Ever since embarking on their quest to stop the destruction of the world, Aru Shah and her Pandava sisters have encountered dozens of colorful deities, wondrous creatures, and frightening foes. In their final attempt to put the Sleeper to bed once and for all, Aru and her friends will have to seek guidance from a few more unexpected personalities.
Cue the lord of the gandharvas, Tumburu. A man with limitless talent, impeccable fashion sense, and . . . a big blue horse head. But Tumburu is more than just Otherworld’s pre-eminent celestial musician. This guy’s been around a long time, and he has a complicated history and a unique relationship with the mortal world.
Here’s everything you need to know about this eccentric music teacher. (Except for the horse head. You’re on your own trying to figure out where that came from.)
Song and Dance Man
Tumburu currently resides in an apsara wellness spa run by Aiden’s grandmother, Menaka. You can usually find him making heavenly music in his recording studio with the help of a vast collection of enchanted instruments. These days, all you need to become a famous musician is a working microphone and an internet connection. Oh, and some talent helps, too.
As for those of us who don’t know a symphony from a timpani, Tumburu has your back. His blessings can transform even the most tone-deaf teen into a star. The effect only lasts a couple of hours, however. If you hurry, maybe you could use it to go viral on TikTok!
High and Mighty
Like other gandharvas (and record producers), Tumburu has a pretty low opinion of most mortals. He’s not the easiest horse/person to work with, even when the world is literally coming to an end. On the other hand, Tumburu can recognize potential when he sees it. When he locks on to a new project, you better believe that he’ll see it through to the end.
Just don’t expect to be able to choose your own instrument. Or write your own songs. Or design your own outfit. Or really be a part of the production process at all.
The Demon Formerly Known as Tumburu
You wouldn’t know it by looking at him these days, but Tumburu used to resemble a giant demon, thanks to a nasty curse from Lord Kubera. While in his demon phase, Tumburu used to trouble the god king Rama and his brother, Laxmana. Even when he didn’t want to.
In order to regain his normal form, Tumburu had to be buried alive. For someone who loves music and the performing arts, being stuck in a tomb of silence and darkness was the worst fate imaginable.
Still, it couldn’t have been much worse than being forced to listen to Brynne play the harp.
No More Horsing Around
If Tumburu learned anything during his time as a demon in the mortal realm, it was that beauty can be found anywhere. There’s poetry in thunderstorms. Wind rustling through leaves can be a soothing song.
Because of his appreciation for our world, Tumburu is dedicated to preventing its destruction at the hands of the Sleeper. Therefore he will do whatever it takes to help the Pandavas reach their final destination.
But before they go, something really needs to be done about their outfits.
Want to make beautiful music with Tumburu? Be sure to pick up Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality, on sale now!