Laxmi Hariharan is on the blog today
with a fantastic guest post that I'm sure you'll love.
There's also a
chance to win either a $15 Amazon Gift Card
or an Autographed Paperback
of The Destiny of Shaitan!!!
So don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.
“It was India which invented the bow &
arrow” my Dad blustered over the phone from Bombay, “remember Arjuna’s skill at archery? How he could
concentrate till he saw nothing else but the target and shoot it with unerring
precision time after time….” He had just returned from seeing the Hunger
Games at his local multiplex, when my weekly Sunday phone call had sparked off
this conversation; with him insisting that the cross-bow was an Indian
invention. “Uh! Dad,” I protested,
“not everything in science fiction comes from Indian mythology….” I was, as
usual, embarrassed by his well known theme of India shining and claiming
ownership of emerging trends. Yet his comment gave me pause for thought. I
began to wonder if he had a point?
|Laxmi with his bow from centuries ago!|
|Katniss in The Hunger Games|
Cut to a few years back, when, on one of my annual trips to Bombay, the
extended family had trooped off en masse to see Avatar in 3D at the brand
new IMAX theatre in Bombay. I sat next to my father enjoying his
excitement as he leaned forward to perch precariously close to the edge of the
seat, fascinated by the incredible images flashing across the cinema screen.
And as the scene with the Tree of Souls which has a neural
link to the Na’vi uniting them all as one, unfolded, he gasped in surprise
shaking his head; explaining to me later that Ayurveda the Indian system
of traditional medicine had a
very similar concept of unity. That, all living creatures are linked to
this planet and are one with Earth. The concept of blue people itself was
familiar as many Indian Gods are depicted in similar fashion.
Flying chariots, Gods teleporting at will across dimensions, powerful
weapons of war that could destroy entire armies, revolving discs & guided
swords spewing fiery sparks which would return to their owners after hitting
its target, illusions which could frighten without hurting, and the massive bow
which only Rama could string to win the heart of the beautiful Sita… Hmmm! I
had seen these scenes countless times over the years.
Amar Chitra Katha (Indian comic books)
took over where my grandmother left off, yet what chance did a teenager’s
raging hormones stand against tight bodysuits, plunging necklines, fanatical
crime fighting and passionate love stories. With the first Superman movie I was in love with caped
crusaders – Spiderman,
Legion of Superheroes (my personal favourite) Green Lantern, Wonder Woman not to mention Tarzan &Phantom and much later Conan
the Barbarian – I lived happily with them for a very long time. And then I
stumbled across the gaming world which is proud to borrow from Indian
mythology. Take for example Asura’s Wrath an action video game released February 2012.
According to the game’s producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, “Asura’s Wrath takes
elements from Hindu mythology and
blends them with science fiction. In
the game, Asura is a demigod fighting
to reclaim his daughter from the deities who kidnapped her and banished him
Or for that matter Xena the Warrior Princess’ trademark chakram which looks and acts very
similar to the famed sudarshan chakra (Lord Vishnu’s deadly weapon of choice –
a golden discus which cuts through the target and returns to owner.)
Xena's Chakra VS Lord Vishnu's Chakra
Over the years I realised that Hollywood and the West have looked to
Indian mythology for inspiration. But time has come full circle, with a brave
new breed of Indian fantasy writers seeking to carry on the tradition of the
ancient epics. Check out the brilliant Ramayana 3392 AD from New York based
Liquid comics and the seductive Devi.
Do you have more
examples of western science fiction drawing from Indian mythology? Do let me
You can leave a comment below, or
Laxmi at the following places:
Laxmi Hariharan was born in India. She lived in Singapore and Hong
Kong and is now based in London. She is inspired by Indian mythology.
writing, this chai-swigging, technophile enjoys long walks in the woods and
growing eye-catching flowers.
Her debut novel The Destiny of Shaitan is available on Amazon
set in a dystopian Bombay of the future, The Destiny of Shaitan is a
coming of age story, painted against the backdrop of a
Yudi, Tiina &
Rai embark on a mission to save the universe. Sent to retrieve the
Isthmus from the ruthless Shaitan, Tiina seeks more than the end of
the tyrant; she seeks herself. Shaitan is determined to stop them at
any cost. The three friends must learn to trust each other and
overcome their fears as they fight towards the ultimate showdown. The
universe is at stake and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's
ultimate destiny be fulfilled?
Now here's your chance to win that $15 Amazon gift card or a signed copy of The Destiny of Shaitan:
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