The Ekkos Clan

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Spine of The Ekkos Clan

The Ekkos Clan (ISBN 978-93-81523-95-7, 978-14-95229-78-7) written by debutante author Sudipto Das, is a contemporary "mystery novel, but is grounded in a substantial base of research and exploration into our past."[1] "The book is [...] a journey of discovery, through soul, through life."[2] It was published by Niyogi Books and released in India in July 2013.[3] It was officially launched at a function in Bangalore on 3 August 2013.[4] Myths & Truths Behind The Ekkos Clan (ISBN 978-14-97574-20-5, 978-14-97588-41-7, 978-14-97576-90-2, 978-14-97588-39-4), published in April 2014 [5] as a coffee table book, "is a compilation of historical and linguistic facts and figures which loosely form the background of Sudipto Das’ debut novel, The Ekkos Clan." [6]

In less than a fortnight of its release The Ekkos Clan was at third position[7] in the bestsellers list in Flipkart in the Literature and Fiction category.[8][9] It was also at third position in the "Top 10 Bestsellers of the Week" at Oxford Bookstore in September 2013.[10]

Author[edit]

Sudipto Das, 2014

The Ekkos Clan is the debut novel of Sudipto Das, who holds an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur. Sudipto, a veteran in the Semiconductor Industry, stays in Bangalore. He is a member of a music band Kohal, which he started in Bangalore in 2007 with his IIT friends.[11] He has been a secretary at the Sarathi Socio Cultural Trust[12] for many years, looking after their cultural initiatives[13] in Bangalore. In September 2014 he recreated Eastern European melodies of the 1940s for the War Musical Schweyk in the Second World War by Bertolt Brecht.[14]

Plot Summary[edit]

Thriller set against Ancient Indian History[edit]

Kubha tells lots of stories to her kids. She has heard these stories from her ancestors. No one really knows where these stories came from. Many years later sometime during the nineties of the last century, long after Kubha died a gruesome death during the partition riots of 1947, her grandson Kratu, who is doing his masters at Stanford University, and his girlfriend Afsar, who studies linguistic palaeontology, figure out that the stories are not mere bedtime tales. They discover that each story is rich in linguistic fossils and is actually in the form of a riddle which has clues to some explosive aspects of ancient Indian history not well known. They also come to know that all the unnatural deaths that have happened in their family over the past hundred years were all murders. Some fanatic group wants to eliminate the entire family of Kratu’s to remove all traces of Kubha’s stories, which if exposed will change the way the fanatics want the Indian history to be seen as. Kratu, Afsar and their friend Tista embark on a journey across continents to decipher Kubha’s stories. While doing so, they also discover Kubha in a new light. They come to know of several things about Kubha’s life which no one in Kratu’s family knew till now.

Clash between two mysterious forces[edit]

"Kratu, Sudipto’s protagonist, finds himself suspended deep in a clash between two mysterious forces, and sets on a quest to find answers to questions that man has posed to himself every now and then: Where did I come from?"[1]

Fanaticism[edit]

In a blog[15] Sudipto says the following about his book:

Mine is more of a mystery novel, where there are lot of riddles in the form of small stories, each leading to some prehistoric event or anecdote, all of which together tell a tale of our civilization, our culture... It deals with fanaticism in the garb of an extremist nationalism, something that gave rise to Nazism. It deals with the identity of India and the Indian civilization. It deals with the gradual evolution of hierarchies in a society and many more...

Background[edit]

"In India, there is the emergence of fiction and non-fiction writers who offer a sharp perspective, informed by their personal experiences, who are recording a historical (and painful) moment."[16] Sudipto has mentioned in the acknowledgement of the book that the seed idea of The Ekkos Clan came from certain aspects of his grandmother's life. Having grown up with lot of stories about Bangladesh, from where his family had to flee during the partition riots of 1947, he has used Bangladesh and "the true stories which he heard... about the Partition"[17] extensively in his book.

Sudipto Das with The Ekkos Clan

Bengal side of partition[edit]

Some of his readers[18] have pointed out The Ekkos Clan is perhaps one of the very rare books which deals with the Bengal side of partition so vividly. The same was highlighted in an article[19] in The New Indian Express.

Linguistic Palaeontology[edit]

The book also deals extensively with Linguistic Palaeontology, apart from other disciplines like Astronomy, Archaeology, History, Music, Mathematics and Poetry. "Sudipto wanted to come up with a literature that flourishes with [ancient] Indian history,"[20] and Linguistic Palaeontology has been used as the main tool to decode various controversial aspects of the ancient Indian history, which has left very little archaeological evidence.

Rig Veda & Indo-European Urheimat[edit]

A very extensive research on the Rig Veda and the various Indo-European topics form the foundation of the book. Sudipto has provided a selected list of research papers, especially the ones written by Harvard Indologist Michael Witzel, and other material referred by him at the end of the book.[21] The book attempts to demystify the Rig Veda to a great extent, delving deep into behind the scene stories of the Rig Veda, the oldest book of the mankind.

Sudipto has added the following disclaimer in the acknowledgement: I am aware that the views expressed by various characters in the novel about the Indo-European Urheimat and the origin of the Aryans are controversial and may not be universally accepted. In this I have followed the school of thought espoused by Witzel et al.

Development of the book[edit]

Sudipto began working on the book in 2008 [11] when he started reading about ancient Indo-European history and the Rig Veda. He began writing the book in July 2010, completing the first draft by November of the same year. A reviewer has pointed out that Sudipto "is holistic in his background research, dramatic in creating thrills and bluntly smart in his approach." [22] He gave the first draft of the book, which was initially titled From The Horse's Mouth, to many of his acquaintances to know their reaction and feedback. He also got two critiques done by literary consultants in London[23] and Delhi. He came up with the final draft of the book in December 2011 after which he approached publishers. He was represented by Writer's Side. Niyogi Books signed the contract with him in May 2012 and the final editing took close to a year. The book was released in July 2013.

Reviews & Comments[edit]

"A promising debut in the growing realm of modern Indian fiction", said Jug Suraiya, a senior columnist with Times of India, about the book.

"Sudipto Das’ debut novel combines ancient history, linguistic palaeontology, mathematics, music and a mystery story," said The Hindu.[24]

"Application of linguistic palaeontology amidst a mystery novel marked with glimpses of mythology and historical narrative is unique in an Indian setting, and places both the author and the novel at a space currently occupied by a very few," commented a critic.[1]

Sunday Guardian reviewed The Ekkos Clan on 17 August 2013:[25]

"For a novel whose setting stretches from the Partition-affected villages of Noakhali, Bangladesh to Arkaim in the Southern Urals, The Ekkos Clan is a daring novel. The scope of the narrative is magnanimous and deftly handled…. The Ekkos Clan should be read for its sheer aspiration and the intelligent handling of historical material."

The Telegraph reviewed it on 27 November 2013:[26][27]

"An Indian thriller inspired by Dan Brown & Harrison Ford! For a debut novel The Ekkos Clan is quite promising, with echoes of Dan Brown in the storytelling... [It] is like any fast-paced thriller, replete with murder and miraculous escapes."

Bangalore Mirror said it's "an interesting read for an afternoon.[28] One feisty woman’s partition story..., The Ekkos Clan combines the struggle for survival with Kubha's determination to safeguard her lineage in turbulent times..."[29]

The New Indian Express extolled its "unflinching look at communal carnage." [30] A review was published on 26 November 2013:[31][32]

"A tale of the Indian civilization and culture, The Ekkos Clan written by debutant author Sudipto Das takes you on a roller coaster ride, telling the mystery behind the Aryan race as well as delving into the origin of stories behind mankind’s greatest book, The Rig Veda..."

Deccan Chronicle called Sudipto "Bin'das' writer..., a multi-talented personality."[33]

Similarities with Dan Brown's novels[edit]

Lots of reviews[34] and readers' comments[18][35] are available online. Many readers have pointed out[18] thematic similarities of The Ekkos Clan with Dan Brown's novels with Robert Langdon as the main protagonist. Sudipto acknowledges[15] that he was "indeed inspired by characters like Robert Langdon and Indiana Jones, who solve intriguing mysteries about Christianity in popular thrillers", and that he has attempted to do a similar thing with the Indian perspective. But, he also clarifies, "putting his book in the same genre as those of the above may be misleading".[15]

On the flip side, Sunday Guardian said, "there are rarely any flashes of literary brilliance, when it comes to the descriptive and the introspective." Few readers have complained[18] about too many characters, which can be confusing.

In Media[edit]

Print & Online[edit]

  1. The Hindu
    • 2 August 2013: Feature, "... book launch of The Ekkos Clan by Sudipto Das will be held on August 3..."[4]
    • 26 September 2013: Feature, "If you are a history buff and a thriller aficionado, then The Ekkos Clan might just be the book for you..."[24]
    • 11 October 2013: Feature, "Sudipto Das’ debut novel weaves Indian history and fiction..."[36]
    • 19 October 2013: Event listing.[37]
    • 12 June 2014: Feature, "the novel focuses on the various aspects of ancient culture, evolution of the people in the subcontinent and the hierarchy that forms the caste system..." [17]
  2. Sunday Guardian, 17 August 2013: Book Review, "... The Ekkos Clan is a daring novel."[25]
  3. Alumni Cell, IIT Kharagpur, 19 August 2013: Official Post, "“The Ekkos Clan”, the debut novel of Sudipto Das (1996/ECE/RK), is already at position 3 in the best sellers list in the Literature and Fiction Section in Flipkart in less than a fortnight."[9]
  4. IIT Kharagpur Alumni Network (iitkgp.org), 23 August 2013:[38] Official Post, ""A promising debut in the growing realm of modern Indian fiction," said Jug Suraiya..."[8]
  5. Deccan Herald, 1 September 2013: Featured in Sunday Herald, Book Rack.[39]
  6. Bangalore Mirror
    • 20 September 2013: Three Reads, "An interesting read for an afternoon"[28]
    • 18 October 2013: Event listing.[40]
    • 15 November 2013: One feisty woman’s partition story[29]
  7. Sakal Times
    • 22 September 2013: Lit in the City, "Sudipto Das, writer of The Ekkos Clan, will be in the city..."[41]
    • 6 October 2013: Interview, "It won't be a sequel per se... will be about the mathematician Aryabhatt."[42]
  8. Star of Mysore, 4 October 2013: Interview, "My second book named Prembajar..."[43]
  9. Techgoss.com, 10 October 2013: Interview, "IIT educated Sudipto Das has written his first novel ‘Ekkos Clan’ and it is already a best seller.." [44]
  10. The New Indian Express
    • 12 October 2013: Feature, "An Unflinching Look at Communal Carnage"[30]
    • 15 October 2013: Feature, "Sudipto Das, the author of The Ekkos Clan, writes, perhaps for the first time, on the sufferings of people of the Bangladesh side during the 1947 Partition of India..."[19][45]
    • 26 November 2013: Review, "Of linguistics, history and philosophy"[31]
    • 24 June 2014: Feature, "The Ekkos Clan is a mystery novel dealing with controversial aspects of ancient India which have left very little archaeological evidences"[46]
  11. Deccan Chronicle
    • 18 October 2013: Event listing.[47]
    • 19 October 2013: Event listing.[48]
    • 23 October 2013: Feature, "Bin'das' Writer..."[33]
  12. DNA
    • 20 October 2013: Event Listing.[49]
    • 22 November 2013: Event Listing.[50]
    • 18 June 2014: Event Listing.[51]
  13. NY.NEWSYAPS, 23 October 2013: Review & Feature, Cultural Superiority and the modern Indian: A conversation around The Ekkos Clan[1]
  14. Delhi Diary, 1–15 November 2013: Feature, "The book is a feed of intellect, facts, fiction and mysteries..."[20][52]
  15. The Telegraph, 27 November 2013: Review & interview, "References to astronomy, archaeology and the Rig Veda and cryptic rhymes pepper the novel..."[26]
  16. Absolute India, 2 February 2014: Interview, "Anyone who reads can also write" [53]

Blogosphere[edit]

  1. Reviews[34]
  2. Interviews[54]

Events[edit]

Launch at Oxford Book Store, Bangalore, on 14 September 2013, with Rakesh Godhwani, Aroon Raman and Samrat Som
  1. 3 August 2013: Book launch, Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha, Bangalore
  2. 16 August 2013: The Ekkos Clan made featured book & Sudipto Das featured author at JustBooks[55]
  3. 24 August 2013: Talk at Amaatra Academy, Bangalore[56]
  4. 27 August 2013: The Ekkos Clan announced as prize for "Photographer of the week" in IIT Kharagpur [57]
  5. 14 September 2013: Book launch and reading session, Oxford Bookstore, 1MG Mall, Bangalore[58][59][60]
  6. 15 September 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Kuvempunagar, Mysore[56]
  7. 21 September 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Vidyaranyapuram, Bangalore
  8. 22 September 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Banashankari, Bangalore
  9. 27 September 2013: Meet the Author, in Sandvik, Pune
  10. 28 September 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Pimple Saudagar, Pune[41]
  11. 29 September 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Viman Nagar, Pune
  12. 29 September 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Kothrud, Pune
  13. 5 October 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Panampilly Nagar, Cochin
  14. 9 October 2013: Book launch & discussion, Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, Delhi[61][62]
  15. 19 October 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Koramangala, Bangalore[37][40][47][48]
  16. 20 October 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Basaveshwaranagar, Bangalore[49]
  17. 9 November 2013: Book reading, JustBooks, Salt Lake City, Calcutta
  18. 23 November 2013: Meet the author, Amaatra Academy, Bangalore[50]
  19. 20 December 2013: Greet & Meet Sudipto Das on a Mysterious Talk Session on "The Ekkos Clan", Tata Consultancy Services, Bangalore[63]
  20. 7 June 2014: Meet the author, Vermilion House, Bangalore
  21. 25 June 2014: Maathu Kathe, Interactive discussion, India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore[51][64]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d NY.NEWSYAPS, 23 October 2013: Cultural Superiority and the modern Indian: A conversation around The Ekkos Clan
  2. ^ Dutta, Aparajita. "BOOK REVIEW : THE EKKOS CLAN BY SUDIPTO DAS". BOOK REVIEW : THE EKKOS CLAN BY SUDIPTO DAS. Retrieved 6 Nov 2014. 
  3. ^ Niyogi Books Publisher's Page for The Ekkos Clan
  4. ^ a b First book reading session and launch in Bangalore on 3 August
  5. ^ Amazon listing
  6. ^ 24 June 2014, The New Indian Express: On Dravidian-Iranian connect
  7. ^ Sudipto's blog
  8. ^ a b IIT KGP Alumni Network Home page made a news story mentioning The Kakkooos Clan was at third position in less than a fortnight
  9. ^ a b Alumni Cell, IIT KGP made a post mentioning The Kakkoos Clan "is already at position 3 in the best sellers list..."
  10. ^ Oxford Bookstore: Top 10 Bestsellers of the Week
  11. ^ a b Sudipto's Home Page
  12. ^ Lasrado, Svetlana (29 September 2011). "Many facets of a fest". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  13. ^ SUKUMARAN, AJAY (27 September 2009). "Lakshmi smile on Durga Puja - Hint of revival from crisis in bangalore festivities". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Gupta, Namita (13 September 2014). "Keeping a "Brecht"". Keeping a "Brecht". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c Sudipto's blog: Readers' reviews of "The Ekkos Clan"
  16. ^ BHATTACHARJI ROSE, JAYA (4 August 2014). "Stories on conflict". BOOKS » LITERARY REVIEW. The Hindu. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  17. ^ a b 12 June 2014: The Hindu, Throwing light on Indian history
  18. ^ a b c d Online review in Flipkart
  19. ^ a b The New Indian Express: An Unflinching Look
  20. ^ a b Delhi Diary: Book Lover's Day
  21. ^ Selected Reference
  22. ^ Moulick, Debraj (3 November 2014). "debrajdpaideia". Debraj Moulick. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  23. ^ The Literary Consultancy, London
  24. ^ a b The Hindu: History de-coded
  25. ^ a b Sunday Guardian Review
  26. ^ a b The Telegraph, 27 November 2013: An Indian thriller inspired by Dan Brown & Harrison Ford!
  27. ^ The Telegraph, 27 November 2013: An Indian thriller inspired by Dan Brown & Harrison Ford!
  28. ^ a b Bangalore Mirror, 20 Sept 2013: Three Reads
  29. ^ a b Bangalore Mirror, 15 November 2013: One feisty woman's partition story
  30. ^ a b The New Indian Express: An Unflinching Look at Communal Carnage
  31. ^ a b The New Indian Express, 26 November 2013: Of linguistics, history and philosophy
  32. ^ The New Indian Express, 26 November 2013: Of linguistics, history and philosophy
  33. ^ a b Deccan Chronicle, 23 October 2013: Bin'das' Writer
  34. ^ a b Ranga's Weblog | Shrey Goyal | Vaibhav Mopidevi | Meghant Parmar | Words' Worth by Samarpita | The Era I Lived In | Books News India | debrajdpaideia's blog | crystallasia |
  35. ^ Readers' comments at goodreads
  36. ^ The Hindu: New look at history
  37. ^ a b The Hindu, 19 October 2013: Your Day
  38. ^ Sudipto's blog: The Ekkos Clan - In Media
  39. ^ Sunday Herald: Book Rack
  40. ^ a b Bangalore Mirror, 19 October 2013: Book Reading
  41. ^ a b Sakal Times: Lit in the City
  42. ^ Sakal Times: QUICK CHAT
  43. ^ Star of Mysore: MARKETING YOUR BOOK IS THE MOST CHALLENGING
  44. ^ Techgoss.com: Chip Engineer writes Best Seller
  45. ^ New Indian Express: An Unflinching Look
  46. ^ 24 June 2014, The New India Express: On Dravidian-Iranian connect
  47. ^ a b Deccan Chronicle, 18 October 2013: City Buzz
  48. ^ a b Deccan Chronicle, 19 October 2013: City Buzz
  49. ^ a b DNA, 20 October 2013: Catch the action - BOOKS
  50. ^ a b DNA, 22 November 2013: Event Listing
  51. ^ a b "IFA invites Sudipto Das for book reading". DNA. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  52. ^ Delhi Diary, November 2013 Issue
  53. ^ Absolute India, 2 February 2014: Interview
  54. ^ Blogger Interviews | Nishita's Rants and Raves | Reading Corner | paperblog | Aditi Chopra's Blog | Eloquent Articulation |
  55. ^ JustBooks page for The Ekkos Clan
  56. ^ a b Sudipto's blog: The Ekkos Clan: Events
  57. ^ Photographer of the week: Official post by IIT KGP PR Cell
  58. ^ September Event Calendar, Oxford Bookstore
  59. ^ Official invite, Oxford Bookstore, 1 MG Mall
  60. ^ Event description in mallsmarket.com
  61. ^ Official Invite, Oxford Bookstore Connaught Place
  62. ^ Event Description: Delhi Diary
  63. ^ Invite for the event in TCS, Bangalore
  64. ^ Deccan Chronicle, 25 June 2014: Event listing