was set in the 90s and “The Aryabhata Clan” is set in the 2010s, almost 20 years later. It’s set against the backdrop of ISIS (the Islamic State) spreading its tentacles in India, penetrating stealthily into India’s academia, media, politics and the intellectual world. The mastermind is Shamsur Ali, a physicist from Bangladesh. He wants to create a sort of apocalypse, to destabilize India.

Someone resorts to a big deceit, in an effort to legitimizing the demolition of one of the most prominent historical structures, which a Hindu fanatic group believes has been constructed on the carcasses of an old Shiva temple and which, interestingly, is also in the hit list of the Islamic State. Afsar Fareedi, a linguistic paleontologist and the main protagonist of The Ekkos Clan, now in her mid-forties, catches the fraud. In the melee, there are three gruesome murders, including that of her father, in an attempt to eliminate all traces of a particular carpet which, Afsar discovers, has a lot hidden behind its mysterious motifs. The motifs, Afsar learns, happen to be a few millennia old. Incidentally Afsar’s father was associated with the making of the carpets with the mysterious motifs. Unknown to Afsar herself, her family seems to have preserved the carpet motifs for generations, for thousands of years, but with a heavy price.

Spanning across Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka the story involves deciphering more than thousand years old manuscripts written in the Prakrit languages of the time, innumerable cryptic symbols and ancient scripts, using digital epigraphy, paleography and linguistic paleontology. At the center is a verse composed by the maverick mathematician Aryabhata.

“The Aryabhata Clan” is also the poignant tale of the twenty year old Kubha, who does everything possible humanly, to save her country from a big disaster and protect a beautiful monument, while enduring the most inhuman ordeal of her life. It’s the story of her courage, intelligence and fortitude.

Dealing deftly with the “Good” and “Bad” religion, the story also subtly delves deep into the origin of the Indian peoples, apparently divided by languages, religions, castes and politics, but at one level, united by a unique ancestry, creating the Great Indian Race.

Praises for Sudipto Das

The Aryabhata Clan

“A very readable sequel to The Ekkos Clan. Sudipto Das is a gifted storyteller.” – Jug Suraiya, Times of India

“Intelligent narration and mindful suspense” – Deccan Chronicle

The Ekkos Clan

“A promising debut in the growing realm of modern Indian fiction” – Jug Suraiya, Times of India

“An Indian thriller inspired by Dan Brown & Harrison Ford!... fast-paced thriller, replete with murder and miraculous escapes” - Telegraph 

“If you are a history buff and a thriller aficionado, then [it] might just be the book for you” - The Hindu 

“A tale of the Indian civilization and culture... takes you on a roller coaster ride” - The New Indian Express 

“An interesting read for an afternoon... One feisty woman's partition story” - Bangalore Mirror 

“Should be read for its sheer aspiration and the intelligent handling of historical material” - The Sunday Guardian 

“Is essentially a mystery novel, but is grounded in a substantial base of research and exploration into our past” -

“Bindas writer…, a multi-talented personality” – Deccan Chronicle

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