Udayavni Special

Mahabharata or Sci-fi? Amish keeps readers guessing on his next book

Team Udayavani, Aug 18, 2019, 1:24 PM IST

Kolkata: A heady cocktail of time travel, gaming and alien life or perhaps a fresh take on the epic war of Mahabharata, best-selling author Amish says he has “too many ideas” to delve in for his next series.

The man behind the smash hit ‘Shiva Trilogy’ will take a call on whether he will stick to his tried-and-tested mythology genre or make a splash in sci-fi, after concluding the ‘Ram Chandra’ series.

“My problem is I have too many ideas, but not the time to write on them,” a beaming Amish said, when asked what could fans expect from him in the coming days.

“Mahabharata is perhaps my next work after the ‘Ram Chandra’ series. It will be a very long series, as there is a deeper concept in the Mahabharata… The war isn’t what you think it is, there’s actually a much deeper conflict, which is what the story will cover,” he told PTI in an interview.

Amish said he will focus on the epic battle in his take on the Mahabharata, as he feels it wasn’t a mere war between two groups of cousins.

“If it was just so, the assumption is that it could have been averted. I think there was no way the war could have been stopped,” he said.

The 44-year-old author is simultaneously harping on a a “very interesting” idea, which he might as well put to words before the Mahabharata series.

“… I could take up something that is set in the modern day. The idea has captured my mind. The story will include elements of time travel, gaming, and some form of extraterrestrial life,” Amish said.

The popular novelist was in the city recently to promote his latest book ‘Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta’, the third instalment in the ‘Ram Chandra’ series.

On why he chose to write on Raavan at a time when the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant is stoking a controversy, Amish said his version of the demon king is nuanced and balanced.

“It’s not that faith and belief in Lord Ram is anything new in India. I won’t comment on the politics… Lord Ram, Lord Shiva are part our bones, our genes. There isn’t any fear of backlash because I am neither eulogising Raavan nor demonising him. My take on Raavan is nuanced, closer to the ancient versions of the Ramayana,” he said.

The banker-turned-author, widely credited to have revived interest in Hindu mythology, especially among the youth, said publishers had, in fact, unanimously turned him down for ‘Immortals of Meluha’, his first novel.

He eventually had to self-publish the work, which became an instant best-seller.

“When my first book was going around, it was rejected by every publisher and everyone told me that it is a guaranteed flop, the youth aren’t interested in this subject.

“I think the Indian youth wants to hear liberal modern messages, but from our own gods, goddesses and traditions, not from a western or westernised voice, that irritates them,” Amish said.

Stories about mythology never go out of fashion, as they are always alive, in different forms, versions and interpretations, the author added.

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