The Tantric Curse by Anupama Garg tries to give you a peep into the world of Tantra and Tantric’s through a love story. Author biography says she is a Baba Batuk Nath. Who I assume is a Tantra practitioner. And that is what gave author all the insider information on how the Tantric’s work.
It’s a story of a girl who by a stroke of luck lands up in an Ashram near Varanasi. And is raised by the owner/head of that Ashram as his own daughter and as an inheritor of his legacy. There is a love story between her and the son of her Guru. A story of a girl who grows up not in a home but in an ashram, of a child dealing with the expectations of the society or her friends and their families.
It seems the purpose of the story is to tell that Tantrics are normal people. And lead normal lives. What makes them different or in a subtle way powerful is the fact that they are Sadhak’s. And they do their regular sadhanas to increase their powers. Anupama Garg gives glimpses of this world by talking about the animosity between different Tantric’s. Who like the rest of the world are competing with each other all the time for No 1 position, who can harm each other from a distance. She talks about their lineage. And how they go to any extent to keep their lineage alive.
At another level, the author is trying to justify a very normal life of a Sadhak, that too a female Sadhak – the one who goes out and enjoys with her friends. One who enjoys her drinks (not the tantric drinks but the usual ones). One who enjoys designer clothes. And the one who despite being in a committed relationship can live in with another person, or have a fling or a one night stand. The one who is reclusive and indulgent at the same time. And of course, she is beautiful and agile. I have a feeling that a layer of this story is autobiographical and it is to answer many questions that the author may have faced and she is in a way trying to answer it through her protagonist.
Also when a protagonist is more than just perfect, the author is filling the character with his or her alter ego.
There is a layer of intense love story. The kind that we probably saw in old Hindi films only. A highly romanticized version of it where the couple never fights with a tragic middle and a fairy tale ending.
What the author has skillfully skipped is any insights into how Tantric’s do their sadhana. Any insight into any of the techniques they use and their internals laws or rules that they follow. She has kept the definition of a tantric very vague. And never really etches out a strong outline of a tantric in any of the characters that practice tantra. She never brings out the difference between a tantric and a non-tantric.
Language is simple and conversational, flows well and compliments the flow of the story. The book The Tantric Curse is well edited, something that we rarely see these days. The cover design is interesting. And something that would catch your eye – the eyes on the cover almost lock with your eyes. Cover brings out the Tantric flavor of the book very well and the colors have been well chosen.
If you like romantic stories, you would enjoy reading The Tantric Curse by Anupama Garg. Else, take your call.