The Usha Narayanan!
I am in awe of her creation thus my question
"You are the queen of mythos, Usha. Have always been curious ― while writing, do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you hold the reins?"
Interesting question, Ruchira! My very first book , ‘The Madras Mangler’, started off with just five pretty girls having fun under the sun. Soon they began to demand more colour and action in their lives and I finally ended up bringing in a killer for them to fight and defeat!
If this were the case with mortal characters, imagine how much more spirit and fire you would have to deal with when your protagonists are gods reborn on earth! ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’ started off with the simple story of a prince in an asura court who finds out that he is the son of the avatar. How was this pampered youngster going to transform himself into a warrior worthy of his clan? As he focused on building his confidence and his physique in order to kill the tyrant Kaalasura, I focused on finding out more about him. I discovered that he was Kama born again and that his wife Maya was Rati herself, trying to recreate their transcendent love in a world coming under the sway of the evil Kali demon. Pradyumna had to embark on dire penances and take on deathless demons. He had to seek wisdom from Krishna and Shiva and wage battles with the devas and Yama himself. And that was not all. My research unearthed clues on his previous lives ― lives packed with action, adventure and misadventure. His exploits spilled over into a second book, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’, where I infused stories from our puranas with a huge dose of imagination. After all, mythology provides us with a gigantic canvas and limitless possibilities to portray divinity and splendour.
In my fictional universe, Pradyumna became not just a hero but a super hero, one tasked by his godly father to save the world from evil. He must discover new powers and weapons, venture into terrifying realms and bring back a message that would empower humanity to face the challenges of a sinful world. He and Maya became symbols of the transformative powers of love that can defeat darkest evil.