Amish Tripathi has achieved what many authors only dream of—his books have sold millions of copies, and he has become a household name, not just in India but across the world. With his groundbreaking Shiva Trilogy, he breathed new life into Indian mythology, turning gods into relatable heroes and epic tales into modern sagas.
Today, he is a best-selling author whose novels have captivated readers around the globe with their unique blend of mythology, history, and fantasy. His name is synonymous with literary excellence, and his works have redefined the Indian literary landscape.
Outlook Traveller had the privilege of exploring Amish's most recent work, "War of Lanka," delving into his imaginative process and uncovering valuable insights about his creative journey, sources of inspiration, his vision for the future of storytelling, and the profound significance of travel in his life.
Extracts from the interview here.
How important is travel in general for any book you write? And how important is it for a writer? Does it give you some new perspective or exposure, not just for the books you write?
A writer should adhere to a few key practices diligently. Firstly, reading extensively is paramount. Secondly, engaging with a diverse array of individuals is essential. Most importantly, travel should be integral to a writer's life. When embarking on these journeys, it's crucial to immerse oneself in the local experience. This enriches the mind and ultimately enhances one's abilities as a writer. Personally, I place great emphasis on avoiding insulated travel packages. Instead, I advocate for embracing the local culture by indulging in regional cuisine, engaging with local people, and acquiring a basic understanding of local language and customs. These immersive experiences collectively contribute to honing one's craft as a writer.
The Ramayana trail runs all over India and other countries like Sri Lanka. Did you travel to any of these spots?
I've had the privilege of visiting many of these locations, both within India and abroad. In India, my visits were often in the role of a pilgrim, and when abroad, I explored these sites as a curious visitor. These journeys have endowed me with a wealth of knowledge and experiences, all stored in my mind. Additionally, I had the opportunity to host a television show centred on the Ramayana trail some time ago. This endeavour unveiled numerous new and captivating discoveries that further enriched my understanding and appreciation of this epic.
Please tell our readers something about the "War of Lanka," your most recent book.
"War of Lanka" serves as the fourth instalment within the acclaimed Ram Chandra Series. This book offers a compelling and traditional storytelling experience, encompassing the epic journey from Sita's abduction to Raavan's ultimate demise and the triumphant return of Ram, Sita, and Laxman to the hallowed city of Ayodhya after their arduous exile.
Is there something new that the readers can expect from the book?
In keeping with my writing philosophy, "War of Lanka," like all my books, approaches its subject matter scientifically and rationally. What distinguishes my work is incorporating this perspective, which I believe greatly intrigues my readers. In this particular volume, I delve into the scientific intricacies behind the Ram Setu (bridge) construction. Extensive conversations with geologists, an in-depth study of engineering techniques, and a meticulous examination of my compiled architectural records underpin this exploration. These elements of scientific inquiry are appreciated by my readers, who share a penchant for rational analysis, and I trust they will derive immense enjoyment from this unique perspective.
Was your writing process any different for this book? Has it changed over the years?
While my marketing strategies may have evolved over time, my core writing process has remained steadfast. I am an intuitive writer, relying on my creative instincts rather than intricate planning. What sets my storytelling apart is the interconnectedness of my narratives. Elements and threads left in "Immortals of Meluha" back in 2010 found their purpose and significance in the narrative tapestry of "War of Lanka."
Any anecdotes you would like to share related to your travels?
During the filming of the television show, it didn't take long for the entire crew, which consisted of people from diverse faith backgrounds, to collectively recognise that we were traversing the same path that Lord Ram had once walked. This shared sentiment transcended religious boundaries and underscored the profound beauty of India in my eyes.