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HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014

Books Section Page

The gods get hooked on social media!
Chetna Dua , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 03, 2013
First Published: 16:42 IST(3/9/2013)
Last Updated: 12:08 IST(4/9/2013)

In a world where everyone is online — from school friends to cousins, relatives, even 60-year-olds to the three-and-a-half year old who can’t write, but can operate an I-pad, how can the gods be left behind? In this age of virtual realities, George Dixon from England and Rashma Kalsie — an Indian settled in Australia have come together (only virtually, since they have never met each other) to pen down their first novel together, Ohh! Gods are Online.

“I have read the Bhagwad gita so many times; I used it as a reference to weave in answers to man’s existential problems,” says Kalise, who will be holding a discussion on the gods today.

The authors manage to weave together the worlds of Krishna, Chris (Christ), Buddy Roy (Buddha) and Old Nick (Devil), who choose Facebook over the age old method of telepathy to communicate with each other as they go about saving the world on earth and heaven.

Written from the perspective of the gods, the book is a fantasy cum satire about the existential dilemmas and challenges that confront man today. From the issues of poverty and greed, heartbreaks and unsolicited love, facing natural calamities like the tsunami, the book gives a divine perspective on each of them.

It manages to uplift some enigma attached to the gods, as it paints a realistic picture of different heavens, especially the Clacton-on-sea, with beaches, dainty cottages and bars. What’s more, the gods actually plan a party on the sea, with famous dead musicians like Michael Jackson, Keith Carpenter, Kumar Gandharv and George Harrison playing live, lots of thunderstorms, a lavish spread of global food and drinks, especially wine.

In the mid of all the partying and fun, there are also plenty of deep lessons interwoven through characters like Sunderaman, a greedy lusty man who is turned in to a dog to learn his lessons, Shiny — a beautiful nurse who learns to deal with heartbreak and move on with pride, Yashodha-Krishna’s mother who is turned into a flower by the devil, and the son is helped by Buddy Roy to learn the lesson of forgiveness. The discussion plans to decode all these metaphors and more.

Authors: George Dixon  & Rashma Kalsie
Price: Rs. 150
Published by: Srishti Publishers

Catch it live
What: Gods are Online — a discussion and debate
When: September 4
Timing: 6.30pm onwards
Where: The Attic, 36, Regal Buildings
NEAREST METRO STATION: Rajiv Chowk on the Yellow Line


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