We all love going on trips as soon as holiday season kicks in, don’t we? But have you ever been on a journey that ended with you travelling to another plane of reality, maybe one from the books you’ve read? Sounds impossible, doesn’t it?
Well what if we told you this happened?
Get ready for the gripping story of young Chintamani Dev Gupta who while on a birding camp is magically transported to an unknown world of improbable creatures. Things get stranger still when he meets the master of illusions, Ghatotkacha and his mother, the demoness Hidimba.
Read on to know what happens next!
I am Chintamani Dev Gupta, male, 4’11”, thirteen years of age. Almost fourteen. It won’t surprise anyone to know that my name was, at an early and vulnerable age, shortened to Chintu, then mutated to Chintu Pintu. It’s ignominy to have a name like Chintu Pintu, but it’s a cross I’ve learnt to bear. I feel like telling them—the sneerers—‘Man, you don’t know where I’ve been, you don’t know what I’ve seen!’
The story that will unfold in these pages has been recorded with all the memory megabytes at my disposal, but when you— one—me—travel through time, across time, the grey cells tend to seize up and short-circuit in transit.
But let me begin at the beginning. If there ever is a beginning, if time follows a straight line, follows a predictable geometrical pattern in its unfolding. Which I happen to know, from my incredible personal experiences, it does not.
Those of you (possibly in the minority) who have read Carl Sagan’s book Contact might appreciate wormholes and the ways to fool or get fooled by time. Whereas those of you (more hands up this time maybe) who are fans of Terry Pratchett, might remember that he said, ‘Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.’
But I’ve nattered on enough. Let’s get to the flashback with Chintamani Dev Gupta (aka Chintu Pintu) off on an enforced holiday to the Sat Tal Birding camp. I remember it as though it were yesterday. My parents had just split up, even though they continued to be holed up in the same house. Mum’s lady lawyer practically camped on our living room sofa. Papa hadn’t shaved for several days. Things were bad. And to get me out of the way, I had been dispatched here, to an insect-infested field near the aforementioned Sat Tal Lake.
It’s not as though I was wildly interested in birds. I suspect it was just the most convenient way to pack me off, dumping me in ornithology heaven. So there I was, amidst the tweets and the cheeps and the trills and twitters of birdsong, dreaming of football and butter chicken and the joys of home.
Can’t wait to find out more? Don’t forget to be the first one to grab your copy of this magical tale of time-travel, unusual friendships and a whole lot of adventure!