Oman-based author pens second novel

By Staff Reporter — MUSCAT: Feb 26 – Buoyed by the success of his maiden literary project, a novel titled ‘Spinning Into Oblivion’, Oman-based writer Santhosh Gangadharan (pictured), a chemical engineer by profession, has authored yet another novel. ‘What Next?’ is on display at the stalls of Family Bookshop and Al Bhaj Books, which are participating in the ongoing Oman International Book Fair at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. While ‘Spinning Into Oblivion’ deals with the evolution of souls, ‘What Next?’ dwells on the author’s theory of the voyage of souls. The novel is set in 16th century Oman and southern India during the time the Portuguese started their imperialist conquests in the region on the pretext of trade.
‘What Next?’ details the fictional account of an Omani couple’s odyssey to the Moon aboard India’s Chandrayaan-8 space mission.  En route, strange things occur within the spacecraft!
The story goes back in time to the end of the 15th century, when Vasco Da Gama navigates his way to Calicut in India via Malindi, a kingdom on the eastern coast of Africa. Also at around the same time, the great Omani voyager Ahmed ibn Majid is also crisscrossing the high seas, this time in the company of two seafarers – both brothers hailing from the coastal town of Liwa in Oman. Back home in Liwa, the attractive sister of the siblings falls in love with a stranger who had sailed the oceans and ultimately ended up in Liwa.
Strange circumstances drive the pair to elope from Oman to Calicut. But their past catches up with them and they disappear mysteriously, leaving their son under the care of a local couple.  Fearless Abhay is adept in martial arts and conversant in many languages. Strange dreams of a man in distress perturb the young boy. Soon he sets off to find the man in his dreams.  His travels take him through the jungles of Kerala as he faces down a sniper war between the moors and the paranigis (Portuguese).  When he learns of his origins, he sails the high seas to reach his roots in the hope of meeting his family.
In his homeland, he is threatened by the Portuguese, but a sinister force from the past imperils his parents.  He has to act fast to protect his family from imminent danger, racing against time to carry out his mission. The future of the couple on board Chandrayaan is entangled with the past of a family in Liwa. What destiny has designed for each other cannot be changed. Rules have to be followed, albeit in ignorance. The soul has its ways of drawing the life of its carrier. Nobody is allowed to edit what is already written. The voyage continues. ‘What Next?’ is published by Frog Books, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing and is also available at Amazon and Flipkart web stores.