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About the author:
Malay A. Upadhyay grew up in the Eastern provinces of paradoxical India. It was a childhood of anomalies – a different spacetime, where he could not understand a friend’s passion for books on one hand even as he wrote for school elocution on the other. Recently back to contemporary Earth, he conceived many of the techno-economic ideas described in his book – Kalki Evian: The Ring of Khaoriphea – at Bocconi University in Milano. His Blog of a Fly subscribes to the elusively effervescent, ephemeral connection among beings across space and time. That is after all, a belief that underlies every piece of literature ever written.
What inspired you to write your book?
The futuristic ideas for Kalki Evian came to me during my time at Bocconi University in Milano. However, I am more drawn towards subtle romance in any story. That is primarily because I find it to be the most natural form of conduct between characters. It lends the strongest incentives to their actions and gifts a sense of beauty to any plot under any circumstance. It is also what makes the characters human, and the story, regardless the genre, have a soul. That is how the plot took shape.
Here is a short sample from the book:
A faltered bolt and soft gasps of quick, hushed air is all Kanha had heard on the third day, but he had heard it too often until then. Unable to let it go, he moved towards the bathroom door – a bold move that his feet seemed unconscious to. It wasn’t love in any form or manner, unless love was a moment of concern that overtook all obstructions of one’s conscience. And so he pushed the door open and walked inside, without a word. She half-looked at him and abandoned any effort or pretence. He grabbed a sponge as she put on her towel. She turned towards the window as he sat near the edge. He bent forth towards her bare back as she dug her head between her crouched knees. And with a controlled calmness in his sensitized grip, he began soaking the scarred stretch of her skin. With an uncontrolled pause in her heartbeat, she let him soothe that burning sensation in her wounds with soft jets of cool blown air that had perhaps found a direct way to enter her. The heart, unfortunately, continued to beat. Those few mystic moments desperately strove towards an unspoken alienation, ruined by the alarmingly heartfelt machinations of his rock solid resolve to help her but to stay away. How ironic was it that neither could see each other then! For each had a contradictory incentive to indulge in kindness; each had a contradictory incentive to stay detached. And so they let it become a daily routine, secure in the knowledge that she could not sense love in him and he could not sense revulsion in her.
To him, beauty lay in lack of deliberation unless deliberations were an act of innocence. So while few eyes would have bothered to strain themselves past those ugly scars, he did turn weak to think of how much such fragile exquisiteness had managed to suffer and evade. It was neither fascination nor love that hooked him but the preservation of her poise that made those occasions as worthy of his indulgence as very few other things could be.
To her, it need not have carried so many complications; it was simply a matter of much-craved care – one she had yearned for unknowingly. It was only with his first touch that she ever realized this and she could have withstood a hundred times the pain she felt from her scars to go through those passing minutes of affection. How long was it ever: a minute, two or maybe five? It did not matter. She lived out those few minutes under a pleasure that guiltily rose out of all the agony she had to bear each time the water flowed down her scars. In fact, those few minutes assured hours of sound sleep that would follow.