Design professional Ratul Chakraborty’s historical fiction ‘Sutradhar’ is a dramatized retelling of events, myths and legends set across the arc of Indian history. In order to be relevant to the current social climate of India and the World, the stories are written from an authentic, firmly rooted Indic perspective, exploring a wide range of world views, sociological schemas and philosophical approaches within the context of the narratives. The seven tales that form this collection span multiple genres, from historical fantasy to cosmic horror, and are often tinged with dark, absurdist undertones.
The book has been published by the Indic Academy and is available at the below mentioned Amazon link.
Here’s an extract from the book ‘Sutradhar’, a historical fiction by Ratul Chakraborty that re-imagines Alexander’s desire to conquer India and the glory of Chandragupta Maurya.
The brahmin pointed at Alexander.
“You have broken the Law, King Alexander, and for that you must pay.”
For a moment it seemed that the audience was too shocked to react to the words
of the Brahmin, but soon the hysterical laughter of Alexander echoed across the
“Law? What law are you talking about? I am the Emperor of the world, the
descendant of Hercules, and you seek to bind me with injunctions from your
primitive fables? We are Greek, the most advanced of all humans. You should
be happy that we will be bringing our enlightenment to your dark, superstitious
land by conquering it. Do not tire me further, get out of my tent.”
The brahmin, instead of leaving, took a couple of steps closer towards
“What is India, Alexander? How do you conquer it?”
The assembly started buzzing with whispers of the attending warlords, but
Alexander raised his left hand, and glared until the noise died down.
“It seems you wish to play, Brahmin – and I will indulge you for a bit. India is
the land between the mountain and the seas, and beyond India is the edge of the
world, and India is rich and fabulous, and it is full of spices and gems and gold,
and I will conquer India like I have conquered all other lands – by putting its
kings in chains or their heads on stakes.”
A few guffaws broke out inside the tent, and the brahmin smiled.
“You are no king.”
Even the wind and the river seemed to be stunned into silence, but the Brahmin
did not stop.
“You do not know anything about what it means to be a king. You roam around
the world with your bloodthirsty army, descend upon kingdom after kingdom,
rape, pillage and murder at will – how dare you claim to be King? What duties
of Kings have you followed? Yours is the behaviour of bandits or asuras, not
Kings who are upholders of dharma.”
An angry rumble now started to emerge from the gathering, but the Brahmin
continued to speak without a pause.
“You are a great conqueror, but conquering is all you have done in your life.
That is not enough to assume the mantle of a king, for a king and a warlord are
not the same thing. Your greed knows no bound – just because you can, you
wish to subjugate those weaker than you. A king can do no sin greater than what you commit.
Hear this, invader! I want Chandragupta to become a ruler by
following the Dharma of kings, and not by submission. He is not going to
become the puppet of a foreign potentate. India must be, and will be, ruled by
those who revere her as a holy mother. Our motherland is not an object of
conquest for barbarians – her spirit animates every living soul in this land with
the sweet song of eternal freedom. Heed this warning. You have still not entered
You have defeated only a few mountain tribes so far with much
difficulty, and yet you dream of going to war against the might of Magadha!
There is still time. For the sake of the families of your soldiers, turn back! Once
you go up against an actual Indian King, you will find that the gates of Babylon
are closer to you than those of Pataliputra.”