Mythology man Amish Tripathi talks about Raavan and writing

Chennai: With seven books to his name and five million copies in print, Amish Tripathi is undoubtedly India’s prolific writer. Thanks to him, mythology has now become one of the most read genres. Amish is a busy man these days, travelling across the country to promote his latest book, Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta, from the Ram Chandra series.

It was only natural to ask him how he continues to pen stories every day having reached literary stardom on a massive scale. “I think if you do something not for money but for the sake of just doing it, then you will find happiness,” says Amish in a telephonic conversation with News Today.

“When you do something because its dharma and because its means everything to you, then you get far greater drive and motivation,” he explained.

His novels are known for their rich details about Hindu culture and ancient Indian traditions. To maintain the rhythm of the plot with vibrant detailing of our culture calls for seamless writing.

How does Amish weave in characters living in a mythical world? “There should be a balance,” says Amish. “Authors shouldn’t get into the mindset to show off that they have done loads of research or else the book becomes too heavy to read.”

He adds, “I feel I’m blessed by Lord Shiva with good writing.”

While penning stories, novelists often succumb to terrors of getting muddled in plot holes, character developments or the worst of all – writer’s block. What does Amish do to overcome such storms while creating a fictional universe?

“I just go with the flow,” he admits. “The book you read is pretty much the same when I write my drafts as I don’t do much rewriting. However, there are still improvements to the language, changes to the characters but largely it remains the same.”

Amish is extremely vocal on teaching our heritage and cultural roots to students. Why does it matter? He shares thoughts about how various religions across India live in harmony.

Amish informs that every Friday, the streets of Hariyali in Mumbai is thronged by Hindus and Muslims alike whereas Venkateswara temples in south has witnessed Muslims praying. Also, Manganiar Muslims in Rajasthan sing devotionals songs of Ramayan, he says.

“That’s the attitude of India,” he says. “Unfortunately, such conversations in public aren’t spoken. We don’t celebrate our culture.” He observes that “a large part of our problems is because of not growing connected to our roots”.

“Our ancestors were far more liberal than we are today. If we teach culture to our students, we aid the cause to live liberally,” he says. “Our misfortune is that many elite Indian liberals don’t realise that our culture is our biggest ally. Many often tend to be Westernised.”

The conversation shifts to writers and writing. He confesses that he does not have a favourite writer for he believes that “if you have one favourite writer, then you haven’t read enough”.

“I read five to six books a month,” he says. “So, it’s difficult for me to pick one writer.”

He also speaks on promoting his books. “Every writer should know the importance of marketing,” he says. “I must admit that I can’t take credit as my publishers are the creative geniuses who promote.”

He has tips for aspiring writers. “To be a good writer, you should be a good reader,” says Amish. “To write a single page, I read over a 100 pages. That’s my rough rule.”