Monday, 2 April 2012


" Princess Of Falcons " - A Perfect Debut for Himani

Princess Of Falcons "  a novel which is just released , it is a debut novel of  Himani Vashishta. Himani Vashishta, comes from an Indian family that takes pride in being part of a rich cultural heritage and traditions , now entwined with modern day living. In her exclusive interview with Isahitya she shared about herself and many things about  her debut novel  "Princess Of Falcons" 
Qus- Tell us about yourself ? 
First of all I would love to mention that I consider myself one of the luckiest person on this earth. I thank God every day, for blessing me with such a loving family and friends, giving me such a charming personality and a creative mind.
As a staunch optimist I would again like to thank God for giving me so much troubles and pain in these three- four years of my life, to help making me so bold and confident, seeing life with a broad prospective. The most popular timeless literature of Hindi “Ramayana” written by Adi Kavi (First Poet) Valmiki is also said to be the outcome of pain. My first success in writing was my published Poem in the book “Blossom Of India” depicting pain, gave me further motivation to write. I am a basically a poet turned author.
I won’t say that writing is in my blood but every day the new and inspiring stories told to me by my father in my childhood, conditioned my mind as a story teller.
I hail from a rural background. I have done my schooling and graduation from Mahendergarh, a backward district of Haryana. After my graduation my parents wanted to see some professional degree in my hands, yet I was never too enthusiastic for doing MBA and wanted to do something in art field. But lack of proper guidance and motivation in art field made me join MBA. The artist in me was never satisfied in that kind of jobs, so finally I quit and decided to do something in art field. The first idea came into my mind was to get proper training into visual fine arts, painting, origami, paper-mache, handmade jewelry and start  my  art institute, especially to train unskilled women, poor children, or all those who can earn something with this skill. Still I sometimes think of this idea, maybe someday I’ll have my  Fine arts institute to give fine arts training to those who can avail something from it.
I declare myself as a feminist and I really disgust the way women are oppressed in our Indian society. The idea of doing law came into my mind so that I can equip myself legally and then especially can help to those poor and oppressed women, who really need legal protection.
Qus- You did MBA then now Pursuing LAW and your first novel is just published. Tell us about this exciting combination that you have, law – Management – Writing ? When writing became part of your life?
I fear that after three- four years when I’ll be giving interview for my next books, there may be one-two more things will be added in this list…and then I’ll face same kind of question again. hehe…
I rate myself as a multi dimensional personality. Since childhood I was inclined towards art. In my school and graduation days I used to get various prizes in painting, rangoli, cartooning and drama.
As a child I wanted to be a painter or a lawyer as my father was a lawyer. Like any other parents in our Indian society my parents too thought that there is no great scope in art field, so they pushed me for getting some professional degree. Carrying a heart of an artist and lack of a business mind made my job boring for me.
I can recall in my school days I used to write stories and poems in my rough note books, but I never had plans to be an author. I came in this field by chance only.
Qus- How excited are you after all it your first novel?
I am feeling very excited after this achievement. This single achievement of me has changed my life a lot. The way people think of me, they approach me has changed for the good.
Qus- “ Princess Of Falcons” your first novel is just released . First thing that we like to ask  about Title and its theme?
While deciding final name for my novel I had three titles in my mind i.e.
1.      Debt Of Birth
2.      Battle Of Bangolarrea
3.      Princess Of Falcons
Then I took a poll in some reader’s community and decided “Princess Of Falcons” on the basis of votes and public opinion.
This title also apt to my book well as the heroine and main character of my novel belongs to Falcon’s tribe and its princess. The responsibility to save her tribe pushes her to lead the deadly battle of Bangolarrea
This novel is basically a fantasy, inspired by Hollywood fantasy movies. The main character Silviya who is living in our present day society in India, finds herself unexpectedly confronted with difficult questions about herself due to her horrible dreams. She was born amid of bloodshed and violence in an obscure tribe of North America. Her grandmother Trisha who was an Indian took her to India for safety and solace and shattered all relationship with past. Silviya knew nothing about her origin but past cast it shadows, same happened with Silviya.

The balance between Silviya’s study and family becomes disrupted as she travelled North America and found some hue of her origin. Her relation with her grandmother reaches dangerous levels; soon, their lives shattered once again.

Forced to pick up the pieces and deal with her past, Silviya embarks on a journey to an obscure region Bangolarrea with her friends where she was born; to find truth and her identity. The path to the answers they seek-and have sought for all their lives-is one that takes them entered into dangerous water.The Falcon tribe in which Silviya was born is threatened by Nāga tribe. She will be there to lead a deadly battle and kill Python!

As the time go by, Silviya finds herself slowly falling in love with her college friend Manav.
The presence of a young warrior Ralf, in her tribe and the future forecasts prompts her to rethink whether it is better to forget or to rehabilitate in India with Manav or whether to live in the past or destroy it once and for all.

Princess Of Falcons has allowed me to explore not only the heightened supernatural powers gained through animals and birds, but given the opportunity to encounter unique worlds and shape a story that encompasses those unusual settings and multicultural theme.
The Unique Factor in my novel is the names of persons and places I have chosen. They are according to their character and situation.
Qus- Why north America in part of your book and how?
First thing is since childhood foreign culture attracts me. I was inspired by Hollywood Fantasies too.   I wanted to base my book’s theme on a multi cultural theme. The protagonist Silviya is born in an obscure tribe of North- America, unknown to her real origin she spends all her life in India, until she comes to know the truth.
Like Harry Potter and Narnia I too have created an entirely obscure world, with supernatural elements. Yet I have also done some research for this. Like the eagle, snake tribes, Death Valley I have depicted in my novel are in some form said to be present there. Like if you search on net you will find near Death Valley in north America there exists a snake tribe i.e. Shoshone Tribe of Indians. Another major tribe Falcon I have depicted in north-America is also inspired by the fact that eagle is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. Falcon  is also a sacred bird in some North American cultures, and its feathers, like those of the Golden Eagle, are central to many religious and spiritual customs among Native Americans.
Qus- How you describe your book, Love story? Action - supernatural – romantic Tale? Is this book share anything similar to “Twilight Book” according to you?
My book contains three love stories but it is more than a love story book. I feel all the elements that you have mention above are present in plenty in my book.
The story includes three love stories, romance, tension, suspense, depiction of now a day’s hostel and college life, contains several humorous scenes, tribal life, a fierce battle,   touch of supernatural elements coupled with inspirational dialogues and seven original poems related to situation.
It will appeal to mainstream fantasy readers, supernatural power seeker enthusiasts, passionate romantics, as well as those who enjoy a good story, a good laugh, a few tears, and a happy ending. Although ‘Princess Of Falcons’ stands alone as a novel, I have outlines for two potential sequels.
The characters in my book are destined to stray down a different path other than the one society suggests as the “real world”. Each chapter leads the reader into a world altered slightly from the one they know. For me, this is what good fiction is about, an opportunity to escape from the daily grind and wander down someone else’s path an unknown path.
 Yes, there are certain similarities between Twilight book and mine. Like Jacob in Twilight the second hero of my book is also a Werewolf. The hero of Twilight Edward Cullen is having supernatural powers derived from vampires and the heroine in my novel has derived her powers from eagles. Like Twilight my book also contains a very sweet love story and a love triangle too.
Qus-  “Culture” , “War”  , “Origin” , “Identity” and “love” some major words of your novel which play major role in your story , Is it ? Please describe about the meaning in your story.
In my book’s plot there is a multi- cultural theme. Initially the female protagonist Silviya lives in Ajmer with her grand-mother who belongs to a royal Rajput family. “Know who you are”… “Pay you debt of birth”, such announcements in her dreams has chased and made her restless throughout her life. Her foreign looks, scary dreams and exceptional powers always make her suspicious about her own identity and origin.
Then she moves to Bangalore for higher studies and she feels the slight difference and enjoys her newly gained freedom and has fun with her friends. There she falls in love with her class-mate Manav.
Her world turns up-right down when she comes to know about her origin, that she belongs to an obscure tribe in North-America and possesses certain super-natural powers. Silviya then confronts with the new-fangled dilemma whether or not to go to that obscure region Bangolarrea in North-America. She feels that beyond the mountains she might have found the answers of many questions-she has about her life, her identity and her origin; answers which could not be found in her existing society. And, most important, she wishes to find out about certain traits that she thinks to be exceptional in herself.
Silviya embarks on a journey to an obscure region Bangolarrea with her friends where she was born; to find truth and her identity. The path to the answers they seek-and have sought for all their lives-is one that takes them entered into dangerous water.The Falcon tribe in which Silviya is born is threatened by Naga tribe. She will be there to lead a deadly battle and kill Naga’s tyrant king Python!
The presence of a young handsome warrior Ralf, in her tribe creates trouble in her love life with Manav.
This plot of my book makes three love stories necessary like the love marriage between Trisha from India and Raymond Falcon leads to the birth of Cupid.
The legendary love story of Falcon’s prince Cupid and Naga’s princess leads to the birth of novel’s heroine Silviya. Silviya has ‘Trinity Power’ as she comprises blood of three clans, so she is the most powerful one, the only person who can kill the mighty king of Nagas and bring peace to her Falcons tribe.
Qus- Your introduction , it  said – “Himani Vashishta, comes from an Indian family that takes pride in being part of a rich cultural heritage and traditions , now entwined with modern day living. She is a descendent of long line of ancestors who have been appreciated mainly for their scholastic attainments.”  Please share more about this quote and your background?
When I opened my eyes in this world I found myself belonging to a very educated, reputed and a scholastic family although we were based in rural. My grandfather Shri. Gyarsilal Ji Vaidya was the most reputed and prominent figure of my district Mahendergarh. My father is also a leading lawyer. My mother was an English literature lecturer, who sacrificed her career only to raise me and my brother well. My only brother who is the first ranker of UPSC 2006 (Medical Officer), and his wife both are doctors. All of my ancestors I have heard were expert in Ayurveda, astrology and Sanskrit.
I and my all the cousins know hundreds of Sanskrit hymns and shlokas just because of our rich cultural heritage.
My maternal grandfather is also a scholar in various languages like Sanskrit, English, Urdu and Punjabi.
Qus- This is your first novel? What is your expectation with the book and are you ready for facing critical review of your book?
“Princess Of Falcons” is my first published debut novel, my first book was an autobiography sort of. I would like to add more content to my auto-biography and would also like to publish it someday.
My best friend often quotes “When people starts criticizing you more and more that time you must know that you are on the way to your goal and progressing.” I do agree with my friend, so open to all kind of good & bad reviews.
Qus- How tough the publishing industry is for new comer? Is it tough? Are you rejected by some publishers?
Yes, I have faced rejections and I do feel that for new comers it’s hard to find a good publisher. In my case those who rejected me were satisfied with my creativity and language, but the ‘Hollywood kind of Fantasy’ concept that I had chosen for my book was intriguing some of them. In India most of the new fiction writers come up with love stories, which I think are accepted more readily than an entirely different multi-cultural, supernatural concept like mine.
Qus- What is your future plan? What’s next?
As I have mentioned in my Bio that I have interest in occult sciences, so my next book is going to be an Occult non- fiction, titled “Astral Projection, OBE & Lucid Dreaming”.
 Apart from this I am writing a classical Hindi novel “Virhani” and a love stories collection “Char Gulab.”
Thank  you Himani , and best wishes for Princess Of Falcons"