Advent of The Sun-Eyed Children

When I began writing The Sun-Eyed Children I did not suspect I was launching myself into such a daunting adventure. If I had, I would probably have discarded the idea as preposterous, and left it at that. But looking back, it appears that some things in life cannot be eluded forever. One may postpone them again and again, only to find oneself increasingly disturbed by this nagging sensation of unfinished business. And it gets only worse, till some event or encounter makes one understand that there is no escape.

We live a full life. Most of it is destined to be forgotten in ash. But our true soul-experiences remain, and I believe they have to be passed on to the generations that follow us.

This book is, in part, a testimony to the sixties and seventies, a post World War II period rich in cultural revolutions — social, lifestyle, techno-scientific, artistic — that laid the foundation of our contemporary culture. With all its good and all its bad.

The story finds initial context in this period’s Western society, with its rebellious youths, their ideals, aspirations, tribulations and ways of life. Most of these ideals may have been lost in transit, but it is up to the new generations to sieve through the tale (as does the swan when it separates milk from water), to extract the lasting truths hidden in it. And in this process, make the most of the experience.

But this is only the social context, the packaging of the story. There is more.

The book attempts to lead the reader through a spiritual quest which is independent of location, time or historical periods past or future. When we look into planet Earth’s long history, we may wonder (I certainly did as far back as my adolescent days): how come we take for granted the implicit outcome that evolution, having incessantly crawled across the ages, suddenly comes to a halt at the peak of Homo Sapiens? And here we are. An imperfect finished product set forever till the end of time? Or could it be that the immense timescale makes us blind to the unstoppable current of evolution?

An overwhelming archive of science-fiction literature and cinema tends to describe humanity in the future as cloned from the immutable template of today’s mankind, only set in an advanced technological universe — laden with starships travelling through hyperspace and other futuristic devices. They feature a frozen, no longer evolving Homo Sapiens species, the same future imbeciles getting drunk and picking fights in the same bars, lingering in the same brothels, only decorated with fluo LEDs in the burrows of some large asteroid; the same power-hungry politicians waging war across the solar system or even the galaxy, instead of some remote third-world country on Earth. What a dreadful future! If it is really what awaits us, I want none of it…

Will Homo Sapiens today remain forever the ultimate achievement of evolution? Can we not expect more, or better, or perhaps even “different”? It is time to open our eyes and realise that evolution will inevitably move on, as it has always done, and faster at that. We are witnesses of an exponential acceleration in its process. Changes that took millennia in the past will now take only centuries, perhaps decades. And if we could see the future of man, we might be shocked at what it holds for our descendants. Not just in terms of technological developments that are inevitable, but more deeply, in terms of psychological, social and even physical evolution: the very substance of Man. The Sun-Eyed Children will populate the Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy. And they will be like

nothing we have ever imagined.

This book (Volume I – Earth) is a prelude to this advent. The sequel (Volume II – Mars), explores further in time and space this astonishing revolution-in-the-making.

I saw them cross the twilight of an age,

The sun-eyed children of a marvellous dawn,

The great creators with wide brows of calm,

The massive barrier-breakers of the world

And wrestlers with destiny in her lists of will,

The labourers in the quarries of the gods,

The messengers of the Incommunicable,

The architects of immortality. Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book III, Canto 4

JOEL KOECHLIN, born in France, has lived his entire adult life in India. Ever eager to embrace every aspect of life in a perpetual quest for personal development and progress, he is an engineer, a pilot, a motorcycle enthusiast, a mountain lover, and a freelance author. An accomplished photographer, he has encompassed a wide canvas of subjects, from architectural and corporate work, to travel and adventure. He has translated into French, Sri Aurobindo’s epic work, Savitri. The Sun-Eyed Children is his first novel.

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Debashis Biswas

With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Walid Jalal

Walid has 7 years experience in online listing & marketing Working in SEO firm & Publishing sector. He worked in a Restaurant as a Manager in Sharjah for two years. He loves cricket & cooking.

Jayati Sarkar

Jayati has been into literature studies and has pursued her Mphil in Australian Aboriginal Poetry from the University of Calcutta. She is an avid reader and her love for books has brought her to the field of Publishing. For years she has explored the other side of the book as a reader and now she works with Leadstart as the Senior Executive in the Editorial Department. Her work profile includes working closely with Authors, managing the projects from end to end and also working with national and international publishers for management of Secondary Rights.

Ashwini Jadhav

Ashwini has about a decade’s experience in design. She is a Master of Commercial Art, who has worked in the publishing and advertising sectors as a visualiser & designer. She was judged as the third best in the state, when she finished her foundation course in applied art. She is a practicing calligrapher in Modi Lipi (a script in the Marathi language) and is a Rangoli artist who has won several accolades in those domains. During the popular Ganesh Chaturthi festival, several idols of Ganesha in varying sizes get made, one the most important finishing touches to the idol is that of painting the eyes, which Ashwini has practiced to perfection and does it for hundreds of idols every year. In addition to the above, she is also a trained classical dancer, a national level Kabaddi player and loves cooking.

Ananya Subramanian

Graduation in journalism and love for books, led Ananya to take up a career in publishing. With her experience in the field, she has come to believe more and more in the power of stories and the people who tell them. She is a vegan and an animal-lover; and loves to dance, tend to her pet plants and often find solace in solo travelling.

T. Vijay Kumar

Vijay has over a decade’s experience in supply chain management working in India and the Middle East. He heads the production, supply chain and receivables management for Leadstart. Prior to his current role at Leadstart, Vijay worked in inventory management for five years, in Abu Dhabi.

Iftikar Shaikh

Iftikar has a decade & half years of experience across publishing and the banking sectors in the finance domain. He enjoys working on numbers and loves uncovering stories that the numbers tell. A fitness enthusiast, he loves trekking and travelling.

Maneesha Arun

Maneesha has an experience of over two decades in the content industry spanning over publishing, media and secondary rights business domains. She has a deep interest in psychology.

Mahendra Rawat

With more than a decade’s experience in book sales and distribution, Mahendra comes from a family immersed in the book trade. He worked with several book distributors and publishers before his current assignment with Leadstart.

RAJESH KRISHNAN

With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Rajesh Krishnan

Rajesh comes with over 3 decades of experience spread over various business domains. He oversees Leadstart’s business development & sales across southern & western India, Sri Lanka and Middle-East. His hobbies include dancing, trekking and travelling

Pooja Dutt

Pooja has over a decade’s experience in operations, sales and people management in various business domains. She loves to interact with authors and helps them meet their publishing goals. She is fond of travelling & cooking.

Bhavika Bharambe

After completing her MBA in marketing, Bhavika has focused on roles that helped her to become an experienced marketing professional today. She has worked for brands from various industries; Educational, Tourism, Retail, Entertainment, Airlines, Banking and more. She loves to spend her time by reading books and listening to music.

Naina Solanki

Naina leads the project management and author support functions at Leadstart Publishing. She is fond of being abreast of the latest developments in technology and is a keen learner of the six sigma methodology. She loves reading and travelling.

Preeti Chib

Preeti has a decade’s experience in brand and communication management with most influential and innovative media companies. She is passionate about building brands by translating consumer insights into product innovations and campaigns. She is a compulsive reader and considers a day gone without some bit of reading a day wasted. She loves reading stories to her children every night. A lover of visual art, to delve a bit deeper into the same, she took up formal training for design as well.

Malini Nair

Malini is passionate about Literature and Business Management. After her MBA (Marketing) from St. Xavier’s, she took up roles that involved sales, marketing, costing, MIS etc. in multiple sectors like Banking, Insurance, E-broking, and even the Steel industry. Eventually, her passion for languages and books compelled her to re-route her career to literature. This led to a career break and a Masters Degree in English Literature; post which she took up a role at Wordit CDE & Leadstart, enabling her to work towards both her passions.

Chandralekha Maitra

With two decades of experience as a book publishing professional, Chandralekha began her career as a features writer and columnist, working with publications across India, before moving into book publishing full time, with India Book House. She received her training in editorial title management from Book House, London. Over the years she has worked with some of the finest publishing houses in India and overseas, and across genres and markets. She has also worked with Osian’s-Connoisseurs of Art, India’s first auction house, gaining in-depth exposure to research and publishing in the fine arts-antiquities-cultural heritage genres. Additionally she has had a parallel, specialist career in Human Resources, working at Group HR, Tata Group, among others. She continues to write, train and mentor in this domain as her publishing commitments allow.

Raj Supe

Aka Kinkar Vishwashreyananda, Raj Supe is a poet, storyteller and novelist, as well as a seeker and devotee of Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath. An MBA by education, his career spanned advertising, research and creative consulting, before devoting his time to literature and spirituality. His works include Three No Trumps (novel), Sagarika Anusagarika [Echoes of Nine Rivers] (poetry), Pilgrim of the Sky (spiritual memoir), and translations of religious texts such as Cloudburst of A Thousand Suns and Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari. He has also worked on film scripts with Ram Gopal Verma and Ashutosh Gowariker, and on plays with Makarand Deshpande.

Dr. Rabindra Kumar Nanda

An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Stanford University, Dr Nanda is also a National Science Talent Search Scholar. He holds five Patents and is a published author of 50 national and 52 international research papers.

Swarup Nanda

Swarup has over a decade and half’s experience in multiple business domains related to content. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, he has worked with a couple of MNCs in the media space. His passion for literature and books is his motivation for building Leadstart.