A believable myth
The author of The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas is visibly thrilled to conclude his trilogy. Although mythology is his forte, the 38-year-old full-time writer who quit his job last year says there’s more to this genre than myths. Coming from a religious yet liberal family, the St Xavier’s alumnus turned atheist before ‘coming back’ to faith. In a tête-à-tête with CS, Amish talks about literature, life and lots more.
Author by accident
I never really wanted to be a writer. I was more of a sports guy who excelled in academics. The only creative thing I ever did before deciding to write was being the lead singer of a music band! I don’t really have a strategic planning. There are stories that come to me and I try to convey them with a hint of my own philosophy.
Coming from a banking world, I believe life was reasonably too boring to inspire me to write about it. I couldn’t even write about heartbreak-filled love stories either as I met my childhood sweetheart (Preeti Vyas) at 15 and later married her. Also, they don’t have a writing course in IIM — that much I can tell you. The way I see it, IIM guys are not more creative. Just that being blessed with good jobs, they can afford to invest their own money and get noticed. Like I self-published my first novel.
Mythology is something about our past that’s unbelievable but we can’t dismiss it totally as it could be true. That’s also one of the greatest things about our
civilization. We had the knack to modernise and localise our myths again and again. The plan has always been to make our stories relevant to the present time. For example, the Ramayana we read today was updated by Tulsidas in the 16th century to the era he lived in. The same is true about Puranas and other tales. Intriguingly, mythology never goes out of fashion in regional India.
India as a country has regained her confidence after centuries of colonial suppression. And it shows in the creativity exhibited by individuals in not only literature but also in music and entrepreneurship — regrettably in politics as well. Fortunately, this pleasant change has also affected the otherwise risk-averse publishing world which is a positive sign for upcoming writers.