A novel across the world, from the eyes of Mother, Father, and Son
by Kiran Bhat
Girar: The Spanish word, ‘To Turn.’ My life in many ways has been an amble. There are thousands upon thousands of cultures on our Earth, and I’ve embarked on being a part of them. I’ve observed not as much of them as I would like, but I’ve seen hundreds of places, and have lived through dozens of cultures, too. I feel like there’s space for me, just a little bit, in each and every one of them.
Two parents, growing old without their son. I’ve been away from home far too long to see it on my end, but I have the ability to imagine like any one else. In that regard, those two are more a part of me than any culture I will know.
In 365 stories, from 2021 to 2030, Girar will visit various corners of the world, from the perspectives of Mother, Father, and their various other friends, relatives, and families, imagining their unique concerns in a range of cultural mindsets across the planet. Book One will be released in a subscription format on a streaming platform I am designing. The first novel in the series will be released between April 13th and May 11th.
5 out of 5
I was initially very intrigued by this. The idea of a series of 365 stories released over 9 years in such a unique way seemed so curious. I have to say I’m completely blown out of the water. I love the website, the layout, and the stories. I’m not completely caught up, but I look forward to continuing to read. When I started the first story – Mysore, Karnataka, India: A New Year, I was worried that Mother being used in place of a name would be a bit jarring, but it fits in seamlessly with Bhat’s unique writing style. The subscription price is less than a single cup of Starbucks coffee (and covers an entire month of full access)! The short videos, the stories, all promise more great tales to come, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what rolls out next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m an avid world traveller. I’ve now been to about 134 countries, and I’ve lived in 19 places across the planet. Why have I spent over ten years never living in one country, and not for longer than a few months? Because I’m dedicated to my principles. I believe that if you want to write something truly representative of a foreign culture, mentality, or lifestyle, you really have to live that life. When I was trying to capture tribal life in in We of the forsaken world…, I stayed with an indigenous community in Manu Jungle in Peru, sleeping in their hammocks, eating alongside them fruits and vegetables from the jungle. In that same way, if I wanted to set a story in a random part of the world, I would want it to be a place I have at the very least visited, interacted with people, or observed.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of the way we live. I’m lucky to have been able to travel before it all occurred. Not every story of Girar is set in a country or region or city I’ve visited. For such places, I tried really hard to use the Internet to get in touch with locals, using websites like Goodreads and Couchsurfing to find beta-readers. I also did my best to research what I could.
Nonetheless, a lot of myself has gone into Girar. These stories don’t necessarily represent my family, nor do they fully represent the countries they are set in, but in merging my love for my parents with my love for the world, I truly believe I have created something worth reading.