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Critics don't impact the future of books: Amish Tripathi

Amish Tripathi never gets perturbed by reviews. Here the author talks about his new book on the Ramayana, which will hit the stands soon.

books Updated: Apr 10, 2015 18:44 IST
Arundhati Chatterjee
Arundhati Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Amish Tripathi,Amish Tripathi Ram Chandra Series,Amish Tripathi New Book

In recent times, author Amish Tripathi has become the poster boy for contemporary mythological literature in India. But he feels a bit disheartened when his books are termed 'academic'.

With the hugely popular Shiva Trilogy behind him now, he is just a couple of weeks away from launching his ambitious new book - the first part in the Ram Chandra Series: Scion of Ikshvaku. Before a talk at the Crossword Bookstore in Goregaon (E), he spoke to us about his research, upcoming work, and more.

Your books have often been termed 'well-researched' and 'academic' in nature. What level of research did you do for your upcoming series?
You make me sound boring when you call them academic (laughs); maybe they are cool academic books. On the surface, the next series, like my previous ones, is a fun adventure with, of course, several lessons and philosophies from our scriptures. In terms of research, I am lucky that I was born into a house of Benares pandits. I had religious parents, so most of my foundation was built in my childhood itself. Also, I am a voracious reader; I read around four to eight books every month. All that reading is part of my research.

The Shiva trilogy is being adapted for Bollywood. Have you ever thought of writing a script?
Yes, Karan Johar is working on it. I am just a creative consultant, and of course, they will run the script by me. I may have ideas for a script, but I've never been a creative person. So, I don't know what happens in the future, after I have exhausted all my 30-35 literary ideas.

Reviews for your books have not always been positive. Do you take criticism to heart?
This is the advice I give writers and observe myself too - you've got to get rid of all your emotions. Critics don't impact the future of books. With so much cynicism around us, and because almost everybody out there writes a review today, people don't take critics seriously anymore. They will consider the book if their friends are recommending it.

How contemporary will your next series be?
All my books have a core philosophy. At the centre of the Shiva trilogy was the question - what exactly is evil? The Ram Chandra series raises questions about what an ideal society is. I also explore the idea of how every choice has its positive and negative points. It comes at the right time, I think, with so many changes taking place in our society.

Your books have generated a renewed interest in mythology among young readers. Have you had any interesting fan moments?
That's a big thing to say; I have only made a tiny contribution. Once a teenager told me that before reading my books, he used to think Shiva is his grandmother's God, but now he thinks he is the dude of Gods. (laughs)

First Published: Apr 10, 2015 18:37 IST