BENGALURU: Ashwin Sanghi is one of the top-selling authors in India. His books, such as The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’ Chant and The Sialkot Saga, are best sellers and he is out with his next Keepers of the Kalachakra. He tells us how you could get over bad writing and which author he would like to converse with.
Your favourite book of all time and why? Could you quote a passage?
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda is my all-time favourite book. It taught me that what I cannot understand is no less real than what I can understand. One of the most thought provoking passages in the book is this: “Thought is a force, even as electricity or gravitation.
The human mind is a spark of the almighty consciousness of God. I could show you that whatever your powerful mind believes very intensely would instantly come to pass.”
Your favourite fictional character and why?
Hercule Poirot wins hands down. There are many great detectives in crime fiction but the quirks created by Agatha Christie make Poirot almost lovable.
Few lines you got from a book, which you would never forget?
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” Lines by J. R. R. Tolkien in his “The Lord of the Rings”.
Five top books released in 2017, according to you.
Origin by Dan Brown Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson Into the Water by Paula Hawkins Sita—Warrior of Mithila by Amish Tripathi Tell Tale by Jeffrey Archer
One book you would want a first edition of and why?
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the 1859 edition by Edward FitzGerald. I received a 1950s edition from my grandfather and I still use it as a book of universal answers to all of life’s problems.
Which author would you like to have tea with and what would you talk about?
The answer would have been Dan Brown if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve already had dinner with him. The next on the list would be Stephen King. I would want to know his step-by- step writing process.
One advice you would give to your favourite author, and one you would give to terrible writers.
My favourite book of all time is Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. I would love to see him revisit that story through a sequel. The only advice that I can give to bad writers is this: most writers (including me) are bad… they compensate for that through good rewriting.
Which books would you take with you on a solo holiday?
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson Harry Potter: The Complete Collection by JK Rowling
Your one guilty-pleasure read?
James Bond novels by Ian Fleming
One fictional character you go to when you need a friend?
Jeeves in the novels of PG Wodehouse
What is one quality of a book you wish people would have?
To have a spine.
One book you wish was never written, and why?
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I would have liked to be the one who wrote it.
What is one thing you cannot tolerate when you are reading?
Someone else attempting to carry on a conversation.
Your favourite reading nook?
The airplane seat.
Do you remember to keep bookmarks?
Kindle sorted that out.