In her ninth novel, Contamination, (Om Books), Richa Lakhera explores the little-known style of militia horror. “It is a merging of two genres—battle and horror, weapons and ghosts,” says the 40-year-old tv journalist over a video name from Mumbai. “Militia horror is an underutilised style in India.”

In Contamination, with flying bullets, exploding grenades and a rising physique rely, Richa says there are additionally hungry ghouls. “I’ve merged the paranoia of a relentless battle with horror. So from hunters, the characters grow to be the hunted.”

Promise of surprise

Supernatural components, Richa believes, ship a promise of a world of surprise and thriller. “The supernatural gives hope, that now we have not seen all of it, that there is extra.” The Hungry Gods author says she was working on one other ebook, The History of Violence, which offers with the identical idea minus the supernatural components, when she determined to vary observe. “Obviously, I couldn’t introduce horror in that ebook. So I began writing Contamination.”

The largest problem in writing a ebook like this is the analysis, says Richa. “Being a journalist, I observe what I name the three Rs — analysis, asking the proper questions and being resourceful.”

Temptress or catalyst?

Amba, the protagonist of Contamination, is a lady, main troopers by a battle. “Traditionally heroes are male and the one position given to a lady is both as a temptress, to tempt the male hero from his purpose or as a catalyst to assist him obtain it.”

In Contamination, Richa says, stereotypes are damaged with Amba following Joseph Campbell’s template for a hero’s journey. “So initially, there is a trauma, then a name to journey with ordeals, battles, decision and ultimate resurrection. Amba goes by the trials of working in a male-dominated zone. If she had refused to take up the problem of heading this unit, then her expertise would have been that of a sufferer and never a hero.”

Matter of alternative

The plot, Richa says, provokes Amba to make decisions, which reveal her integrity. “That is what heroism is about. Heroism is gender agnostic. It has to do with the alternatives we make. I’ve prevented attempting to elucidate Amba’s decisions from the gender standpoint, as a result of that flattens the storytelling.”

While Contamination is the story of the changing into of a hero, of selecting gentle over darkish and the transformative energy of forgiveness, Richa says, the bigger, unifying theme is that battle is the best horror.

Name of the sport

Loads of thought has gone into the naming of the characters, says Richa. “In The Mahabharata, Amba is not gender-specific, that was one of many causes I discovered the title highly effective. I loved naming the gun-toting psychopath, Rosie Madbull. Anton Chigurh (performed by Javier Bardem) in No Country for Old Men was my template for Colonel Madbull. I favored the distinction between Rosie and Madbull.”

Old as time

Supernatural forces have existed endlessly, says Richa. “The battle between good and evil is there in all our tales with this large armoury of marvellous astras and mentors. The tales are relatable as all the things is rooted in feelings, from envy and lust to pleasure and conceitedness. From The Mahabharata to the Marvel Universe, the characters are historic however their weapons are trendy.

The development from being a journalist to a author is a pure one, in response to Richa. “Whether you’re a journalist, a author, a screenwriter or a novelist, all of it boils all the way down to being keen about telling a narrative. The cardinal rule is ‘don’t go flippantly to a clean web page. Whatever you are feeling, whether or not despair or hate, really feel it strongly’.”

On display screen

While Hungry Gods is being tailored by Sanjay Gupta ( Shootout at Lokhandwala, Kaante), Richa has received choices for Contamination too. “Earlier there was this disinterest in supernatural movies, which is puzzling as a result of Indian story-writing is replete with magic and fable. It is baffling that now we have solely a handful of fantasy movies within the final 4 many years that earned the massive bucks.”

A cultural change has are available in viewers’s tastes which could possibly be due to the worldwide content material, particularly within the OTT house, says Richa. “We don’t have an Alice in Wonderland or The Lord of the Rings but. We are getting there with Kantara, Tumbaad and Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva. These movies present that not solely is there an viewers for them, but in addition that filmmakers are opening as much as the idea of introducing supernatural components.”

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