“Trade winds to Meluhha” is a forthcoming historical novel written by first time novelist, Vasant Dave. Here is a short preview of the book for our readers.
The Mesopotamians knew Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization as ‘Meluhha’. Explorer Thor Heyerdahl of Kon-Tiki fame sailed in a reed-boat from Iraq to Oman and from there to Pakistan, proving that maritime trade between the Persian Gulf countries and the Indian subcontinent was possible in the Bronze Age.
Heyerdahl’s validation offered a remarkable setting for a narrative based on adventure, love and strife between two ancient cultures. While some earlier novels on Harappan Civilization have missed the wood for the trees and mixed-up ‘Meluha’ with mythology, Vasant Davé recognized the plot and developed it in ‘Trade winds to Meluhha’. With a wide geographical spread from the present day Iraq to Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan and India, ultimately what is the story?
In the year 2138 BC, a youngster named SAMASIN worked as a stable boy with a wealthy Babylonian named NERGAL. One day he was falsely implicated in the murder of a visiting Meluhhan businessman. Tipped off by Nergal’s divorced wife ELATI, he fled to Lothal in the distant land of Meluhha, searching of SIWA SAQRA whose name the dying man had uttered. During the voyage, he met the beautiful VELLI with whom he fell in love but was dismayed to find that she was still devoted to a man who had jilted her. He also met ANU, a Mesopotamian woman who concealed her identity because she was searching for a couple of faceless men for revenge.
On the way, Samasin learnt about the ten glyphs of Dholavira and with the help of Anu deciphered them, leading to an adventure in the ravines of the Saraswati. He faced a series of obstacles including a few which almost killed him. Finally when he found Siwa Saqra in Mohenjo-daro, he was surprised to learn that there was more to the murder in Babylon than met the eye.
Circumstances brought all characters together in Babylon when with awe they discovered the truth about the trade between Meluhha and Mesopotamia, and the identity of the brain behind the diabolic operations. A trial before the Council of Elders turned ironically to jeopardize the judiciary itself. That was when Anu spoke up and shocked everybody, but more so Samasin. After a hot pursuit beyond the Lower Sea, the culprit was brought to book and sentenced. The novel ends in three happy weddings.
In writing it over the past three years, Davé has referred to books and websites, visited archaeological sites and museums and discussed with experts on the subject. Renowned archaeologist and academician Dr. Shereen Ratnagar scanned the manuscript and commented on the veracity and plausibility of the past situation as constructed in it. The first professionally researched novel on Harappan Civilization, ‘Trade winds to Meluhha’ is scheduled to be published as an eBook on Amazon and Barnes & Noble by December, 2011. However, some interesting behind-the-stage titbits and sample chapters are already available in an eBooklet which can be downloaded free-of-cost HERE