The Gods Have Vanished!
An untold saga of innocence scarred with cynical urbanism.
About the Book
Brahmasut is a starry-eyed boy, happy in the company of his village-folks, all of whom are die-hard nature-worshippers. Their village is situated atop the hillocks of north-east India surrounded by dense virgin forests in all their pristine glory. The remote area is a treasure trove of vegetation - rare medicinal and aromatic trees, plants and foliage. The folks are rustic, yet a repertoire of herbal knowledge that they are keeping as a closely guarded secret. They are emotionally attached to the place where they were born, and fight to save the forests from commercial exploitation .
One day, Jennifer, an ethnographer from Mumbai University, barely twenty-five years of age, visits their settlement on a challenging assignment. The dwellers are overawed by her feminine courage, fair complexion, beauty and exceptionally charming looks. The village-chief is known for his traditional hospitality and, as usual, extends a warm welcome. Brahmasut, the village- chief's five year old only son, is also different of the lot, good-looking and looks mature than his age. Kheto makes him Jennifer’s guide and helper during her short stay and, In her close company, Brahmasut gets infatuated with her.
Jennifer completes her project and, in the process, gets to know everyone better, Brahmasut in particular. She is highly impressed with his depth of knowledge and begins to consider him as an accomplished child. She finds him capable of making it big in life and desires to give him the right guidance and education. She proposes to take the boy with her, give him proper education and make him achieve bigger goals in life. The idea invites stiff resistance from his parents Kheto and Hushili. But, after grave persuasion by Jennifer, and sensing Brahmasut's curious excitement, the parents, finally, give up. They tell her that anyone who leaves the village is as good as dead even before he dies.
Along with Brahmasut, Jennifer, returns to Mumbai, where she owns a huge bungalow at Bandra. Here, Brahmasut finds an entirely different world, the world of the haves and have-not's. He is initiated to this world by Jennifer’s loyal and old gardener Kaka. Jennifer manages to secure his admission in a prestigious college. Over time, he turns out to be a brilliant scholar. He secures top position in his final board exams and, with that, earns a scholarship in Environmental Studies at New York University.
Jennifer and Brahmasut fly to New York where he resumes his studies. Here, too, he fares very well, remains unfazed by all worldly temptations, and gets campus placement in a large corporate for their image-saving and urgent, ‘Hudson River-Cleaning Project'. Here, he discharges his duties with dedication but falls prey to the ongoing war between the two giants, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Corporate Leadership over the faulty results of their first-phase of the project. The bucks are passed on to Brahmasut, he is charge-sheeted, fined and demoted causing a big humiliation for him.
However, as part of corporate strategy, he is not only absolved of all the charges but even elevated to a more challenging and stressful position under direct supervision of the Chairman.
Jennifer, who had all along lend him financial support, too, is a changed lady and is not maintaining any contact with Brahmasut. Her soaring ambitions, obsession with sex and money makes her target the high and mighty. One day, the still innocent Brahmasut accidently traces Jennifer on a social site, and, after a few days reads a disturbing news item in an e-edition of ‘The New York Times’. While he becomes aware of her presence in New York, he also bears the shock of his life when he comes to know of her being a top-rated porn star. He wants to meet her but, on second thoughts, drops the idea, fearing his image and his bachelor status.
Under stress and shock, Brahmasut suffers brain hemorrage and is bedridden for many days. The strict and non-considerate Chairman refuses to allow long-leave, albeit illegally, on the premise of work-urgency, to begin the second phase of the project. As a result, he is fired.
When he recuperates, he faces intense emotional breakdown and under strong nostalgic pressure, becomes desperate return to India to meet his parents and childhood friends.
He is returning after almost two decades and witnessing a sea change. He is shocked to see the rampant development that has taken place. The entire area is, now, looking alien, confusing, but Brahmasut, somehow, manages to reach his native land with the help of a local taxi driver. What helps him in finding his way back is his memory of the only remaining landmark on the only highway. The sixtieth milestone was the only remaining edifice.
He could not bear what he experienced thereafter…
About the Author
Naveen Tewai is a translator and features editor of an in-house magazine for a large corporate based at Lucknow. He is making his debut as a fiction writer with his adult fiction 'The Gods Have Vanished!'. He is planning to write in different genres. Next, is a thriller, almost at a finishing stage.