Amar Chitra Katha, one of India’s popular comic book series, has been with us through our childhood. Adding to the already vast collection, is Bengaluru based Vani Mahesh, who has penned Saptarshi – The Seven Supreme Sages for the franchise. In an engaging conversation with the author, we find out more about the process of writing the comic for children, her interest in mythology and folklore, her critics, and more…
A lover of books and words, Vani was interested in mythology since she was young. “Grandma’s tales were the source of our entertainment when I was growing up. I used to accompany my grandma to her Hari Katha sessions in temples and the imagery and stories behind the deities, caught my attention. Since then, I have been fascinated by these tales and fed to it by picking up other scriptures and reading them,” reveals Vani, who also runs an online library in the city!
“As a kid, I used to love the morals and vivid imagery, and fell in love with the Puranas. My initial idea was to pen down all of these stories so my kids would grow up reading them,” says the author who has previously written Stories of Creation from Brahmaputra.
But kids today don’t seem very interested in Indian mythology and Vani blames the biased exposure for that. “The books and information of Indian mythology and folklore haven’t been imbibed into kids today, like it was when we were kids. We seem to have become too Westernised for no reason. But I feel like the trend is coming back — India is a land of stories and interest in mythology is being regenerated again,” says the mother of two!
“My mother and youngest daughter are my biggest critics because they say it as it is. And when they liked Saptarshi, I knew I’d done good,” says Vani who loves being active and is as passionate about badminton, yoga and meditation, as she is about words! So is she planning on writing any more books on her forte?
“I have taken a break from everything because I do want to give writing mythology a shot and it takes an excruciating amount of research to get things right,” the author who took around two-and-a-half years to complete her compelling book, says in conclusion.