A calm and serene evening in IIM Udaipur was lit-up with a lively interaction that students had with Rajiv.G.Menon on Wednesday, 27th March 2013. Around 30 students belonging to PGP-1, PGP-2 and PGPX students asked him questions which ranged from his interest in mythology to transition from an actor/screenwriter to author of the best-selling novel Thundergod-ascendance of Indra. Here are few excerpts of the interaction below:
What inspired you to write mythology?
Since I was a child I have been a voracious reader and liked reading a lot of books. At the age of 15, when I first read The Lord of Rings by J.R.R Tolkein I was introduced to the amazing world of fantasy and I have been hooked on since. My father was a Central government employee and he urged to me read. I also had the opportunity to listen to some fantastic stories about Indian Mythology from my grandmother which set me up to realize my calling as a writer.
How did you make a transition from a screenwriting to writing a novel?
Screenwriting gave me the discipline to write the novel. As a screenwriter I was required to write 100-120 pages on a regular basis but the enormity of the task of writing a novel hit me when I realized that it would require me to spend much more time and write longer. But thankfully I was already used to making story boards as a screenwriter which came in handy for me while writing this novel. The good thing about being an author is that you do not have to restrict yourself and have the liberty to experiment.
Why did you choose the character of Indra when there exist other easier mythological figures in the Hindu pantheon?
Firstly I believe that Indra is not just one of the gods in Hindu pantheon but is revered in other mythologies. In the Persian mythology, his equivalent is considered to be a demon. Also I have written my novel about a human being who united the four tribes, was a great warrior and suffered from substance abuse. It is a story about a person who attained the status of God only to through it way due to his waywardness and arrogance.
Did you plan to write the novel as one book or trilogy?
Frankly when I started all I had was a story in my mind. As the story developed my publisher and I realized that the matter I had was much more than just a book. The biggest challenge I faced while writing the trilogy was where to end a novel and start the next novel otherwise it has been fun writing the novel.
Where do you see yourself after the book-another mythology or romantic novel?
This article is contributed by IIM- Udaipur