Not a lot is going right for Taran Sharma. First, he stole his annoying brother’s necklace and ran off into the night. Then, his family got taken hostage by spindly creatures of the dead. And to top it all, he’s just been charged with a mission by Lord Ganesha himself! Now, in order to rescue his family from the hands of the preta, he has to undertake a journey more fantastical than he can begin to comprehend.
As Taran embarks on an epic voyage that may lead to disastrous consequence, he realizes that having faith, especially in himself, might be harder than he was led to believe.
Dive into a riveting adventure to the Veiled Lands, replete with evil Naga armies, mythical creatures and a supervillain who will stop at nothing to reach the elusive Gateway of Moksha in Ganesha’s Temple.
Ganesha closed his eyes and raised all four of his hands. Particles of light appeared from thin air. They formed images in the centre of the room, and then began shimmering, swirling into new images. Taran saw human figures eating, dozing, bathing, riding horses.
‘Many thousands of years ago, gods and goddesses ruled happily over a vast world called the Veiled Lands. It was a spiritual world filled with an energy that forms the spiritual core of all life. We call this prana.’
Ganesha focused his kind, brown gaze on Taran.
‘The Veiled Lands are very simply an old earth, and its beings as old as this world itself. They have seen endless cycles of destruction and rebirth, existing far longer than you can imagine.
‘In the Veiled Lands, through prana, came the first beings of light and dark—a duality exists wherever life forms. Dyaus the Sky Father and Prithvi the Earth Mother created Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, as well as many other devas like Surya, Agni, Indra, Varuna. These devas went on to create spirits and magical creatures, who lived peacefully together. Some devas turned into asuras, who are demons and titans. I could go on for years if I had to narrate the lives of every single deva and asura.’ Ganesha waved his hand as though turning a page in a book.
From the light particles over Ganesha’s head, new images appeared. One of the figures, snake-like and menacing, was pictured standing over a fallen deva, a staff raised above his head. Taran stared in fascination.
‘Vritra,’ Ganesha said soberly. ‘Once a deva, Vritra grew ambitious and power-hungry and sought to conquer his brethren. He attempted to overthrow the peaceful order, dominate the other devas and asuras, and rule the Veiled Lands by himself.
‘His rebellion was unsuccessful and the other devas, pitying their brother for his vanity, vowed to exile him from the Veiled Lands. They decided to create a parallel world for asuras like him, which lacked all prana. They had to combine all their powers in order to create such a world, and that powerful spell also created the Bare Lands—the world you now inhabit, Taran.