Originally published in The Hindu.
A chance discussion about the legacy of Lord Rama spurred banker-turned-author Amish Tripathi’s latest book series. Amish shot to fame with his immensely-popular Shiva trilogy. “I was part of an interaction at a literature fest where someone talked about Ram in disparaging terms. I did not like that and decided to base my next series of books on Lord Rama. I began working on the books the very next day.”
The author was in town for the release of the first book of the series, The Scion of Ikshvaku(Westland). Amish admits that the protagonists of his books are different from each other, “While Shiva is the god of the rebels and rule breakers, Ram is seen as the man who follows laws and rules completely.”
He adds, “I always felt that Ram is also a misfit and a rebel of sorts. He is someone who followed rules, laws and traditions in an era when society did not respect laws and rules. He was a rebel in his own way.”
Talking about his initiation into mythology, Amish contends, “I was bought up in a religious family. I turned away from religion as a teenager and came back to faith after writing my first book. I started writing the Oath of the Vayuputras as a philosophical text. I made it out to be a thriller, but the series is rooted in philosophy about finding evil.”
Amish argues that religion in India is inherently liberal and non-judgmental. “It is one of the few places where there are no true or false gods. It accepts that you can get to the truth in many different ways. That is the basic philosophy in Indian tradition. It is a theme I have tried to incorporate into my books as well.”
Lord Ram has over the last couple of decades been part of intense political debates in India. Did it ever impact his writing?
Read the complete story in The Hindu.