India is the land of myths: Amish Tripathi
Telling a story is easy but when you are dealing with mythology, you are on a tightrope walk. And that is what exactly Amish Tripathi has decided to write about - the man behind Shiva trilogy - ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ and ‘The Secret of the Nagas.’ Myth making can be arduous task but not for Amish, who seems to have rather found real pleasure in mythology.
At the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2012, Amish talks about the inspiration behind his mythological series and upcoming projects with Aman Kanth of Zeenews.com
Here are some excerpts:
Aman: Myth is an unusual theme to write about. What inspired you to become a writer and take up mythological novel?
Amish: It’s unusual in the context of the last fifty years. India is the land of myths and we love our myths. My inspiration comes from the philosophical discussion that I once had with my family. In Indian mythology, devas stand for good and asuras stand for evil. However, Zoroastrian is the just opposite of the Indian pantheon. Our good is their evil and vice a versa. Now the question arises, who is evil? The book tries to demystify it.
Aman: Lord Shiva is the main protagonist of your trilogy. What made you choose him?
Amish: If I am writing a book on evil, who better than god of destruction – lord Shiva. Apart from that, he is a charismatic god. An atheist is pulled to faith by Shiva.
Aman: How easy or difficult it is to weave the yarn of mythology?
Amish: Honestly, it was the most difficult and the easiest work. It was difficult whenever I tried to control the thought and it was easiest when I wrote whatever came to me.
Aman: Did it take much time to research for writing these books?
Amish: I have been researching for twenty years. I had a priest for grandfather and parents who were into religion. Apart from that, I have been an avid reader of history.
Aman: Once your trilogy is complete, what will be your next work?’
Amish: I have various story ideas. I will write my versions of ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Ramayana.’
Aman: Is it right that Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar has acquired the rights of ‘The Immortals of Meluha’?
Amish: Yes, Karan Johar has acquired the Indian language rights of ‘The Immortals of Meluha.’ I am sure Karan Johar will justify my vision because I saw most passion in his team.
Aman: How religious are you as a person?
Amish: I was an atheist eight or nine years ago. Now I go to Shiv temple and chant the maha mrityunjay mantra. I am religious but not ritualistic.
Aman: What’s your take on the Salman Rushdie controversy at the JLF 2012?
Amish: I am a religious person. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan was right when he said that Salman Rushdie should be called for an open debate where he can agree to disagree.