This is a story with a difference!
Let us look at the book in this way it is a combination of thriller and supernatural combined within two covers.
When you will start reading Project S.A.I by Srinivasa Gopal-the first thing that will impress you is the presentation of Indian culture and way of living. The caste system, respect for elders, the unified Indian family, the traditional way of decision making in the patriarch society- good or bad, which became synonymous with India for thousand of years, have all been represented in this book from a different perspective. Let us take glimpses from the book revealing family bonding in a wonder called India
“Lakshman returned to their mansion carrying grocery bags almost bursting with everything on the list his sister-in law had given him. He lived there with his wife, his brother, his brother’s wife and their children Usha, Lakshman’s wife was 6 months pregnant with their first child and moving around the house quite slowly. Still, Usha and Chella served up some hot rice, sambar and vegetable curry, when Sarangan returned an hour later.”
The story starts with a clash of the tradition with the new or more precisely between the old and the new thought. Lakshman- the brother of Sarangan is keen on choosing a new life- a life different from their traditional priesthood life-learning modern science. If it a family story then this rift can well be given far reaching effects, but it is not! So the departure of the rebel brother has been given a happy ending
“Usha turned to all of them with tears in her eyes and said” we could never forget any of you.” she looked at Sarangan and Chella and smiled “Thank you for taking care of us for so long . We will definitely see you at Deepawali.” Then, holding on Anath’s hand and picking up her suitcase, she turned and boarded the train.”
Now the family has been divided into two –two ways of life, one urban and one rural, but there is one inherent unity ,unity of tradition, unity of standing in each other’s good times and bad times, in joys and in tears. Both families are happy-each one has their own ups and downs-but life flows like a river!
another thread of the story leads us to a long past machine that a forgotten scientist had built up-dust laden with times, a story of treachery where somebody has stolen the design and the machine had never seen the light of the day, until somebody decides to unearth something that could be the epoch making discovery in the history of mankind-
“We are working on a project with an MIT professor, which will help us capture signals from spirits using an electronic device, and someone told us that Dr. Ram Narayan had built a similar device a few decades back.”
This innocent looking conversation had a far reaching effect –the development of the machine in a new form and the destiny of the two families gets mixed up – somewhere!
A tragic incident and an epoch making invention-like two sentences and the spirits are like the hyphen in between!
And then come the exposure –masked Satan posing as saint!
Read to discover a story where the line between natural and supernatural has been erased, where the bad is punished at the end and the good is rewarded. We do not know what happens to the ugly!
Flow of writing is natural and spontaneous –enriched with beautiful south Indian cultural flavour!
The only grievance against the writer is that the ending comes too soon! may be it is due to the thin dimension of the book!
But good things should come in small quantities.
I got this book as part of Goodread’s First read initiative program.
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