Amish Tripathi – fast and (un)furious

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Ask author Amish Tripathi about what he has been working on lately, and the list seems almost endless.

Even as his latest ‘Idols: Unearthing the Power of Murti Puja’ (HarperCollins India) which he authored with sister Bhavna Roy released recently, he adds, “My non-fiction one which was released a few months ago is doing well. I am currently working on a book on Emperor Rajendra Chola which will be published this year, besides the fifth and final book of the Ramachandra series, which I will start writing this year. I also host and produce documentaries now, and did two for Discovery TV. We just finished one on the Ram temple in Ayodhya.”

The fastest-selling author in Indian publishing history, known best for ‘The Shiva Trilogy’ and ‘Ram Chandra Series’, says there is a lot inside him, and he just cannot wait to write more. “The first fiction I wrote was ages ago and all of my books are thick. There is a lot of research involved. Sometimes I feel it would be unfair to take credit for all I have written as it is only owing to Lord Shiva’s blessings that I have managed to achieve all this. I cannot credit my creativity for that.”

Talk to him about fascinates him about mythology, and he asserts it is India, its traditions and culture that fascinate him no end. “And I am extremely proud of them. My effort is to present them in a way that they resonate with the young,” he tells IANS during the recently concluded Kerala Literature Festival (KLF), Asia’s biggest literary event.

Tripathi finds it unfortunate that those who talk and write about Indian culture and its magnificence are immediately branded as right-wing. “I find it unfortunate. Frankly, this (right and left-wing) debate does not apply in India considering every party now supports welfarism. The real difference is between those who are globalists and the ones who are rooted. But let me be clear here, I am not against the West — there is so much to learn from there. However, my core is rooted. In my heart and outlook, it is Indianness that I relate to most,” says this IIM-Calcutta graduate who worked for 14 years in the financial services industry.

While there is a tendency to take writers working on mythology casually, Tripathi feels that it is best to remain unaffected by people who do that. Stressing that some may look down while others may look up to authors writing in this genre, the author, who served as Director of the Nehru Centre, London and Minister (Culture & Education) at the High Commission of India in the UK from October 2019 to October 2023 adds, “Frankly, I prefer not to react at all. For me, it is important to be respectful and polite, even with those criticise me.”

Believing that it is important for an author to pay attention to marketing his/her book, Tripathi opines that many books could have done exceptionally well had they been marketed better.

“But remember, no matter how good your marketing skills are, a bad book would not work. So, you need both solid writing and good marketing. It cannot be either of the two,” says the author whose books have sold seven million copies and been translated into 20 Indian and international languages since 2010.

Tripathi feels that literature festivals are important for writers as they get to meet their readers as these gatherings are also about coming together of diverse writers. “I need to listen to different points of view. It does not matter if you agree or disagree with their thoughts,” concludes the author who will next work on ‘Rise of Meluha’ with his sister Roy.



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