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Power of the unknown

| CRIS
Published : Oct 18, 2016, 10:15 pm IST
Updated : Oct 18, 2016, 10:15 pm IST

A young student turns into a paranormal investigator to impress her boyfriend.

How to steal a ghost @Manipal by Shweta Taneja, Juggernaut Books pp.180, Rs 120
 How to steal a ghost @Manipal by Shweta Taneja, Juggernaut Books pp.180, Rs 120

A young student turns into a paranormal investigator to impress her boyfriend.

Shweta Taneja was sitting at a café in Manipal, lost in thoughts. Well, not entirely lost, for she could hear what the boys and girls at the next table were talking about while slurping down their noodles. They were a new bunch of students who had just moved to the city to join the University, and talked of issues that Shweta heard and remembered. For it would bring along the idea of a book, the birth of a character she’d call Twinkle Kashyap. Years later when Shweta wrote How to steal a ghost @Manipal Twinkle became her protagonist, a young student turning into a paranormal investigator, and all for love!

“In fact, she came from an old memory of a girl who had joined college following her crush. A growing up tale really. Twinkle is a timid, emotional first-year student who has taken up a course in Manipal because her crush Rohit Dandi is studying there. She gets into paranormal investigation to impress Rohit and is ready to do anything for him. As the story progresses, we see her gain confidence in her abilities and transform into a more independent and confident girl. So much so that she emerges stronger than both Rohit and her mentor Dada by the end of the novel. I loved how she grew up within a year,” says the proud author.

The four books that Shweta has written before were fantasies, graphic novels. There are two more coming under the title of Tantric Mysteries. The ‘unknown’ seems to be a constant. “With all my body of work in the speculative genre, I like to build worlds through which I can question our idea of others, our fears or our perception of an alien. In my (forthcoming) Tantric detective series, these ‘others’ are monsters and supernatural creatures; in the Manipal book, the others are ghosts or paranormal spirits we fear or are suspicious of. The speculative fiction genre, be it urban fantasy, paranormal, horror or science fiction is a perfect medium to show a mirror to the society, for our reaction to the others reflect on who we are or who we want to become,” she says.