Interview | The commonalities between religious beliefs have always fascinated me: Ashwin Sanghi

Express press service

This book shines a spotlight on Parsis, a community about which not much has been written in conventional literature. Why did you decide this was a community you wanted to write about?

For me, each of the books in the Bharat series is an exploration of the overlaps…the overlaps between history and mythology, philosophy and science, politics and culture. Frankly, over the years I have been fascinated by the overlaps between Zoroastrian and Vedic elements. Zoroastrian yasnas are very similar to Vedic yagyas. And the overlap between Avesta verses and Vedic Sanskrit is amazing. Aside from the inflection points, you could read the two as the same languages…the commonalities within religions and religious beliefs have always fascinated me. And that was one of those overlapping commonalities.

At the center of the thriller is the production of an antiviral drug. Was this idea somehow inspired by the experience of living through the pandemic?
It was. As I was writing this novel, Covid vaccines were still in their infancy. And then the very first vaccine came out, and the company in question was making ridiculous demands on countries to provide them with the vaccine. This is one of the reasons why this idea came to my mind. I wanted to talk about private good versus common good, especially in the world of pharmaceutical research.

You have written seven books in the Bharat series, all of which are a mixture of history, mythology, thriller, religion. What keeps you coming back to this genre book after book?
What really interests me is the osmosis between various thoughts and ideas. As I said at the beginning, the Bharat series is inspired by the overlaps, and any overlap between elements of mythology, philosophy, theology, anthropology, science or even politics m ‘interested. But, I never claim to be a historian, a theologian or a scholar. I’m just a pocket writer trying to tell a good story. But what I hope is that I might have some observations, which could lead to some common research on these topics.

The narrative, whether science, history, or even crime, is exceptionally detailed in your books. So what kind of research has gone into the Magicians of Mazda?
The Mazda Wizards started out with just a reading list, which is normally what happens with most of my novels. I always start with a playlist and then hope some of that ends up
lead me in different directions.

All of your books in the Bharat series except The Rozabal Line have alliterative titles. Was it done consciously?
What actually happened was that The Rozabal Line was not meant to be part of the show. It wasn’t until the third book (The Krishna Key) that we started to take a serial approach. And because Chanakya’s chanting worked well, I thought to myself when I was writing The Krishna Key that why don’t we use alliteration again. After that, it was obvious. For every book, we ended up doing that. There have been a few books where I have deviated from this, but my publisher has asked me not to break the pattern.

READ ALSO | Ashwin Sanghi’s “The Wizards of Mazda” Review: A Historically Enriching Thriller

This book shines a spotlight on Parsis, a community about which not much has been written in conventional literature. Why did you decide this was a community you wanted to write about? For me, each of the books in the Bharat series is an exploration of the overlaps…the overlaps between history and mythology, philosophy and science, politics and culture. Frankly, over the years I have been fascinated by the overlaps between Zoroastrian and Vedic elements. Zoroastrian yasnas are very similar to Vedic yagyas. And the overlap between Avesta verses and Vedic Sanskrit is amazing. Aside from the inflection points, you could read the two as the same languages…the commonalities within religions and religious beliefs have always fascinated me. And that was one of those overlapping commonalities. At the center of the thriller is the production of an antiviral drug. Was this idea inspired in any way by the experience of living through the pandemic? It was. As I was writing this novel, Covid vaccines were still in their infancy. And then the very first vaccine came out, and the company in question was making ridiculous demands on countries to provide them with the vaccine. This is one of the reasons why this idea came to my mind. I wanted to talk about private good versus common good, especially in the world of pharmaceutical research. You have written seven books in the Bharat series, all of which are a mixture of history, mythology, thriller, religion. What keeps you coming back to this genre book after book? What really interests me is the osmosis between various thoughts and ideas. As I said at the beginning, the Bharat series is inspired by the overlaps, and any overlap between elements of mythology, philosophy, theology, anthropology, science or even politics m ‘interested. But, I never claim to be a historian, a theologian or a scholar. I’m just a pocket writer trying to tell a good story. But what I hope is that I might have some observations, which could lead to some common research on these topics. The narrative, whether science, history, or even crime, is exceptionally detailed in your books. So what kind of research has gone into the Magicians of Mazda? The Mazda Wizards started out with just a reading list, which is normally what happens with most of my novels. I always start with a playlist and then hopefully some of them end up pointing me in different directions. All of your books in the Bharat series except The Rozabal Line have alliterative titles. Was it done consciously? What actually happened was that The Rozabal Line was not meant to be part of the show. It wasn’t until the third book (The Krishna Key) that we started to take a serial approach. And because Chanakya’s chanting worked well, I thought to myself when I was writing The Krishna Key that why don’t we use alliteration again. After that, it was obvious. For every book, we ended up doing that. There have been a few books where I have deviated from this, but my publisher has asked me not to break the pattern. READ ALSO | Ashwin Sanghi’s “The Wizards of Mazda” Review: A Historically Enriching Thriller

Ruth R. Culp