All kidding aside, I think writing keeps me sane. I am actually happy when the words are doing their mystical dance on the laptop screen. Reading and writing are my conduit to a magical realm ruled by beauty, truth, fantasy and imagination. Whatever, I gather from my sojourns into this fabled land, I try and share with my readers, hoping they derive something they can use in their own lives, the way I have in mine.
- Abhimanyu is very special. He is one of the most beloved characters in Indian mythology and with good reason because he was the best among the best, in every sense of the term.
In a lot of ways, he is the pulsing heart and soul of the Mahabharata. TheGolden Prince was blessed with all the strengths of Arjuna, Krishna and the other Pandavas yet possessed none of their weaknesses. A rare hero who was every bit as good and kind as he was great and that is no small thing. It was a pleasure to unearth lesser-known nuggets of information about him and share the story of the Mahabharata entirely from his perspective.
As regards research I went back and explored the epic I have loved all my life by putting myself in Abhimanyu’s place. Thanks to him, the familiar material felt fresh, and I got
to plumb the psyche of fascinating characters like Subhadra, Draupadi’s twin - Dhrishtadyumna, his charioteer – Sumitra, Nakula, Sahadeva, the Upapandavas, his cousins in Dwaraka – Pradyumna, Samba, and his wife, Uttara, who usually get eclipsed by the razzle dazzle of more famous characters. But of course, the spotlight was on Abhi himself and being by his side from his birth to his untimely death. It was a heartening, often harrowing experience and I cried my eyes out while working on the manuscript, but in the end, it was entirely worth it.
How did you change as a person after publishing these many titles? What did you learn and unlearn from your experiences as a writer?