Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Introducing Ash Mistry

I’ve been waiting for Ash for a long time. Maybe all my life.
I grew up reading myths about Greek heroes, about Vikings, Normans and Saracens, stories of Sinbad and King Arthur, and I’ve loved them all. But where were my heroes? My parents immigrated to England from the Indian Subcontinent and growing up in the 1970’s I had no heroes that I could call mine except Mowgli. The only Indian in children’s literature and he was over a hundred years old. Even Kim, Kipling’s other great child hero, is actually Irish.
I wanted heroes like me, but not labelled as ‘ethnic’. Ash is a bagger and tagger; he fights demons and is a plain and simple action hero. He’s not worried about having an arranged marriage or being in a Bollywood movie.
I was in my twenties before I came across the vast mythology of India and it blew me away. How could this stuff not be better known? Why weren’t kids reading about Rama, Arjuna, about demon-slaying Kali and flute-playing Krishna? The mythology of India is immense and current. It’s being celebrated today and yet we know so little. Why isn’t it as mainstream as any of the Greek or Norse legends?
I’d put the skills of Arjuna against Achilles any day of the week. The strength of Bhima against Hercules. The courage of Rama against that of Thor. (Even as I write this my Spellcheck is going mad. It doesn’t recognise the name ‘Arjuna’. Over one billion people consider Arjuna the world’s greatest hero).
But I didn’t have to be Scandinavian to enjoy tales of Vikings and I don’t believe you need to be Asian to enjoy tales of Rama and of Ash Mistry. Heroes are heroes and we love them where-ever they come from. It’s time we met some Indian ones.

14 comments:

Sandy said...

I agree! I want to know more about these heroes ^_^. Can't wait to hear Ash's story.

Miriam Halahmy said...

I completely agree with you Sarwat and look forward very much to meeting your new character, Ash, whatever cultural mix he brings to the novel. It is so true that we write the novels we want to read.

Pam said...

Ah! Love this. I can't wait.

Jessica said...

Very excited to explore this new mythology!

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

Brilliant letter!

Lynsey Newton said...

Definitely interested to read....just as long as he's hot ;) Just kidding! Or am I...

On a non related note, I TOTALLY love that the word verification for me today on your site was "Arshoott". Brilliant.

Cassie said...

Sounds super sweet!

P.S. What does this mean for Billi? She's not done for good, right?

SarwatC said...

Cassie,
I hope not!
I still have high hopes there'll be a book 3 (because the title for it alone is awesome) but all depends on sales of DK/DG. Billi's fate is in your hands!

storyqueen said...

I think I have been waiting to read about Ash Mistry all of MY life!

can't wait!

Shelley

MissAttitude said...

Ash, Ash, Ash!! I am so ready to meet some Indian heroes. I don't even know who Arjuna is :(

Although maybe his story can be made into a Bollywood movie? ;)

~Ari

SarwatC said...

Thanks folks!
I'm really excited about the positive response to this book, and the break into new territory.
I still ahev high hopes for Billi 3#. We shall see!

Vinaya said...

Oh, oh, a friend on Goodreads just recommended this book to me (You should totally sign up on Goodreads, by the way!) and I got all excited about it, and then I found out the book was due in 2012!!! *pouts miserably* I just finished (abandoned, to be honest!) a truly terrible YA fantasy set in India, and ranted in my review about the lack of good India-centred fantasy and then I got the reco for Ash Mistry! It must be the Hand of God, lol!

pooks226 said...

Congratulations! I am excited toread anything you write. You are a brilliant author. I think your blog is hilarious :) I will pick up Ash's first book as soon as it comes out. I also hope we haven't seen the last of Billi. She's at the top of my list for favorite lead characters. Congrats again! You deserve loads of success.

Shvetu said...

This makes me so, so, so, so, so very happy!

--Shveta Thakrar