Thursday, July 04, 2013

Fantasy writing in Indian English

Indian English commercial fiction has been tapping somewhat into Fantasy territory for the past few years. The Immortals of Meluha, for example, belongs to the fantasy genre. Along with it have come novels such as "Govinda" which offer different varieties, that border on fantasy.
Many of these books currently seem to use the mythological sources of Mahabharatha and Ramayana.
But I believe the real sources of myth writing in Indian English should go farther back - to the myths of Ashwini Kumaras or Vritra. These are parts of more ancient memory, and can be more effective than working with the Mahabharatha.
J.R.R. Tolkien, who is considered the early father of Fantasy writing, did not use Biblical myths for his Lord of the Ring series. Instead he went to the Scandinavian and Icelandic myths. This is because they are more ancient and serve an excellent setting.
Try to recall your earliest childhood memory. For me, it was a memory of a boat, going across a small lake. Into the lake a small stream was feeding as a tiny fall.Whenever I recall it, I have a sense of loss, as well as the feeling that I am looking at it through a curtain. It has a vague, hard to catch sense.
Now, look back at our history and myths. The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha are great stories, but they are similar to our memories from, say, teenage. They are clear and easy to recall.
Go further back; in the case of our culture, the Rig Veda period, early Vedic myths appear more ancient - as if we were in our infancy then. These myths have the same vague, hard-to-catch sense, because our culture was at its infancy then. Rig Vedic hymns seem magical. The Gods of those times, Mitra, Soma, Varuna, Indra - these gods are very old. They say these gods appeared even before Indo-Iranian culture. The earliest references to them are in the Mitanni kings of West Asia, in an invocation.
I think our mythical writing and fantasy material should go back to this period - and not rest with the Mahabharatha or Shiva Purana.

1 comment:

Elanthi said...

i need ur help for shortfilm.
pls cantact this mail-