Indian writer Anand Neelakantan is all set to release his new book 'Vanara: The Legend of Baali, Sugreeva and Tara'. The author has written four novels based on Hindu mythology and three of his books have been shortlisted for crossword award during the respective years. He was also listed as one among the 100 top celebrities in India in 2015, 2017 by Forbes India. His book, 'Asura: Tale of the Vanquished' counts in one of the 100 books to be read in a lifetime as per Amazon and all his books have got critical accreditations from readers across the world.
Moreover, Neelakantan has signed with the makers of 'Baahubali', the blockbuster film, for a 3 book Series based on it. The first book of this trilogy, 'The Rise of Sivagami' that released in March, last year, narrates the story of the childhood of Rajmata Sivagami in the 'Bahubali'.
'Vanara: The Legend of Baali, Sugreeva and Tara' is the fifth book of the writer by the author between Bahubali book 1 and 2. As the author said, the upcoming book has a lot of reference of the Indian epic 'Ramayana' and is scheduled to release on November 13th or 14th just after Diwali.
In an exclusive interview with Republic TV, Neelakantan revealed a lot about his upcoming book and his writing experience as a whole.
Talking about the characters in his book, the author said, "Vanara's are fascinating creatures in Ramayana. I have portrayed it in a very logical angle, as people of the forest. It narrates a love triangle which tells the story of two brothers who loved each other until they met a beautiful apsara 'Tara'. It also narrates how Vanara kingdom grew up from abject slavery to a beautiful kingdom, but eventually fell against because of the rivalry of the brothers for one woman."
Talking about how he describes the mythological characters in his writings, he said, "I explore mythological characters from all angles. In my books, I have taken it from the perspective of vanquished characters like Ravana, Duryodhana, Bali, etc," and explaining the reason behind the same he said, "to know everything, one should explore either side of the story."
Neelakantan also has a lot of contribution to the Television industry. He has served as a scriptwriter for several TV shows that are based on history and mythology. He has scripted television shows like 'Siya Ke Ram' and 'Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanumaan'. When asked about what inspires him to write stories based on Indian mythology, the author stated that it is something he grew up with.
He said, "I am from a religious family and it was a part of my growing up. Mythology interested me and thus I decided to explore it through my writings." He further stated that he believes that "each character has a story and it is fascinating to see your epics from each characters' point of view."
Revealing his future plans the author said that he is planning to explore all the mythological characters one after another in his writings. He further said that he is soon going to publish a book which he is framing from the point of view of female characters of the 'Ramayana' and the 'Mahabharata'. He is also working on a non-fiction book titled 'Asura Marga' which explores the life lessons given by the asuras of Indian mythology.
Elaborating on the same, the author stated, "Generally we learn from Gods, but my book 'Asura Marga' focuses on what you can learn in life from various Asuras of Indian mythology. It is a non-fiction book that states how to live life using the lessons given by the asuras like Ravana, Mahisasur,etc. "
Moreover, he told us that he will be writing a book on Devayani, the daughter of Shukracharya, and said that the book will narrate a mythology love story and is expected to release by the end of next year. Talking about when the second installment of the 'Bahubali', he said that it will be released along with the Netflix series which is currently under making.
When asked if there are any Indian writers who serve as an inspiration to him, Neelakantan said that he looks up to several regional Indian writers like S. L. Bhyrappa and M. T. Vasudevan Nair, who have explored mythology. He said that he has grown up reading them and thus admires them a lot.
The author said beside mythology he is also very keen on writing about historical events. Talking about which character in history he would like to write about, he said that he would love to write about Mahatma Gandhi's wife Kasturba Gandhi and the entire Indian freedom struggle from 1857 to 1947, and the partition. He believes that his book on the same will be as big as the Mahabharata.