People who have read his books have drooled over his brilliance of capturing mythology in his work. And those who haven’t, want to grab a copy of the Shiva Trilogy. Amish Tripathi, author of The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas is set for release of his third book The Oath of the Vayuputras in December.
When other IIM graduates were busy writing real life stories, Amish preferred mythology. “Lord Shiva chose me, I did not choose him,” says the 38-year-old writer. Though some amount of research went into his work, the fact that he comes from a family inclined to puranas and Vedas, helped Amish. He learnt mythology the Gurukul way — through “shruti” (hearing). “Based in Benaras, my grandfather was a pundit of sacred scriptures and a lecturer at the Benaras Hindu University. He would narrate the Vedas and mythological tales to us.” But Amish hadn’t thought of writing a novel back then.
It was about 10 years ago that a simple discussion on “asuras” and “daivas” in the Indian and Persian mythology over a cup of coffee gave him the idea to write a novel. Amish says the journey has not been an easy one. “Initially, publishers rejected the script saying it doesn’t target a particular section of readers and there may be backlashes from religious communities.”
Today, he has a readership of over 7.5 lakh. The Immortals of the Meluha has been released in Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi, while ...Nagas has been released in Hindi. Editions in other languages like Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Assamese are expected soon. The book tells the story of a Tibetan immigrant Shiva who is invited to the kingdom of Meluha. In Meluha, he discovers his destiny. It’s a retelling of the legend of Lord Shiva.
Interestingly, Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions has brought the rights of the book for a film. They are at the scripting stage right now. Amish says, “If one wants to tell Lord Shiva’s story, it can only be done with intense passion and commitment. I saw this passion in people at Dharma Productions towards ...Meluha. I believe my book is in very safe hands with Karan and his team.” Amish wrote most of his book while travelling between his workplace and home in Mumbai.
He adds, “During my days in Mumbai, I was very upset with the riots and bomb blasts taking place in the country. My father helped me understand that religion is simply a system of beliefs being misused by certain people. His words really helped me.”