New Jersey-based debutante novelist Rupa Bhullar talks about the inspiration and journey behind her first book, The Indigo Sun.
“Home — neither a place you live in, nor a place you arrive at. It’s where you belong, and ultimately return — a return to the beginning, a return within.”
Most of us are on a journey — to find happiness, solitude and oneself. And the novel — The Indigo Sun — takes its readers on an enchanting tale set among the desert sands of Rajasthan where the protagonist, Maya is led on a transformative journey by a young boy named Ananda, a mystic gypsy woman called Leela and a well-respected, socially driven entrepreneur from London, Veer. Together, they embark upon a colorful odyssey weaved with the fabric of culture, heritage, simplicity and a celebration of life.
The author of the book, Rupa Bhullar, feels that the story was always with her and that she finally found the time to put it out now. “I started reading only a few years ago. And when I did, I started having my own reflections. Sometimes, I would be driving and have random thoughts and pull over to the side to scribble them in my notebook. That’s where it started,” she says, adding, “I spent some time in Jaipur as a kid and went there again last year. I have been to Jodhpur too, but I haven’t been to places like Jaisalmer, Bikaner or Pushkar mentioned in the book. Most of my story was thus, the result of my online research. I have a very strange connection with Rajasthan, however. I think the story was always within me and I just had to discover it.”
Although it was difficult for the debutante novelist to manage her time between writing the book, her family and her place of work, she says that her family was very supportive. “I am working as the Director of Finance and Business Development at a leading global corporation that provides digital and financial software solutions, and am a mother of two. So I already had a lot on my plate. But when I told my family about my book, they were so nice and supportive of my passion,” she says, adding, “I feel that everyone should follow their dreams and pursue their passion, but it is necessary to complete your education and work too. In fact, several things that I learned at my workplace helped me put this book together.”
Talking about the various characters in her book, the New Jersey-based author says, “My characters were not inspired by people in my life. Maya is in a way, my reflection, though not completely. However, her journey coincides with mine. Another important character in the book is Ananda; I wanted to keep him young as I didn’t want any attraction between the two of them.” Explaining the title of the story, Rupa says, “The title came to me before the story itself. Jodhpur is called the Blue City, and also the Sun City, and hence the title The Indigo Sun.”