KOCHI: Amish Tripathi, author of the Shiva Trilogy, was all smiles during an interaction with the young audience seated in front of him here on Wednesday . One could sense the awe in their eyes as they got the opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with ‘India’s first literary pop star.’ After his blockbuster Shiva trilogy, Tripathi is back with his Ram Chandra series, which explores Ram Rajya and the price Ram has to pay for making his land a perfect place.
Parvathy from St Teresa’s College here set the ball rolling. To her question on why themes and symbols from Hindu mythology were being explored in his works, Amish answered that his works, Shiva trilogy and the Ram Chandra series, were not limited to any single religion. They explore other religions also. The symbols in the stories could be traced back to civilizations and religions like Egyptian, Zoroastrianism, Mesopotamian, Indus Valley and others. ‘’In fact, it was what the traditional Indian concept teaches, be open to all,” he said.
Queried on why women characters in his works were treated with much dignity than the original scriptures, he said, “Ancient Indians treated women with much dignity and respect. If anyone says that scriptures were alien for women, I feel pity for that guy as there were ‘Rishikas’ who had contributed to some much-respected scriptures. Even more than that, my family had taught me that women should be treated with respect and there was never a different set of rules for boys. The restrictions being imposed on my sister applies to my brothers also,” said Amish.
It was in this backdrop that Amish had portrayed some of his women characters as highly defined personas in the newly-released ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’, first of the Ram Chandra series. The book depicts ‘Manthara’ as a rich merchant of Sapt Sindhu, more than an ally of Kaikeyi. At the same time, the same character is said to be a representative of the lower class in the original scripture.
There is Sita, daughter of King Janaka. When Amish put her in words, she had an extra role to play, the Prime Minister of Mithila. Thus Amish successfully brings an extra element to her women characters, not impairing the flow of the story.
When asked why he brings out three-part or five-part series, Amish said that, for him, the series is just one continuous story. And clarified that the series concept is for the convenience of the readers. “My works are more like ‘The Matrix’ movie series, if you miss one you will not be able to follow the rest. Be it a three-part or five-part series, for me, it’s always one continuous story. I don’t give any importance to my themes. Whatever comes to my mind I put on paper. The fate of the book bothers me less,” said Tripathi.
As the interaction came to a conclusion, one question was mooted from the gathering, how could one become a good writer? With a kind of serenity, Amish answered, be a good reader, be a good writer.
He was here to inaugurate DC Books’ new endeavour, ‘DC Explore’, at Convent Road.