In June, author Amish Tripathi signed on with a leading entertainment and sports agency in Los Angeles, to sell the film rights of his best-selling debut novel, The Immortals of Meluha. Ask him if anything has materialised yet and he shrugs, “They’re speaking to a few Hollywood and Bollywood producers, but it’ll probably take time as it would be an expensive film to make. The city of Meluha will have to be created from scratch.”
Meanwhile, his new book will hit theatres before this film. The just-released The Secret of the Nagas, the second part of his Shiva trilogy, will have a theatrical trailer of its own. He explains, “By September end or October, the trailers will be shown in multiplexes. I think it will work as the audience that visits theatres is the same that reads my books.”
With Nagas, the author has the task of taking forward the story of Meluha, and he promises a generous dose of war, drama and romance with his second offering. The mythological setting will shift to Swadweep, a North Eastern region, and later to the Dandak forest down south. “Meluha was left at an edge where one didn’t know whether Sati was killed, kidnapped or saved. This will be the first among many mysteries that will be solved in this book. Many more will be created. New characters like Kartika, the son of Shiva and Sati, will be brought in. Some like Anandmayi, who were just introduced last time, will be explored further,” reveals Tripathi.
Ask the ex-banker where he got his creative streak from and he says, “I don’t create my characters. They are a blessing of Lord Shiva. My wife once told me I was behaving like ‘a corporate’ when I was trying to control the story too much. She explained that each of these characters has a life of its own. They exist in a parallel universe. I’ve only been given the privilege of entering it and recording what I see.”
Tripathi also denies having to deal with fanatics, who may not respond well to Lord Shiva, depicted in controversial acts like smoking cannabis. In fact, he even plans to write about other deities post this trilogy. He says, “I have my own version of Ramayana and Mahabharata. I also want to write about Akbar, Lord Manu and Rudra. I hope I can write all of them,” he adds.