So it was a misty morning in the month of January and I was looking out of the window trying to gather my next story, my next screenplay idea. My first film, Don 2 had just garnered fifty million dollars worldwide in terms of box office collections. The sea breeze ushered in thoughts that could lead to the next big movie sequel, or another blockbuster story idea. But then my gaze fell on a dewdrop on the windowsill. The glow of the sun was giving it more life than my stinking breath after the previous night’s hangover. Red wine can be good for the heart but not when you are on the steering wheel at midnight after a successful Bollywood career launch. Success at times can be like a monkey jumping from one tree to another. It never knows where to stop. However, sense prevailed and the dewdrop beamed straight into my heart. If I can conquer myself, I realized, I have conquered the world or maybe I don’t even need to. With this profound thought I started peeping inside the gateway to my soul, call it mindfulness call it being awakened. And then the story idea for the novel Tiger Mates was born.
“To find a purpose, higher than yourself is the purpose of finding a purpose,” this quote from Tiger Mates sums up my intention of writing this novel. Shyla, the protagonist, is a pointless youth at the beginning of the story, but when she finds out that she is the daughter of a rapist militant operating in the heart of India, her world shifts into a reality unfamiliar. She is attacked by her own identity crisis. A journey to discover her existence leads her to explore a higher truth that was flickering inside her. On second thoughts, maybe it was my own inner turmoil. Who do I feed, the angels or the demons that were dancing face-to-face albeit in the precincts of my mind? A tough war between the two fleshed out the gritty narrative of Tiger Mates. But at the end, love triumphs over all evil. All evil in the world thrives due to lack of compassion. Only love can erase the snakes of karma that are wriggling inside the human consciousness.
Further research from various sources leads me to facts about the tribal of Chhattisgarh. The women and children were raped or enslaved like they were meant to rot in hell at the heart of India–Chhattisgarh. Militancy is big business here; human beings are rats to feed the mighty cats in the form of Maoist leaders and natural resources are the inheritance of the Rebels. How far they can go is a question that has no meaning left. Who can stop them is the quest of the hour! The best of tragedy can never be narrated or written about, it can only be felt. Shyla, the pivotal character gets deeply affected by the agony of the rural folk exploited beyond reconciliation. But the overruling thought of revenge doesn’t allow her to shift her focus: to behead the leader of the Naxal Gang–Debraj Roy, her alleged father and also a schizoid with a plan to destroy the state in terms of power-heads, property and resources.
However, as an author with a flair for romance, I saw the entire world of my telling through the dimension of love. Love is what we yearn for; romance is what we want to die for. When the two lead characters of the novel rise in love, fight against their inner demons to discover their real purpose, they unite as ‘Tiger Mates’ and eradicate evil forces. ‘Tiger Mates’ is an innovative idea of soulmates with a higher connect and a deeper resolve. Quoting Tiger Mates: “to fall in love is routine, to stay in love is a miracle”. Only when lovers supersede external conflict and internal confusion, then they achieve the true essence of romance.
As an author of romantic stories, I have been in love several times and have lost my lover to irony most often. Yet in the whole series of being in love perhaps a thousand times I have learnt one big lesson: to love selflessly and to make it unconditional is the virtue that real lovers excavate. Love in its absolute integrity, purity and passion is an art that can attain eternity. Love is the purest of art and this very thought made me create Tiger Mates. As a story artist I earned a life-changing truth… Love heals! There is nothing more potent and powerful than the energy of love, don’t believe me, wait till you find your own Tiger Mate, you will!