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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Author Interview : BS Sarwagna Kumar, author of 'Kaliyug : The Secret Plot'

BS Sarwagna Kumar
Read up, the Interview with BS Sarwagna Kumar, author of 'Kaliyug : The Secret Plot'. The book was a good retelling of the story, in part one, which we have heard before, but the author manages to clear some doubts, I had expressed earlier for part two. In this Interview, he tells us how Kaliyug came about, what the kind of research was put into his book, whether his character or the storyline takes precedence, the most fulfilling parts, and what book is coming from him, next and much, much more, Folks...

How did ‘Kaliyug : The Secret Plot’ happen? What’s the research that has gone into it?

I think that the research process had begun from my childhood. My parents and my grandparents had transferred to me, the knowledge of Puranas and Dharma, since then.

In a way, I already had the raw elements to construct something beautiful. But the motivation for writing Kaliyug, came when I stood at the centre of our cruel society today. I watched moralities crash and cruelty prosper. One thing that shook me the most was a rape case where one’s own daughter was victimised.
Then there came films that portrayed Lord Shiva kneeling at the feet of people. Nobody did anything. Then there was the rise of hypocrisy amongst people that paved path for destruction of humanity. I had to ask myself ‘what gave way to this’. Kaliyug, the secret plot was born.

I knew most of the Puranas... I cooked a recipe with the raw stories in hand to bring sense out of ‘Kaliyug’.

What about Kalki’s parents? How much similarity do you see in the lives of parents and Kalki, as compared to children and their parents today?

Kalki’s parents are the victims of an era that has no peace at its heart. Everything they do is to at least protect their child from the cruelties in their society. It is a world where the cruellest species – humans – have declared their supremacy over the rest of the living.

More than the parents, rest of the people have more influence on their child’s life. In a way, I could say, Kalki’s parents are no different from the parents today. They face the same misery.

Kalki from Wikipedia
How would you relate the life of Kalki to the lives today? Any similarities?

Absolutely not. He is a man, who would solely stand, against all odds for Dharma. He is someone who would die and come back to life for the smiles of his mother. I think there is hardly a lot who would stand so strong today.

How much of your thoughts and feelings are included in your book?

A lot. If you know the original texts, you will know there is a huge leap in the Kaliyug plot from the original mythologies. Except for aspects of Dharma, it is a tale told in my perception, of the greatest stories ever told.

Dharma is something I cannot change, as per my wish. I consider it supreme. Majorly, readers will notice which anti-social elements, I address in the second part of the book. It is all intentional. The sole purpose to pen down Kaliyug is to portray a package of good then and Evil now in the same painting and challenge to note the differences.

Authors have different ways of telling their story, with elements that are most important. Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence?

It all depends. For character elevation, a writer might have to shoo away the plot for a while.

Although it might have nothing to do with the plot that is happening, giving weight to one particular character might just be the perfect pinch of salt. Easing it into the plot ahead is pepper. Happy meal.

How would you relate the book and its characters, to lives today?

As I said, Kaliyug : The Secret Plot is more of a satire on the world today. ‘My god is the only true god’ is the line that provoked many battles among goats, rogues and brainless idiots throughout our history, our present and the future.

Blindly believing in god because it is a sin not to, is the reason we have mass hysteria in our society today. The day people realize that spirituality doesn’t mean yelling god’s name, but SEEKING godliness in everything and everywhere – there shall be peace. There are few characters in the book that show what spirituality is…and then there are characters that portray what spirituality shouldn’t be.

The latter preceding the former, they stamp their shadows on the kind of people we have, today.

Which is your favourite character? Why?

Undoubtedly, Parashurama and Jamadagni. Because, the sacrifice they do to keep their word is something no one would ever do.

Lord Shiva from Wikipedia
Lord Vishnu from Wikipedia
And of course, for ‘The Secret Plot’, the masterminds – Shiva and Vishnu are my favourites. I kind of like the Kali ‘mannerisms’ I put forth in the book, as well.

What are the most fulfilling parts in your book?

The first half that deals with depths of spirituality is what I am proud of. I don’t think any book of recent times has explored so many angles deep in the ocean of Dharma.

That too to squeeze it all into a plot driven tale was further challenging. To my own interests, the first four chapters of the second half get to my nerves. It is, in a way – a mirror to idiocy today. Needless to mention – the sentiment between Kalki and his mother…it made me shed some tears, while penning it down.

What are your expectations from this book?

I did not write this book to tell a story. Neither did I write this for money or fame. Like I said in the novel (where I make a guest appearance in front of Kalki)…the ten people that looked at life differently after reading the book are who, matter to me.

At least, if ten people walk down the path laid down by ‘Saptarishis’… I would consider myself the luckiest man on earth.

You have managed to make most of the gods and goddesses not look so, divine. How do you differentiate them from the usual understanding of these characters that we get to read about?

The words I put did not make them divine. ‘He is god. Respect him’, is not the way I adopted to portray gods. That conventional way irks me. ‘He has godliness. Understand him’ is the way I prefer it.

They do look divine – not in the regular way…but in their actions that define their divinity.

What book is coming from you next? When do you see it released?

Maharishi Vyasa from Hindupedia
There is a lot I couldn’t discuss in 'Kaliyug : The Secret Plot'. Even after being extremely cruel, Kali too, is said to have had a momentary love story. 

That itself speaks on behalf of Dharma in detail. In ‘The Secret Plot’ Kali’s end was depicted in a very short version. But Vyasa Maharshi’s depiction goes on and on – which, I still have to research a lot on… and then mould it in a ‘secret plot’ fashion. 

So I’d say – not anytime soon. But I have three novels away from mythology genre sitting on my desk to be edited and published. With that in the pipeline, I am bound to work on some screenplays right now, because – LIFE. God knows what is next; when it is next. After all, everybody’s life has a secret plot. :)

You can Read the Review and Buy the Book, right here.
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