3 Aug 2011

Mount Mary

Amish Tripathi.

Former atheist. Ex go-getting corporate ladder climber. Serious amateur historian. And right now, the writer of India's top selling English fiction book - the Immortals of Meluha.

'The immortals of Meluha' is actually based on a very atheistic thought process that believes that several of the gods worshiped were probably actual people.

That's not hard to see. Buddha was one who has been elevated to an incarnation. It's only a matter of time before Dr BR Ambedkar and Chatrapati Shivaji are elevated to godly status. (See The Godification of Ambedkar and Shivaji.)

His belief does matter, because his fantasy tale with Shiva as the hero is catching the imagination of the country in English and will soon be available in several Indian languages.

Amish Tripathi is an anti-fundamentalist. He stands for everything the fundamentalists of all peaceful faiths are violently against. His current beliefs are everything the Indian majority stands for but do not express.

Like most Indians, Amish is a deeply religious person now.

Like many Indians he grew up listening to mythology from various sources and from his grandparents and those are very different from Ramanad Sagar's.

There's a reason why this Shiva bakt is standing in front of Mumbai's most popular Christian shrine, it's because like most Indians, his religion or spirituality crosses boundaries. I'm sure people in other places around the world can also bridge the gap as easily as Indians if they want to.

Unlike most Indians, this anti-fundamentalist is a big fan of history. It seems to be his first love even though his current best seller is an all-out fantasy, written deliberately in Indian English and aimed for the masses (again inspired by the different narrations of Indian mythology).

20 years from now, I will not be surprised if I see him writing non-fiction.

It's also interesting that the second best-selling book in English is also written by a history-anthropology ustad - Amitav Ghosh. I was wondering, what Amish would've written if he would've swum against the tide in the stormy early 90s and chose to study what Amitav Ghosh did instead of doing the 'right thing' and go to IIM?

Who cares. Just read the book, if you haven't.

Spoiler: His Shiva is a Tibeto-Persian. That should make him a perfect Indian.

* No 1 on the India Today best seller list for fiction.
And a big thank you, Sunaina Kumar of Tehelka :)


Curry Spice said...

Im reading that book right now.. I want to meet this guy. History buffs are awesome. Last pic - true gopala style

Vidya Sury said...

Very nice. Mount Mary - my old school :-D

Subscribe Via Email

Images hosted on www.ipernity.com