BHUBANESWAR: The path to creativity starts with the process of unlearning and connecting the dots, said acclaimed fiction-thriller writer Ashwin Sanghi, who started the first session of day two of 7th Odisha Literary Festival by touching the right chord and sharing his experiences in writing.
Engaging school students who had gathered in large numbers to listen to their favourite author, Ashwin began with his Bania family background and his attempts to learn the reality of life which revolved around money. Quoting his maternal grandfather, he said in a rat race even if you win, you are still a rat, evoking laughter and applause from the audience. To drive home his point, the writer said in order to connect the dots, one must train the brain to interpret two seemingly opposite ideas. Only then can a person think differently and do something other than usual.
The author of best sellers such as Chanakya’s Chant and Rozabal Line said he interprets the creation of the Brahmand (universe) to singularity where Vishnu is the creator and Shiva the destroyer. The writer said what prompted him to write is his ability to connect the dots. He said in India, no attempts are made to link ‘itihaas’ (history) and ‘puranas’ (Hindu mythology).
The best selling author again had the audience in splits when he narrated his experience about a trip to Kolkata where he came across a temple where actor Amitabh Bachchan is worshipped. Stating that he could not resist himself from buying an ‘Amitabh Chalisa’, Ashwin connected the dots and said maybe 1,000 years later, the superstar may have a bigger cult following and perhaps one lakh temples having his idol will come up across the country.
“Is this how Rama and Jesus came to be worshipped?”, this question led to another theory where myth and history are stirred in a collider. Citing the example of epic Mahabharata, Ashwin said mythology is a game of checkers and what was whispered in one ear may not emerge as it is in the other. But that does not change the truth. It is just that people kept adding their own views to create humongous epics over thousands of years.
The author said the most fascinating thing about India is that here one’s truth is not greater than the other’s. In a word of advice to the students, Ashwin said his objective as an author is to entertain. He said the relationship between a writer and a critic is that of a dog and a lamp-post and every aspiring author faces initial setbacks. He advised the budding fiction-thriller writers to carry on and connect the dots to reveal some of the most amazing theories of history and mythology.