In Conversation with R. Durgadoss author of "The Indus Challenge"
But, when the court was coming to the conclusion that ‘Rudra’, the most patriotic warrior was a traitor, tears rolled from my eyes on its own.
1. How did you jumped on mythology? What provoked you to write about it?
Life is a marathon, not a 100 meter race. But in the marathon we adjust for the inabilities in some portion of the race in the next portion. In 100 meter race we cannot do that. Life is like a marathon race. We should not get rattled when we see a setback in our life. Like a warrior, we must not worry of losing wars but we must take care that our spirit is not broken.
In order to drive this message, I wanted to use the warriors as my hero. I started with mythological heroes but as I go further I will be hobnobbing with the historical warriors. Hence the navigation started from mythology and now moving towards history.
2. Who are your favorite legends of mythology and why?
My favorite legends of mythology are some of the unsung heroes.
Karna of Mahabharat: His mother denounced him, he was socially insulted for not belonging to “Kshatriya Varna”, and he had to fight for his friend against his own brothers.
For no fault of him, he was cursed, yet he did not hesitate to give back what he got. When you have plenty, if you give donations, that is not great. But when he did not have anything, even during his death in the Warfield, he gave what he had.
He is an underdog and unsung hero in my opinion.He is the legend of mythology.
Hanuman of Ramayana:Selfless service is in the next name for Hanuman. He never expected anything, when he was serving Lord Ram. Such souls are rare to find. Indeed he is also my legend of mythology.
3. Is it hard or easy to correct to Indian readers to their roots with the help of a mythological book?
India is one of the longest unceasing/unbroken civilizations since ages. She synthesized the contradictions and learnt to live with diversity.
Therefore the cultural DNA of India is so deep-rooted, it is easy to carry the mythology to the Indian mass easily, even if they belong to religions other than Hinduism.
4. How was your experience while penning this? Different from your other books? Or some sentiments?
My first book was a business fiction about how a failed CEO of a bank gets back from the brink of bankruptcy to the basin of wisdom. It was more of awakening/motivational theme.
The second book “The shackles of the warrior” was set in the Mahabharata era. It addressed how an oppressed boy of a lower caste went on to become a great warrior. It was more of ill treatment, Love, betrayal and loyalty.
The third book, the current one - The Indus Challenge is a cocktail of mythology and history set in the era of Alexander –Chanakya - Chandragupta. It revolves around the de-coding of ancient secrets, grand search across Bharat with vital clues and sacrifice for the nation.
Here the sentiments were focused on de-coding the difficult Harappan language and ancient puzzle driven Sanskrit Slogas. It was a totally different sentiment.
The fourth one I am currently working on “The conquest of the East”[The Regal Crown Returns] is about sea piracy, cross-country espionage and a coup to overthrow Kings.
Each book focuses on different themes and therefore the sentiments are different
5. What you did to maintain freshness in your book? Any special incident? Any special part from your book which makes you happy or sad?
The periods are different in each book. The themes are different. For example in one book it was sea piracy, in another it was guerilla war tactics and so on.
If the genre is the same, for example when one addresses only ‘modern love story’, there will be a genre fatigue.
My book focuses on different themes each time thereby the genre fatigue is cut down.
In ‘The Indus Challenge’, the hero Rudra gets killed by poison. But more than his death, the fact that the most patriotic warrior was declared as a ‘traitor’ posthumously.
I am thankful to the author for this wonderful conversation.