Monday, 15 May 2017

Interview : R. Durgadoss

In Conversation with R. Durgadoss author of "The Indus Challenge"

1.      How did you jumped on mythology? What provoked you to write about it?

Life is a marathon, not a 100 meter race. But in the marathon we adjust for the inabilities in some portion of the race in the next portion. In 100 meter race we cannot do that. Life is like a marathon race. We should not get rattled when we see a setback in our life. Like a warrior, we must not worry of losing wars but we must take care that our spirit is not broken.

In order to drive this message, I wanted to use the warriors as my hero. I started with mythological heroes but as I go further I will be hobnobbing with the historical warriors. Hence the navigation started from mythology and now moving towards history. 

2.         Who are your favorite legends of mythology and why?

My favorite legends of mythology are some of the unsung heroes.

Karna of Mahabharat: His mother denounced him, he was socially insulted for not belonging to “Kshatriya Varna”, and he had to fight for his friend against his own brothers.
For no fault of him, he was cursed, yet he did not hesitate to give back what he got. When you have plenty, if you give donations, that is not great. But when he did not have anything, even during his death in the Warfield, he gave what he had.
He is an underdog and unsung hero in my opinion.He is the legend of mythology.

Hanuman of Ramayana:Selfless service is in the next name for Hanuman. He never expected anything, when he was serving Lord Ram. Such souls are rare to find. Indeed he is also my legend of mythology.

3.      Is it hard or easy to correct to Indian readers to their roots with the help of a mythological book?

India is one of the longest unceasing/unbroken civilizations since ages. She synthesized the contradictions and learnt to live with diversity.

Therefore the cultural DNA of India is so deep-rooted, it is easy to carry the mythology to the Indian mass easily, even if they belong to religions other than Hinduism.

4.      How was your experience while penning this? Different from your other books? Or some sentiments?

My first book was a business fiction about how a failed CEO of a bank gets back from the brink of bankruptcy to the basin of wisdom. It was more of awakening/motivational theme.
The second book “The shackles of the warrior” was set in the Mahabharata era. It addressed how an oppressed boy of a lower caste went on to become a great warrior. It was more of ill treatment, Love, betrayal and loyalty.

The third book, the current one - The Indus Challenge is a cocktail of mythology and history set in the era of Alexander –Chanakya - Chandragupta. It revolves around the de-coding of ancient secrets, grand search across Bharat with vital clues and sacrifice for the nation.

Here the sentiments were focused on de-coding the difficult Harappan language and ancient puzzle driven Sanskrit Slogas. It was a totally different sentiment.

The fourth one I am currently working on “The conquest of the East”[The Regal Crown Returns] is about sea piracy, cross-country espionage and a coup to overthrow Kings.

Each book focuses on different themes and therefore the sentiments are different

5.      What you did to maintain freshness in your book? Any special incident? Any special part from your book which makes you happy or sad?

The periods are different in each book. The themes are different. For example in one book it was sea piracy, in another it was guerilla war tactics and so on.

If the genre is the same, for example when one addresses only ‘modern love story’, there will be a genre fatigue.

My book focuses on different themes each time thereby the genre fatigue is cut down.
In ‘The Indus Challenge’, the hero Rudra gets killed by poison. But more than his death, the fact that the most patriotic warrior was declared as a ‘traitor’ posthumously.

But, when the court was coming to the conclusion that ‘Rudra’, the most patriotic warrior was a traitor, tears rolled from my eyes on its own.


I am thankful to the author for this wonderful conversation.
You can check the Guestpost and Spotlight for more details of this book and the author.

Guest Post by R Durgadoss

R. Durgadoss author of "The Indus Challenge" talks about his journey of this book...

Share with us your journey of researching for the background of the book:

Research phase is the most interesting phase in the journey of the author. In a historical thriller, first the period and then the plot has to be frozen. Once it is done, then starts the naming of the characters and the chapterisation.

Research phase is on, once prior to the plot design stage and again just before the chapterisation phase, since the author has to picturise the period – in terms of the culture, names, language etc…
Let us look at the research phase prior to the plot finalization phase. In this stage, the author has to identify the mysteries in that era. When history is a mystery, the author can fill in the gaps with his creative spin.

In the making of ‘The Indus Challenge’, the following unresolved questions/mysteries served as the foundation for the research criteria.

Unresolved questions/mysteries identified by the author during the making of “The Indus Challenge”
What are the questions that arose:

-          Where do, Chiranjivi stated in mythology, live? In what form? Who can sight them? When will they all come together? It is said in the mythologies that these Chiranjivis will all come together at the time of birth of Kalki in a village called Sambala Village on the ThamiraBarani River. But till then where do they live? Many people have claimed to have sighted some of the Chiranjivis.

-          Amrit (Nector) fell in four cities of Bharat. Can we access the Amrit today? Where is it hidden?

-          Why can’t we initiate Brahmastra (Master of all missiles) by the invoking mantra viz., Gayathri Mantra (as we all know the Gayathri mantra)? Who can initiate Brahmastra today? How? Are there any secret passwords for that? Is nuclear missile same as of Brahmastra?

More Questions during the era of Alexander the Great, Chandragupta Era (340 – 300BC)

-          Alexander the Great’s horse was his closest companion. Did the horse bring him to India? Did the horse have some previous Janmic connections with Ancient Bharat?

-          Did Alexander the Great came only with territorial ambition? Or the teachings of Aristotle such as ‘Ambrosia’ (Amrit/Nectar) (They call Ambrosa in Greek) & Missiles influenced him to reach India? Was there any hidden agenda for his trip?

-          When the soldiers of Alexander saw the image of Krishna carried by the soldiers of King Porus, they shouted ‘HeraklesHerakles’ – Krishna is referred as Herakles by historians. Are there similarities between Greek mythology and Indian mythology?

-          Did Alexander the great meet Chandragupta/Chanakya?

-          Where do the clues to Amrit/Brahmastra and various ancient sastras that resemble modern sciences lie in India today? Can we unlock them?

-          Who are the secret nine unknown men of the Emperor Ashoka era? When will their lineage come out in open? What clues they have?

-          Why the Harappah languages are not yet decoded? Do their symbols convey a coherent meaning? Is it a language or one off symbols?

-          How come Ramsethu stores the highest thorium (30% of global reserves) (Alternate for Uranium based Nuclear reactors) reserves – was it legacy of Lord Ram or was it a Co-incidence?

-          How come Chandragupta, an unknown boy, setup a big Empire? Who guided/financed him apart from AcharyaChanakya?

-          Did Chandragupta marry a Greek Princess?

-          Why did Chandragupta employed the first lady Greek commandos?

-          Why did AcharyaChanakya commit suicide after living a colorful life?

-          Was there any underground caves beneath mount Kailash linking it to key places of ancient Bharath?

The Making of ‘The Indus challenge’ begins …

The questions on the mysteries of Bharat go on. These questions bothered the author. When history is a mystery – it is a creator’s delight.

The research phase focused on extracting literature around these areas. Thus the author stepped in to link the seemingly unconnected dots with the help of the protagonist ‘Rudra’ of The Indus Challenge.‘Rudra’, the hero was born to answer these in his birth.

The Journey of ‘The Indus Challenge’ thus Begins…  with this research design.


You can check the Spotlight for more details of this book.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Book Review : The Flame of Anahata – Love conquers all by Saranya Umakanthan

Book: The Flame of Anahata – Love conquers all

Author: Saranya Umakanthan

Genre: Fiction (Mythology)

Publisher: General Press

Pages: 240

Price: 295

“They turned to see his tears of love wiping away her blood of agony…”
Diya throws Suraj’s proposal back in his face, leaving him broken-hearted. Why would she do so when she loved him desperately?

Suraj finds his Guruji unconscious beside a cave clutching the warrior Indrajith’s diary. His heart-rending love story then unfolds. Being trapped in a web of emotions, Indrajith endured the pain of his lost love, hurting himself and trampled Deepali’s hope for his adopted brother… Who was he?

Sealed for centuries and holding the Mann-Parivarthana astra, the cave is besieged by evil now. But all attempts to unlock it go futile. Faced with baffling hints, Suraj’s intelligence is sorely tested. What is the potent power required to break through that Paanch-Dost-Gupha?


Will the fire of love ever flicker in the hearts of Diya and Suraj?

I wasn’t sure before picking this book for review because this is the second book in the trilogy and my fears were proved right. Well this book is more of a standalone if one totally neglects the fact that this is a series which is a great sign but I still hope that I had read it in a proper manner. Nevertheless, the book is a mythological fiction set in different dimensions and that give this book a little depth and wide aura of beauty.

There was a fine balance of two world giving this book a great flavor. The main highlight of the book is its easy and wavy language. With such dramatic topic in show one needs to go easy with the other things.

The first impression of the book is great. The blurb is highly impressive, the name is intriguing and the cover is attractive. It was a nice mixture.

At few places I felt that the novel became a bit fast paced. There were a lot of sub-plots and I needed time to grasp them. The good part is the characterizations, its highly diverse. The twists and turns were timely and tickled me to the core. I was highly indulged in the book because of its fine narration and an out of the box concept.

The good thing is that with so much going on in the story there is no space left for any sort of confusion. The execution of the book was amazing. I felt that this book had a right amount of everything, thrill, love, everything.

About the author:

Saranya Umakanthan is a software engineer by profession and a two-time university topper. An avid reader, she enjoys playing with words. She loves coffee, books and online shopping. Nothing brings her more contentment than seeing a reader enjoying her book. The fragrance and texture of paperback novels inspire her and she hangs out at bookstores frequently.

Buy the book:

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Book Review : Jim Morgan and The Seven Sins by Bharat Madan

Book: Jim Morgan and the Seven Sins

Author: Bharat Madan

Genre: Fiction (Suspense)

Publisher: NotionPress

Pages: 304

Price: 299


A quest to identify seven deadly sins
A mystery behind seven keys that were passed to seven men
A deadly race against time to seek atonement
On the outskirts of New York City, Jim Morgan, an international bestselling author learns through God that he had committed seven sins in his previous life. Clues lie in the six novels he has written, that would lead him to the mystery. But the novels won't reveal everything to him. With seven days on hand, he must walk in the direction that faith leads him in, to reach the lost chamber of Seven Planets. Unless Morgan understands the secret behind his past life and the sins he committed, his chance to live will be lost forever.


“Jim Morgan and the Seven sins” has a very different story line. Its dark, mysterious and very well thought of. I was very keen to read this particular book because the plot is very fresh.
When I dived in the book I was wondering how the story would move, luckily the action starts in the first few pages itself and the great images of mystery and drama emerges. It was nice to read something like that. I love stories which have a higher power that guides you or rules the scenario. Everything just glorifies by that factor.

I didn’t like the main character very much because he was just not doing justice to his persona. He was more into boasting about himself rather than focusing on the happenings. Also I think that the story is a little dizzy somewhere in the middle. I can accept that behavior in the starting of the book because at that time there is a lot to explain and connect with but that is unacceptable in the middle because it is the high point.

The book follows the trend of the beginning and it is extremely slow and not to the point. The main idea, i.e., the sins are not presented in a lavish manner. It was like one sin is mentioned in a highly impressive manner and the other is not even showcased in a confined and neat way.

What is great in the book are the side characters, some of them were amazing and it was nice to see them in action. The problem was that only Jim seemed to be the main character and nobody else was there for an ample amount of time. So it was hard to connect with them majorly and as so many characters were coming from time to time it was not easy to think about Jim and his mindset.

But I loved the scenario. I loved the time travel so much that I waited for it so badly. And because of that particular reason I was not able to put the book down. There were very strong connections, very well executed turns and a very sharp reflexes.

The main problem in the book arrives is the narration and so many characters that comes in play from the very start. It became a little confusing and out of the box thing. Maybe it was because of a glitch in narration or execution of the tale.

But if I neglect that then there was no issue at any place and my reading experience of the book was amazing. The book is not small still I managed to read it quickly because the interest quotient was so high, I was so desperate to know the mystery that sometimes I used to jump ahead a bit to get to know what’s next.

It was a balanced novel for me which entertained me at right places in right amounts. So, it was a good pick.


  • “I was too good with words; he was too good with response.”


I can easily recommend this book to people who read Indian authors and are bored from romance and stupid thrillers. Jim Morgan has something different.

About the author:

Bharat Madan is an author, motivational speaker and a personality developer. He has been a meritorious student through his time at college and holds an MBA from Amity University. He received the prestigious Shree Baljit Shastri Award and Best All Round Student Award, the highest awards at his university. His journey as a writer began after he finished his education. His first piece of fiction, the story of a college boy over three years, was set aside in favour of his decision to make a debut with a more mature and conceptually unique novel.

As a motivational speaker, he has inspired thousands of students in reputed schools in Jaipur. Through his writing and speaking skills, Bharat endeavours to add value to the lives of students and make their personalities forces to be reckoned with. After pressing demands from his listeners, Bharat started a Youtube Channel called “Bharat Madan” to share his ideas through the digital platform. He derives inspiration from his mother who raised him single-handedly after he lost his father at a young age.

Buy the book:

Monday, 1 May 2017

Book Review : The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal

Book: The Four Patriots

Author: Sumit Agarwal

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Pages: 296

Price: 250


Have you ever fallen victim to the system? Felt humiliated and helpless? Have you fought back?
Meet four such patriots: Varun, an NRI software engineer; Salman, CEO of Coffee Moments; Raghav, a virtuous politician and Aditya, an altruistic businessman.
Fate brings these four lives together at a crossroads, pushing these unlikely heroes out of their comfort zones to fight a seemingly unstoppable evil force which wants to hold our country captive. The four companions, who have always had each other’s back, will now come face-to-face with the biggest challenge of their lives—a labyrinthine plot rife with perilous twists and wicked turns. With the nation’s future at stake, will they be able to destroy the Chakravyuh intricately laid down by the enemies of India? Will they come out of it alive? 

A story about friendship, faith and courage, replete with romance and patriotism, The Four Patriots is a racy, contemporary thriller sure to give you goose bumps. Pick this book if you do not believe ‘is desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta’; and if you think all is not lost, this is a must-read!


It is hard to say no to a book when you can hear bells of patriotism. But it is harmful to contemplate the main idea before diving in the book yourself. The blurb of the book is interesting, very refreshing and shows you a path to high drama and complexity. The cover of the book is ravishing and stylish. But whenever the hopes are high things tend to fall badly but not in this case.

If a reader needs to pick the book then “The Four Patriots” excel in all the three spheres, a great blurb, an interesting name and a beautiful cover.

The starting of the book is wonderful in all respects. It was intriguing to find out the base of something so big. I mainly loved the tale of Raghav and Salman and how they got so infuriated by everything that happened with them. Varun was a different case altogether. His side of the story was funny from the very start.

So the author did the best thing to keep a reader busy with the basic introductions in a very different way, making the story gripping with every change it inspected. Stories of main leads were different very different from each other. There was a love affair that didn’t succeed; a marriage that wasn’t doing well, a society that needed a change and an office that didn’t promote good work.

The Book 1 ended on a very high note. It was so interesting, so meaningful and it had many moments that gave me Goosebumps. There was no loose end; there were no characters that were added just for the sake of filling places. I didn’t like all the ladies in the book because they had no part to play anywhere, any major part. So it was like a Bollywood movie where the actress doesn’t have even half part as the actor. Disappointing.

I wasn’t expecting what I read in the Book 2. It was like a roller coaster ride in the book 2, so much of action, so much of emotions that I was almost drained after I completed 200 pages. There were so many things happening that I needed a good break. A lot of action is not bad but extreme action is also not very good. I think as compared to part 1 part 2 was over ambitious.

Also I felt that the protagonists were favored way too much. I don’t like reading a very goody good kind of book. There was a strong need of more action from the antagonists. It was evident that they were there no doubt but they were lazy characters, not in their proper form, in dialogues or in action. They posed problems but not of sort which can blow one’s mind. So that was a negative point for me.

The characters were more enhanced in the second part. A great thing was that the story moved in the same way as it moved in part 1. Every character had a story, had a part to play. The author kept everything very clean and organized by giving chance to every character at a proper time. By that the story wasn’t confusing even for a second. But I do got a little confused by so many names in the start; I had to re-read few pages of everyone’s life to keep my mind clear about who was who.

The writing style of the author is good, not great not average. Narration was very smooth, dialogues were not very powerful but they left an impact when a good turn supported them.

All in all the book was a good read and it was a quick read too though it was good 290 pages long and it was because of its gripping story.


This is a must read if you like the movie Nayak and get inspired by the action and adventures. This book will give you an equal high.


  • “A love confessed and lost is half as burdensome as a love one could never show.”
  • “It is better to at least try your hand at something you fancy rather than just watch and appreciate others do it.”

About the Author:

A graduate from IIT Kanpur, Sumit Agarwal is a successful businessman. He is also a music composer, lyricist, singer, actor and writer. His music videos can be viewed on his YouTube channel, or on his website 

Sumit runs an NGO, Prerna ( Among its many social welfare initiatives, the NGO has adopted ten government primary schools, in order to facilitate quality education. He is also the founder of Kasauti, a consortium of NGOs formed to aid clean and answerable politics.

Connect with the author:

Facebook: sumitsvoice
Twitter: sumitagarwal17

Buy the book:

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