Trade Winds To Meluhha: Novel Set In Ancient Mesopotamia & Indus Valley
by Vasant Davé
Samasin, an orphaned stable boy, rushes to help a foreigner sprawled with a slashed neck in a deserted tavern in Babylon. Gasping for the last breath, the stranger presses a fish-hook in his palm and pleads, 'Give to Siwa Saqra.' Just then, some hoodlums charge in and accuse the bewildered youngster of the murder. Sam must identify the assassin to clear his name from the stigma, and the man mentioned by the dying Meluhhan could probably help. But first he has to escape from the death sentence passed by the owlish elders of Babylon.
Sam flees under the darkness of night, and shivering violently, swims to a ship setting sail for Meluhha. During his countrywide search for Siwa, he runs into dacoits, mendicants, lunatics, thugs and even shamans, all bent on taking his life. However, it never occurs to the naïve stable boy that a powerful foe wants to sabotage his mission.
At last when Sam reaches Siwa, the man's haughty daughter instantly takes a dislike for him seemingly because he hails from Mesopotamia. Nevertheless, her slim dark form and a prolific braid swaying gently upon her derrière steal his heart. With a discreet eye on the girl as she hovers in the background, he sees Siwa blankly staring at the fish-hook. Sam's jaw drops as he wonders, 'Could it be somebody else to whom the dead man actually intended to convey the message?'
Inspired by Thor Heyerdahl's expedition in a reed ship across the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, TRADE WINDS TO MELUHHA narrates one man's dogged pursuit to end an evil trade wrecking many a young Mesopotamian's life.
- Vasant Davé, January 2012
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