Talk to him about the fact that many perceive authors writing on mythology as being right-wing, and he asserts that when he wrote ‘The Rozabal Line’, the BJP was nowhere on the scene…writes Ashwin Sanghi
He says the most fascinating thing about mythology is that we call it that. Bestselling author Ashwin Sanghi, whose novels include ‘The Rozabal Line’, ‘Chanakya’s Chant’, ‘The Krishna Key’, ‘Sialkot Saga’, ‘’The Vault of Vishnu’ and ‘The Magicians of Mazda’, believes that there is immense overlap between history and mythology, and over a period of time, a lot more elements have been added to stories make them ‘fantastic’.
“In all of us, there is a part that says ‘what if it were true’? And that is the key sentence that drives a lot of contemporary commercial writing in this genre,” he adds.
The author, a MBA degree holder from Yale has already written seven books in the Bharat series and is currently working on the eighth, which he plans to complete in the next eight months.
Besides, his first solo crime thriller will also be on the stands in January. “While I have done crime thrillers in partnerships before, I am looking forward to this solo adventure hitting the stands. I have always loved thrillers — you can incite thrill with both mythology and crime.”
Talk to him about the fact that many perceive authors writing on mythology as being right-wing, and he asserts that when he wrote ‘The Rozabal Line’, the BJP was nowhere on the scene.
Adding that bracketing writers working on mythology with particular political ideology is unfair, he says, “A lot of my books are an exploration into what I find fascinating. They are subjects that I hold very dear to my heart. Putting things in binaries can be dangerous. There are many who believe that all wisdom in the world originated from India. Another set of people insist that it is the West needs to be our role model. Both are so wrong, on multiple levels.”
Sanghi, who was a speaker at the recently held Literati Literature Festival in Chandigarh, says that his research process is seldom linear and depends on the subject he is dealing with.
Often starting with an idea that helps him navigate the nature of the research, he says that sometimes, the material would be easily available – at times a lot of digging and groundwork is required.
“For ‘Chanakya’s Chant’, I needed to go back to the Shastras and the play ‘Mudrakshasa’. But for the book on Krishna, it was imperative to travel to Vrindavan and Dwarka. I needed that local flavour to do justice to the story. Not to mention, learning Quantum Theory — for which I took classes from an IIT graduate,” concludes Sanghi whose book ‘Chanakya’s Chant’ is with a producer, and ‘Vault of Vishnu’ will be adapted into a film.
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