Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Bharat beyond geographical boundaries: Ashwin Sanghi

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Sonali Bendre, inaugurated the book.
Jaipur: Ashwin Sanghi latest book The Vault of Vishnu being launched by Sonali Bendre Behl at 13th Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur (Photo: IANS)

Author Ashwin Sanghi, known for his best-selling works like “The Rozabal Line”, “Chanakya’s Chant” and “The Krishna Key”, stressed on Thursday that he would like to produce a book every two years under the Bharat series, saying that for him the essence of ‘Bharat’ was not about physical boundaries, but how ideas moved.

In the Pink City for the Jaipur Literature Festival, the author, while talking about his latest book ‘The Vault of Vishnu’, shared that almost half of his latest book was based in China.

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“I made two trips there to get a better understanding. Also, for me it is important to include minute details. After all, what a fiction writer does is a lie. But it is always better when those lies are as close to the truth as possible,” he said.

On his writing process, the author said that he wasn’t the kind who would prefer to be holed up while working. “I want to enjoy the entire process, and not be tortured by it. I may decide to write while having my morning coffee, or sitting on the couch,” he said.

Sanghi, who collaborated with James Patterson (“Private Delhi”) in the past, said that he didn’t see himself associating with another writer in the future.

“A book is never about the finished product, but in fact the journey. Of course, I had an excellent time collaborating with Patterson, but the way I lose myself in researching and plotting a book is something that seldom happens when there is a co-writer. So, for the sake of the process, I would like to go alone,” Sanghi said.

For someone who likes to retell Indian mythology in a contemporary way, it is important to understand the difference between religion and philosophy. “I have always believed that there is a touch of belief in all non-believers and a slight non-belief among believers. The meeting point is an area which is very interesting,” he said.

The MBA degree holder from Yale School of Management admitted that coming from a business family, it was not easy to plunge into full-time writing.

“Don’t they say, in business families, you don’t read books but balance sheets? Neither do you chant ‘Hari-Om’, but ‘debit-credit’. I can never forget the contribution of my maternal granduncle who sent me hundreds of books to read and gave me the confidence,” the author said.

He may be one of India’s best-selling English writers, but he faced more than 40 rejections from publishers and literary agents when he started out.

“Therefore, my advice to young writers is to believe in their work. Also, they must focus on merit, fame and money will follow,” he said.

Stating that he wanted to bring the rich Indian culture, tradition and history to popular discourse, the writer said, “We have a stunning heritage and there are so many stories to tell.”


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