By Sebanti Chatterjee
Sixteen days after the book was launched in Mumbai, it was Delhi’s turn.
Christopher C Doyle launched his latest book, The Pataala Prophecy: Son of Bhrigu on the 4th of May at Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar. There was spontaneous applause when principal, Rina Singh, principal, Tagore International, and Christopher unveiled the cover of his fourth book.
Christopher’s specialty lies in weaving together a fictional narrative, backed by facts. This element, first recognized in his best-selling novel – The Mahabharata Secret – runs throughout his later works like The Mahabharata Quest: The Alexander Secret and The Secret of the Druids.
Besides the students from Tagore International School, others from Army Public School – Shankar Vihar, Cambridge International School – Indirapuram, DAV Public School – Gurgaon, Mayoor School – Noida, Birla Vidya Niketan – Pushp Vihar, Indian School – Sadiq Nagar, Manav Rachna School – Faridabad and Tagore International School – East of Kailash were also present.
Christopher ordered his lecture around the themes of mythology, history and science and technology. Starting with Dr. Robert M Schoch, who was the proponent of the theory of the Sphinx’s erosion by heavy waterfall, he moved on to talk about technology that was available in the Stonehenge in the UK, Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Tiahuanaco in Bolivia, the Mayan city of Uxmal in Mexico, Baalbek in Lebanon and Sacsayhuaman in Peru.
One of the myths that seemed most interesting to me was the one that he mentioned about Uxmal at Mexico. There, the temple of the magicians was apparently built by a race of dwarfs who lifted stones by whistling. He clearly established a concept around the possibility of an existence of a sonic frequency that aided heavy stones like quartz being chiseled aesthetically. In this context, he briefly mentioned about John Ernst Worrell Keely an American inventor who had come up with the unique idea of ‘vibratory sympathy’. Keely, however, refused to divulge the secrets of his invention to the stockholders of the Keely Motor Co; who wanted to make motors based on the power of the sound waves. Eventually, Keely died bankrupt.
Back story over, it was time for the Pataala Prophecy. In this book, Christopher has tried to trace the genealogy of the Devas, Asuras, Nagas, Gandharvas and – like in his earlier novels – makes a conscious effort to connect the past with the present. The story follows Maya and Arjun’s exciting adventures as they try to find out why their favourite history teacher was murdered. But it leads them on to a perilous mission that they had not bargained for. What is the Pataala Prophecy and why does it have to be decoded. Christopher has also explored the power of mantras in this particular novel. He ended the lecture with a teaser video of The Pataala Prophecy: Son of Bhrigu.
Doyle begins his presentation
This was followed by an enthusiastic round of questions and answers where Christopher spoke about wearing many hats – that of a part-time author-musician and a full-time consultant. Lots of interesting questions were posed by the students. When he was asked as to how he chanced upon writing about mythology and mystery, he responded by saying that he started writing in search of unanswered questions of history which, of course, led him to the path of extensive research.
When asked which mythological text appeals to him the most, Christopher’s response was the Mahabharata (the main text around which all his books are written) and Hamlet’s Mill. According to him, the latter revealed that mythology is based on some facts. Finally, when he was asked about his approach towards dealing with historical figures, Christopher replied that facts around historical figures cannot be distorted. After the session, children formed a beeline to get their signed copies.