Amish Tripathi's world of fiction, inspired from mythology, makes for brilliant reads. It is probably one reason why when Tripathi revealed that he is penning his second series on Lord Ram, after the hugely successful Shiva Trilogy, it generated massive interest among his fans. The first book of the series, Scion of Ikshvaku, is ready to hit the shelves on June 22. The banker-turned-author gives HT City a glimpse into his book.
The Scion of Ikshvaku narrates the tale of Lord Ram as he strives to create the perfect empire. Will the book begin with his growing up years or from the time he becomes a king?
That's right. But how much of the full story will my first book cover? You're going to have to wait for that. But I will say that the entire series will probably contain five or maybe even six books. The story will unfold as you move ahead. This is what I can reveal at the moment.
We have grown up hearing stories of Ram, Sita, Hanuman and Ravana. What is it in this series that the readers must look forward to?
There are many versions of the Ramayana in India. The version that most North Indians have read is the Ramcharitmanas written by Sant Tulsidas. That was because there was a TV serial in the 1980s and the source material was primarily from the Ramcharitmanas. The Valmiki Ramayan, considered the original Ramayan, has quite a few differences from the Ramcharitmanas. There is also the Adbhut Ramayan where Sitaji is a warrior. Then there is the Kamba Ramayan, which shows a different aspect of Ravan. There is a Jain version of the Ramayan, where Lord Ram is completely non-violent. Some say that there are hundreds of versions of the Ramayan. Mine is going to be another respectful interpretation of Lord Ram's tale. I think the story is a great adventure which you can have fun reading, but still learn something from.
Why the title Scion of Ikshvaku?
Lord Ikshvaku was the founder of the Suryavanshis - the clan of the Sun God. Lord Ram was a Suryavanshi king. Hence, the name Scion of Ikshvaku for Lord Ram and so the title.
Will there be any change in the style of narration?
No, it will not be different. Just like the Shiva Trilogy, this will also be a fast-paced read. Of course, it will be a different adventure. I hope the readers like it.
From Lord Shiva to Lord Rama what made you make this shift?
An incident occurred at a Litfest in late 2013, where someone said harsh things about Lord Ram. It upset me. It was the trigger to start writing this series. In fact, I was so upset by that incident that I had also written an article in the Hindustan Times at that time as well.
Is there any probability that the book will have a connection with your Shiva series?
(Smiles) Good question. You know once I have finished writing all the books in my head - maybe 25-30 years later - you will find that all my books are linked. They all tell the tale, the high points and the low points, of this great race of people called the Vedic people of our age. I believe that we are their lost descendants. My books will trace their journey, from the creation of their culture more than 12,000 years ago to the destruction of their culture 3,500 years ago. I have left clues for all these stories in the Shiva Trilogy. The Shiva Trilogy was based in 1900 BCE and the Ram Chandra Series is based in 3400 BCE, 1,500 years before the events described in the Shiva Trilogy. So yes, all my books are linked.
Filmmaker Karan Johar had acquired the rights to adapt Shiva Trilogy into a film. What is the status of the film? Are you involved in the project?
Karan Malhotra is working on the script of the movie. It is under progress. But I am not involved in the scripting of the movie. I am busy with my next set of books. Though I am involved with the movie as a creative consultant and will also look at the script once it is ready.