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Mythology genre anything but fading: Author Anuja Chandramouli

05-02-2018
Courtesy: India Today

- By Kishor Dwivedi

New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) The lure of mythology seems to be as strong as ever among readers as the genre has enabled youths to explore folklore and Indias legends, says Anuja Chandramouli, who has penned six books on the subject.

But according to the 32-year-old author, mythology writing is not always a smooth sailing and can even evoke "disparaging" feedback from readers who are passionate about legendary characters.

"It is amazing that the lure of mythology seems to be as strong as ever. Young readers are keen to discover the wealth of stories that have been handed down over the eons and have shared that they love how my books combine traditional elements with contemporary themes," she says in an email interview to PTI.

Chandramouli, who is now out with her latest books "Kartikeya: The Destroyers Son", published by Rupa, says scholars and those already familiar with Indian legends seem eager to reacquaint themselves with the characters from the past.

"They have been surprisingly open to the unconventional approach and reinterpreted aspects of my tales, which they have informed me, capture much of the essence of Puranic lore," she says.

"These lovely compliments plus the occasional strongly worded hate mail disparaging the role of my imagination in retelling myths assure me that interest in mythology remains high and people are still passionate about these remainders from a glorious past. As far as I am concerned that is the best thing ever. And I dont mean that in terms of commerce or marketing," she adds.
Chandraouli, who resides in Tamil Nadus Sivakasi, says she grew up smitten with the world of mythology, with Mahabharata -- one of the two Sanskrit epics -- remaining her most favourite read.

"Which is why, when it came to writing my first book, Arjuna was the obvious choice (for its subject). And it remains one of the best decisions I have ever taken for that book changed my life," she says of her book "Arjuna: Saga of A Pandava Warrior-Prince", which was published in 2012.

She has since penned books on mythological characters including Kamadeva, Shakti, Yama and Kartikeya.

"There is so much beauty and truth in Indian mythology and it is incredible that so much of it has been preserved thanks to the painstaking efforts of the storytellers who came before us.

"We would do well to treasure these beautiful stories, allow it to entertain as well as elucidate and take care to pass it on to our children," she says.

Talking about her latest book, she says the intention was to take Kartikeyas story to a wider audience and clear up some of the prevailing misconceptions about him.

"Kartikeya may not be as beloved as his sibling, Ganesha, in the regions to the north of the Vindhyas but here in the south, especially Tamil Nadu, we have always loved him to pieces.

"Tamilian poets, scribes and saints have composed beautiful tales and wonderful songs in honour of Shivas son over the ages and I grew up listening to these, though I wasnt really familiar with the meaning behind the ornate words until much later.

"Therefore, it was only a matter of time before I wrote a book, featuring my take on this enigmatic and mysterious character," she says. PTI KIS ZMN RB


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