The Asian Age
‘THE SOUL CATCHER’ BRINGS HOME REALITY, WRAPPED IN GIC
WELCOME TO A WORLD OF MAGICAL REALISM BASED ON SCIENTIFIC INSPIRATION, WHICH TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY TO DISCOVER WHAT THEY CAN CONTRIBUTE MOST TO THE WORLD
Monica Bhide, who has books like Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken, The Devil in US, and Modern Spice to her credit, has come out with a new novel, The Soul Catcher. It’s set in modern India, with roots that go back to 19th century New Jersey.
According to the author, who’s an engineer with two Masters in Information Technology, the story of The Soul Catcher unwinds in a dimension where time and space are fluid. It chronicles the life of the soul catcher Yamini Goins, who has the unique ability — curse or boon as one may see it — to capture the soul of a dying person and transfer it to someone else.
“The novel explores the desire to live, the fear of death, the longing for love and the release that comes with the acceptance of fate,” the author tells us. “Throughout the dark overtones of the interwoven tales of this book, an electric current of transcendence echoes from every page as each character attempts to shift his or her destiny to the whims of their hearts.”
The book, Monica also tells us, is magical realism based on crazy things she’s seen or heard. “Like the time there was red rain in Kerala,” says Monica and then adds with a smile, “Don’t believe it? Google it and see what shows up.”
Nevertheless, the book also has a basis in a lot of study Monica has done in quantum physics and energy, which she says “reminds us that we are a lot more magical than we think we are.”
Explaining the inspiration for The Soul Catcher, Monica transports us to 19th century New Jersey. “It was there that one of the most influential inventors in American history, Thomas Edison, lived and worked. Legend has it that Henry Ford asked Edison’s son to catch his father’s dying breath in a test tube; it is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum,” Monica
“The novel explores the desire to live, the fear of death, the longing for love and the release that comes with the acceptance of fate. It makes us think about what our inner strength is, what our super power is and how we can use it.”
— Monica Bhide
shares. “This idea that the breath of life can be captured — and shared with those who need it most — inspired me to embark upon a mystical journey, transcending time and space.”
The magical realism aside, do these stories have a scientific backing, we ask the author. Her reply, “Well, my father is an engineer and I am an engineer working for Cognizant, a professional services firm, so science and technology run in my blood. That being said, while the scenes in my novel are inspired by science and the possibilities, the technology mentioned in the stories isn’t real (yet!).”
Swinging between magical realism and scientific bases, the highlight of the book is even more intriguing. “It makes us think about what our inner strength is, what our super power is and how we can use it,” says Monica.