After record sales in India of their 700-page saga entitled Conspiracy of Calaspia, two Swiss teenagers with Indian roots are now set to conquer Europe.This content was published on March 27, 2008 - 22:02
The book tells the story of an adolescent, Bryn, and a motley group of courageous individuals who must brave danger and death to defend their planet against an evil enemy.
The twin brothers Jyoti and Suresh Guptara will be 20 years old on November 22.
Polite but spontaneous, humorous and impish, they have lived with their parents – Indian father and British mother - in the town of Weinfelden in eastern Switzerland since they were seven years old.
They speak Swiss German, German and English without an accent and they are the heroes of an amazing adventure. It's almost as awesome as the adventure they write about in a book that is making their name.
Conspiracy of Calaspia is named after the imaginary planet where the events unfold. First published in English in India in November 2006, the book rapidly became a success, climbing to second place in the Indian Fiction Bestseller List.
Impressed by such an achievement, the German publishing house Rowohlt has just published the novel in a record print run of 100,000 copies.
The Italian publisher Mondadori will bring out the book in April, while discussions are taking place with publishers in Britain and the United States. A version in French is also planned.
Since there are not yet any sales figures for these versions, it is obviously too early to make predictions. But there are a number of reasons why the book could be an international success like The Lord of the Rings, or even Harry Potter.
One reason is the extraordinary energy and dynamism of the Guptara twins, their love of life, their enthusiasm and their imagination, and the touch of innocence about them.
A thousand-page follow-up to Conspiracy of Calaspia has almost been completed, and a third is due to come out in September.
The authors say they have enough material in their heads to fill six or seven books in what they have called the Insanity Saga. Insanity is a perverse force in the book that destroys coherence and truth on the planet Calaspia.
Good and evil
Another reason is the moral dimension of the work, which is reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings.
The Guptara family has a deep sense of Christian morality but their Christianity is open and redemptive, full of humour, and of love for the failings and weaknesses of humankind. Although the text is by no means religious, this attitude shines through and is one of the attractive things about it.
There is much in the book about good and evil as well as the search for truth. But the authors insist that for them, these huge concepts have to be approached with caution.
They say their characters are mostly neither totally good nor totally evil and that the ending of the first book of the saga contains a major twist that shows that truth is sometimes relative and often complex.
The two brothers wrote the first draft of Calaspia when they were just 11 years old. Since then the book has been rewritten ten times.
At the age of 15 Jyoti, unlike his brother, left school to concentrate solely on writing, finishing his schooling by correspondence.
Jyoti obtained Swiss nationality in December last year. He wants to continue writing books but also dreams of tackling screenplays. As for his brother Suresh, he hopes to go to university to study philosophy and physics.
swissinfo, adapted from an article in French by Michel Walter
Let's Save The Planet
(from the back cover of Conspiracy of Calaspia)
When the Nurgor and Ostentum destroy their peaceful village, Bryn joins a motley group of courageous individuals who must brave danger and death to stop the insidious powers behind an enemy that defies logic.
Why have the Barue, an innocent tribe with an uncanny ability to sense emotions, been targeted for destruction? And who is behind the intricate scheme that unfolds?
After many daring adventures they reach apparent safety, only to discover they have unwittingly been spun into the mesh of evil. Caught in a web of corruption, they must race to save Calaspia along with their lives – if it is not too late...
The Guptara Family
On their father's side Jyoti and Suresh Guptara come from the Christian community in the Indian state of Kerala that goes back to the first century after Jesus Christ.
Their father Prabhu is director of Organisational and Executive Development at the Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre (a subsidiary of Switzerland's largest bank, UBS).
Widely known as a speaker and broadcaster, he is or has been chairman, director or board member of various companies and organisations.
Jyoti and Suresh have a 29-year-old brother who is head of an Indian restaurant chain in Zurich – King's Kurry. Their sister, aged 26, is an actress in London.