Pilgrims of the Inner Worlds
A multi-national group of about a dozen creative writers (published authors as well as amateurs) is being assembled. They are coming together to create a collaborative fictional novel based on their own memoirs.
A broad outline of the plot is given below. One may choose to write one chapter of about 5000 words in a period of continuous 10 days.
Plot. Siana, a painter by hobby and architect by profession travels with acquaintance Aaron from New York to Dharamshala high in the mountainous India. Each discovers him / her self and each-other as a by product of this. Acquaintances become friends and soon the relationship will blossom into wedding and a child who will name herself as Mora.
The central character of the novel is this child however other characters have significant roles too. Yet, the novel is meant for adults.
Both of them chance upon a dilapidated building which turns out to be a century old abandoned building of Freemasons. Going through a century old large Christian bible and materials at that temple, he finds links to his forefathers who to his knowledge weren’t Freemasons and had never been to India. Siana discovers that she was adopted at a very early age. The internet connection is highly unreliable. They do a bit of web searching and a lot of talking. Unknown to both of them they travel in their respective minds too — what their true callings are.
A fortnight in the Himalayas changes their lives. And those of several other important characters in the novel.
Going back to the States, searching his family tree almost becomes an obsession for Aaron. That takes him to the headquarters of Mormons in Utah. Ploughing through millions of digitally mirrored genealogy registers of families in microfiche leads to nowhere. Soon he will discover that his search is misdirected and the approach is faulty.
Siana becomes much more social. She takes to graphics and study of divinity.
While all this is happening, Mora grows to be a happy 6 year old.
The novel is organised in 12 books (or chapters). All of them about human relations. Each book relates to a grade of a school. Book 1 is when Mora is in Grade 1 and so on. Each book ends with a conclusion and a learning that is not a moral necessarily.
Each book introduces a new lead female character and a goofy subsidiary character to the story. All of these 12 women (grand mother 1, grand mother 2, grand mother 3, mid-wife, nanny, god-mother, medical doctor, teacher etc.) have a motherly role for Mora. The underlying spirit of chapter 10, 11 and 12 are similar to that of chapter 1, 2, and 3 respectively. Cris-crossing various countries, nationalities, faiths and races, the novel ends as Mora leaves teens.
By this time, Mora, Siana, Aaron and other main characters realise that peeling away the layers of professions, races, nationalities, faiths, economic circumstances, age-groups and other demographics, all humans are same every where and are inquiring into and yearning for love, joy and peace.
Mora is well-exposed to these inquiries and yearnings by the time she starts going to college. She is presented with a new paradigm – the humans have been evolving – at subconscious levels and in supraminds. Bio-engineering and artificial-intelligence have made rapid advances and the two fields have potentials to augment humans. How will these shape up is a big known-unknown. So will this new insight into commonality of humans be relevant anymore?
My curiosity finally got the better of me as I stood and, taking my notebook with me, I began to walk toward her. We met near the middle of the drive way, which, just so you know, was quite long.
“Hi,” she said, a bit on the shy side.
“Hi,” I said. “My name is Mora. What’s yours?”
“Jane.” she said with a small smile beginning to stretch across her face. “I heard that you moved in not very long ago.”
I nodded. “That’s right. Did those nice people tell you?” I asked.
She laughed. “Yes, they did. And they are my great-grand parents.”
“Oh. Well, I actually haven’t met them, but they seemed to be very nice people.”
“They are. Which reminds me of my main reason for coming over. My great-grandmother wanted me to ask you to come join us for a treat.”
“Hmm, will it be good?” I said, trying to not smile as I hoped to be thinking about it hard.
She laughed. “I guess you’ll have to find that out for yourself.”
“Alright.” I laughed with her. “Where will we be going?” I asked as we started to walk back toward my house.
“Just at my grandparent’s house.” she said.
“Where is that?”
“Right across the street. Did I say grandparents?”
“Yes, you did.”
“Well, I meant great-grandparents. It’s just easier to leave off the ‘great’ if I’m talking about them a lot.”
“I guess that makes since. Let me tell my mother where I’ll be real quick.”
“Of course. I’ll just wait here on the porch.”
Slipping inside the house, I quickly found Mom and told her where I would be.
“Let’s go!” I shouted as I shot out of the door and leaped down the stairs.
Jane laughed as she hurried to catch up to me. Apparently it was going to be easy to make friends with this girl.
Mora looked at the exercise book on her desk, doodling absent mindedly as the teacher took the roll call:
“Aditi, Brinda, Lopa, Linda….Mora Mora MORAA!”
She looked up as the decibels of Miss Chatterjee’s voice rose to crescendo levels.
“Yesss, yes maam!” Mora cried, raising her hand frantically to signal her presence, as she got to her feet.
Miss Chatterjee, looked down her glasses raising her head from her attendance sheet and said, ‘Always dreaming, what is it, a boyfriend on your mind uh?’
The words dropped into the room like slivers of ice freezing wandering thoughts into a composite mass that were now solely directed at Miss Chatterjee’s red outlined lips. “Girls in my class will only hear and think about what I am saying. I don’t want wandering attention. This is a crucial year, next year you are sitting for your Boards. Girls from my class go like soldiers into battle, fit and ready and getting the top scores. If you have a boyfriend,” and she made the word sound like a slur, “ then I suggest you drop him. At this age….’her eyes swept across the room, ‘ You will have to do as I say if you want to be in my class, or,’ she paused, ‘I will ask you to get out,’ her head tilted in the direction of the door, ‘Go to another section if you want and …’ She stopped, leaving the unspoken words like a vaporous overhang – threat, an assertion of control – get in line or?
This 4 paged pdf contains examples of excerpts from some chapters being presently written by various co-authors (Jewish from the US, Catholic Christian from Latin America, Islamic from India, Hindu from India, etc.).