It was because of some building that I saw in Segovia that it all occurred. I was a junior at NYU, studying abroad in Madrid, and we were taking a trip out into the country. In Segovia we walked by aqueducts taller and more daunting than fortifications, cobblestones lanes drenched in wonder, a castle which inspired Disney World itself. The goal was to educate us about the history of Spain. And so we walked through the ancient residents of the Jews, the steeping colonies of the Moors, the vanquished domains of the Visigoths, up into the cathedral, where we sat, and we talked.
And, inside of this cathedral, I saw not only the histories of the Visigoths, the Jews, and the Moors, coming together to create what would someday be known as modern Spain and Portugal. I had something akin to a darshana, where I imagined all of world history happening at once. Alexander the Great came into the Indian subcontinent. Later on, south Asian traders came to Malacca and the Malay Peninsula. Native Americans were pillaged and robbed. So were the Aboriginals of Australia. So were many people, in fact.
I imagined so many things, and at once, and I told myself... I need to write it all. I need to find a way to collapse our earth into one novel.
It's been about ten years since that day in Segovia. In my search for my global novel, I travelled to 132 countries, lived in 19 corners of the land, and learnt 12 languages. This was all in the service of something greater. I knew I couldn't just be Kiran Bhat from a suburb of Atlanta. I needed to immerse myself in as many cultures and languages as possible, so that I would have enough inside of me to speak from the perspective of this Earth.
I don't know how far I've gotten, but I view Girar as my attempt to do this concept justice. I want to humanise the different corners of our planets. And I found it easier to relate to the world from a fictional perspective by peering deep into my family, and the ways that we don't understand each other, and the things that have made us who we are.
From that odd combination has come its own world. And with each of you peering into it, just like my vision on that day, your eyes will glimpse on something, and it too will lead you to conclusions of your very own.
By the way....
Girar is an exciting project for me, but I hope it's an exciting project for you too. I'm still in the process of building my fanbase and finding subscribers, so if you find my project to be something you wish more people in the world knew about, please ask other people you know to subscribe to the newsletter. Our space in this world is small, but our ability to move across it and reach others is surprisingly larger than you think. I'd love to find Girar in more places, and I know I'd need your help to do so.