Payal Dhar’s A Shadow in Eternity, The Key of Chaos and The Timeless Land, describe the journey of Maya Subramaniam, a girl of thirteen from Bangalore, to Eternity—a hyper-real land that the author creates as the primary setting for her science-fiction trilogy. Under the care and tutelage of her Watcher, Noah Jarryd,
It does not take much to guess why the main protagonist of this unusual mystery novel is called Nose Uncle. But unlike most people with outsized honkers, Nose Uncle, whose real name is not disclosed, is proud of his nose and insists on being called ‘Nose Uncle’ and nothing else.
Any book beginning with four 16 year olds in a boarding school reminds you at once of the usual clichés about a detective story—stories of families, bullying teachers, secrets, unhappy classmates et al. But Sen Gupta’ story is different and refreshingly contemporary, almost necessarily so.
A Town called Dehra is an ode to the delightful town, formally known as Dehradun, and those salad times that have long since disappeared. Autobiographical in nature, this collection of memories are evocative of horse-drawn tongas, gramophones and vinyl records and singers of forgotten genres like Nelson Eddy, Gracie Fields and Arthur Tracy.
The northeast in what is unfortunately a little known facet of Indian history formed an important theatre of operations during the Second World War. But this is relatively absent from our history, despite the existence of war memorials dotting the northeast. The northeast by itself is another place—if it makes an appearance in fiction, it does in anthologies of folk tales which feature the usual stereotypes of tribal head-hunters and anthropomorphic gods.