Teaser Tuesday ~ Kalki Evian ~ Malay A. Upadhyay
Out of Control Characters welcomes Malay A. Upadhyay. We’ll be talking about his book, Kalki Evian and letting you take a peek into this time travel romance novel.
About the Author:
Malay A. Upadhyay grew up in the Eastern provinces of paradoxical India. Life in the industrial town of Jamshedpur was a quiet affair dotted with crossing social stereotypes at every step. It was perhaps why a part of him changed forever when fate transpired to take him on a week-long Himalayan excursion, introducing him to the simple idea that there were things bigger than any of us, things much more worthy of our time.
After school, he shifted to Southern India to pursue Engineering, following which he joined Accenture. That was pretty much a preset career route of the generation but it was in that small window of transition from school to work that he embarked on a semi-pan India trip that would lead him to pen his first novel. Meanwhile, as the urge to diversify gradually festered, he eventually shifted to Italy to pursue his Masters.
The time at Bocconi University was a period of change. While the academic commitments remained on course, the passion for intense observations, exploration and their expression began to take shape. He was one of 25 individuals selected from around the globe to envisage the future of textile industry for the Board of Directors of Marzotto SpA. A brief stint with a consultancy followed in Dubai before he returned to Milan to finish graduation. Balancing a frantic episode of multitasking routine that virtually turned him to a robot in the winter of 2012-13, he developed his dissertation as if in a race to finish it even before some in the batch before his did. The decision to extend it as fiction was an inevitable fallout.
Malay returned to India and joined his uncle in their entrepreneurial venture in hospitality and began to follow his authorial inclination. By the end of the second year, his book – Kalki Evian: The Ring of Khaoriphea - was ready to come out.
The story of Kalki Evian is inspired as much by legend and characters in real life as the places Malay has travelled to over the years. All three, in his opinion, hold a mystery - a story - worthy of narration. Malay blogs at www.kalkievian.com as a Fly - a concept of humility that aims at 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.
Every choice we make leads to its own unique consequence. To change the consequence, therefore, one must travel back in time to change the choice. But what if such change, instead of altering our future, simply created another - one that came to exist simultaneously with our world?
This is a story of how one such moment of love led to two parallel futures; a story of how your choices have an impact far beyond the world you know; a phenomenon that we had sensed, and wished for, all along. Set in Italy, while one timeline scales a city of the future where not just people but also things like money evolve, the other cradles itself in an amalgamation of contemporary Europe with ingredients of a new age. Step by step, the story embarks on a journey in a parallel world that we all live in but rarely see.
The room was as dark as darkness could allow without losing out on charm. There were just two distinct divisions in its ambience, physically divided midway through its height. The roof and the upper half of the walls seemed stretched out into an infinite space, showcasing a starry night, populated with little sparkles beyond count but not without meaning. There lay clear patterns of constellations and distant hints of planets and moving asteroids as if the room had lifted itself up into Earth’s exosphere. And yet, it could not possibly be as the lower half of the room was submerged in soft waves of water, lit up underneath with careful streaks of turquoise light. The projection lay complete with a glimpse of the waterbed superimposed on the floor while their bed lay risen inches above the surface, in between like a hammock.
The three-dimensional theme had come alive with slight sounds of water hitting against the surfaces around even as they moved in little waves. As Friuli stepped in, ripples began to radiate out from her legs. It was all very magical and yet, all very real.
Friuli stood in a trance, unmoving. She then turned towards Qin, her lips still parted but with eyes far more at ease than they had been. He took her hand in his as he led her to the bed. He moved along to the northern end of the room while she lay down. Both her legs bent backwards and her head rested on her palm which in turn rested on the pillow. She looked at the sky, wordlessly staring at the stars – static and shooting across – while the sounds of the water filled her senses. She then murmured as if to avoid disturbing the ambience that prevailed in the room, “Thank you.”
Qin looked at her and smiled. He followed it up with an equivalent counter, “Something happened to you back there.” Friuli looked at him and turned back towards the stars. She did not really wish to talk much but then, he deserved to be answered.
“What you said about the past was absurd,” she joked, “but unfortunately, it carried traces of an inconvenient reality. The group of companies that came to nearly monopolize all digital space, through acquisitions and a very smart play of marketing that spanned many years, were led by a similarly ruthless drive of ambitions that marked perhaps the only emotion left in its bearer. Her name was Hope Leosword.”
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