A graduate in Mathematics followed by an MBA from IIM landed him into a banker’s shoes, but clearly destiny... rather lord Shiva, had better stuff in store for him or so says Amish Tripathi, the writer of the bestseller Shiva trilogy.
So, after a hectic day of number crunching, the Benaras-born-Mumbai-based boy, sat in the the backseat of his car and penned down on his laptop, his first two novels — The Immortals of Meluha, and The Secret of the Nagas. “We weren’t wealthy people, I couldn’t leave my job and do all this... what would I have told my kids that ‘
beta, adjust karo
, papa is discovering something’?” says the 38-year-old, whose latest book, The Oath of the Vayuputras, flew off the shelves selling half-a-million copies within 10 days of launch, soon after which he got a million dollar advance for his next trilogy — the biggest ever given to any Indian author.
So, was his first book too lapped up by publishers the same way? “Everybody rejected it. I and my friend published it ourselves. It became a bestseller in two weeks, and then these same publishers came back to me,” laughs Tripathi, who had turned an atheist in the early ‘90s but now attributes the entire success of his trilogy to lord Shiva.
“After those series of unpleasant incidents in Mumbai in the 90s, I started feeling that religion is the cause of all fights... writing this book restored my faith back when I realised that religion is not bad... it’s the men who make it bad,” he says as his ‘Mahadev’ engraved
, peeps out of his sleeves.
Money, success, he’s had it all. And now, with a fan following that includes Sonam Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Shekhar Kapoor, and Shashi Tharoor to name the few, how does it really feel? “
Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kada Chana
... I believe in doing my work, not think of the fruits” he quotes the Gita, adding, “Fame is an illusion, don’t get attached.” And of all the compliments that he got, what’s been the best so far? “After Immortals... was published, and I showed it to dad, he kissed my forehead, and there was tears in his eyes,. That’s the biggest compliment I ever got,” smiles Tripathi.