Ruchira Khanna, one of the Rough Writers at Carrot Ranch, has published her second novel. Voyagers into the Unknown is a modern tale which takes place in Agra, India where tourists visit historic landmarks, including the famed Taj-Mahal.
If you visit Ruchira’s blog, Abracabadra, you’ll learn that she’s full of life-affirming mantras. Her flash fiction at Carrot Ranch takes on that particular perspective. Mantras are words that can shift one’s mindset. And Voyagers into the Unknown is a novel based on the power of a protagonist who alters the perspectives of his clients by showing them powerful historic sites and speaking in uplifting ways even when the others are dark, moody or self-centered.
What Ruchira does so well is to portray India authentically among a cast of realistic global characters. Cultural perspectives collide and each character has the choice to change, or not. Even the tour guide who acts as a change agent is not immune from inner growth.
Numerous small stories combine to tell the grand story of the group as a whole. Each character is different and offers the reader multiple perspectives as to how to respond. There is no right or wrong way, just as in real life we are complex human beings with multiple faults and saving grace.
There’s a scene in the book where the protagonist, an Agra tour guide with a knack for fixing broken lives, let’s his latest group absorb the monument full of love and beauty, the Taj-Majal. Through the temple’s story and the tour, the reader watches as if part of the group. It’s a grounding point in the novel, as if to express we are all connected in time and across cultures. That love stories can still move us and be a part of our lives. How do we accept that? It’s the heart of the voyage.
If you know Ruchira from the flash fiction challenges you might be surprise to learn this author was once a biochemist. Now she channels universal energy as a Reiki Master and empowers readers to take on positive life mantras. She also supports the growing community of authors and bloggers from India.
A personal thanks to Ruchira — this buckaroo is mighty pleased to be asked to read an early draft and be quoted on the back cover! It truly is a vibrant story and one that embraces global and cultural diversity. It’s an uplifting read.