Naag Devta - The Snake Lord, a short story
After being inspired by religious mysticism, an author writes a novel that touches off riots in the streets of several Indian cities and earns him a cold reception in his native land. More
Ranjit Singh-Darwin, a freshly minted PhD, travels with his wife and child to visit India. There he is inspired by the visitation of a Sapeera (a religious man who entertains with his mastery of a flute and snake), and so begins a novel. While en route to his home in the United States, a connection's delay in Mumbai results in him and his family spending the night in the Taj Hotel, where a terrorist attack unfolds. Shocked and stricken with fatigue, Ranjit takes up his novel in earnest there on the hotel's sixth floor.
The novel he writes, 'Naag Devta,' is completed fourteen months later, and explores themes of religion and mysticism. Ranjit's wife sends a copy to India, and it is there translated into Hindi and Tamil. The reception of the book is nothing short of dramatic: fights break out in the Indian Parliament over its censorship, and demonstrations ignite in several Indian cities after its publication.
Back home, Ranjit enjoys relative anonymity until his whereabouts are discovered. Thereafter, he is met on the streets with an odd mix of derision and reverence. His wife finally leaves him and takes his only child with her, and Ranjit is left alone to contemplate his circumstance.