India, the backdrop of Sarai Shavit Hebrew novel

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New Delhi: Israeli writer-poet Sarai Shavit always had this feeling that everything can happen in India and when her teacher asked her to write a scene between two people who never met before, she knew where her destination was.

She found inspiration for her latest novel "India Express" at a guesthouse in India. "I loved travelling in India. Everything can happen in India with different kinds of people and a vast variety of feelings. From that notion, came the idea for my journey- thriller romance `India Express`," 30-year-old Shavit told PTI about her novel, recently published in Hebrew.

The main character, Mali Mualem, comes to India to find her elder brother who went missing and takes the help of a private investigator, Canaan Gross. The story that begins as an adventure and a mystery turns out to be a story about a lost family, relationships and love. "For me, India was the best decor for my Israeli characters," Shavit says.

The character of Mali is inspired by a young woman whom Shavit met around Manali some years ago and who "talked in a special Israeli dialect: rude, fast, unique and full with magic metaphors".

Shavit has been to India many times and during those trips she wrote dairies, songs and short stories. "But the idea of my novel came during a writing course in Tel Aviv University. Our teacher Yuval Shimoni, a writer himself, asked us to write a scene between two people who never met before, in a situation that`s unusual for them. This task gave birth to the main and chapters in my book."

"Mali and the private investigator meet in one of Delhi`s wild guesthouses, for the first time. I guess India is in my heart always, so even though the book is totally fiction and does not deal with my life directly, I was more than happy to invent a story that mostly takes place in India," she says.

"India Express" is in Hebrew and Shavit hopes it would be translated into English and even Hindi. "I am sure it will be very interesting to read Mali`s family experience in India in other languages than Hebrew."

In her first book "Bruria Production", Shavit published three stories dealing with the relationships within a family. She first erupted on to the literary stage at the age of 25, after her poem "Allenby at Night" won first place in the Tel Aviv municipality`s "Poetry on the Road" project in 2007.

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