Myth is the foundation of literature: Ramayana Series author

Zafri Mudasser Nofil

New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) He has been identified overtime as a poet, an adman, a TV scriptwriter, a crime novelistand a mythological author but writer of the popular RamayanaSeries, Ashok K Banker, feels myth is the foundation of allliterature and culture.

The author of the Ramayana Series tries to weave magicwith the tales of Lord Krishna in "Slayer of Kamsa", the firstof his eight-book "Krishna Coriolis" series.

Banker says he was always obsessed with the idea ofwriting an epic fictional series exploring the idea of Indianidentity.

"I knew that to do it justice I would have to startwith the earliest mythological epics and work my way forwards.

But being of mixed racial and cultural parentage, I had verylittle exposure to Hinduism. My first award was for an Urdushort story translation, I was more familiar with Farsi thanSanskrit and I had zero interest in TV mythologicals likeRamayana and Mahabharata," Banker told PTI.

It took him quite a long time to read, study andunderstand the Sanskrit epics.

"Once I did, it opened my mind. I began my RamayanaSeries in the late 90s but simultaneously worked on earlydrafts of the Mahabharata and other related works. In 2004,when I completed my Ramayana Series and began my Mahabharatain earnest, I knew it was too huge to be told in a singleseries.

"So I split Krishna''s story into the Krishna Coriolis,which is what Vyasa also did in his Harivamsha. You could saythat understanding Rama and Krishna are seminal tounderstanding the origins of Indian identity, regardless ofwhether you''re a modern-day Hindu or a non-Hindu like myself."

According to him, the ''Coriolis effect'' refers to theinfluence of the earth''s gravitational spin on all living andinanimate things.

"Krishna Coriolis simply postulates that Krishnacauses all things to turn, including the world itself. It''s awink from religion to physics." .

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