Lifestyle Books and Art 24 Aug 2017 Mythology gets its s ...

Mythology gets its story teller

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | POOJA PRABHAN
Published Aug 24, 2017, 12:00 am IST
Updated Aug 24, 2017, 12:20 am IST
The author whose recent book is getting rave reviews is all set to visit the city on September 2.
A still from the movie Baahubali
 A still from the movie Baahubali

Author Anand Neelakantan has many feats to his credit. After a successful stint at drawing caricatures and script writing, authoring books has been the next on his radar. Post the stupendous response of his recent read, The Rise of Sivagami, life has been hectic – just the way the best-selling author likes it. In a freewheeling chat with Bengaluru Chronicle, he tells us more...

Anand’s latest read, The Rise of Sivagami, has done well. But, the author-cum-scriptwriter-cum-ca rtoonist attributes it all to sheer serendipity, “I was commissioned to write Sivagami by the Baahubali producers. S S Rajamouli had read Asura and he was impressed by it. He was searching for a story teller to expand the Baahubali universe and I became part of the team. The universe of Baahubali is unimaginably vast and there are countless stories to be told. It has been an exciting journey - before and after penning the book.”

 

While the author of Baahubali Trilogy met with success with his previous reads, Asura: Tale of the Vanquished and followed by the hugely successful Ajaya series, he believes he loves to don the hat of a cartoonist, after that of a family man, of course. “At heart, I am still a cartoonist. I am the father of a daughter and a son. My daughter Ananya is my biggest critic. My wife, Aparna is my sounding board for story ideas. My son Abhinav is more interested in football and is a crazy fan of Ronaldo. All other professions, including mine, he views with indifference bordering on contempt. The only uncritical fan I have in the world is my pet Jackie. Or that is what I hope, as he has not told otherwise. Best selling author and other things are incidental things  that happens when I pursue my passion. The family tops the chart without doubt,” he says.

 

The author who has always been passionate about story telling recalls, “I used to tell extempore stories in the free periods during school days. Being a lazy person, it was boredom in my job that made me write the stories that I always carried in mind,” shares Anand. As the Mumbai-based author enjoys a steady fan base in Bengaluru, he wishes to have spent more time in  namma ooru.

“Bengaluru is my favourite city. I had lived here for around six months in 1999, immediately after Engineering. I lived in Austin town and it was a great time to be in Bengaluru for a bachelor. I was working as a sales executive then. I came back  to live in the city for three years during 2009-2012 and the old charm of ‘Garden city’ was slowly fading away. I wrote Asura while living in Bengaluru. Many of my college friends live here and I had a gang of friends in Bellandur where I used to play badminton. Bengaluru is always about meeting old friends and reliving great memories. Now that I’ll be in town again, the excitement is at its peak,” he opines.

 

In the pipeline, a fable with management lessons is due. The second and third book of Bahubali Trilogy is being written. Clearly, the days are packed. “The Rise of Sivagami is becoming an international mini series and I am part of the development team. I am also enjoying the short story series in Kindle that I have started. I am a consultant for various mythological serials in leading channels in Hindi and other languages. The next, just keeps happening by itself. I do not chase anything. I believe Indians are the greatest story tellers. I want Indian films and story telling to take over the world and I secretly hope I will play a big part in doing so,” signs off Anand, with an evident glimmer of optimism.

 

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