India: What keeps the mythology genre ticking?


For a decade, Indian authors have been capturing readers’ mind space with reinterpretations of mythology. What keeps this genre ticking?: The Hindu

Krishna UdayasankarThere was a time when bookstores were filled with campus love stories set in IIT and IIM campuses. Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone – What not to do at IIT (2004) spawned many campus capers until readers were fatigued by the genre and the stories had little recall value.

Around the same time, there was a quiet wave as Ashok Banker’s Ramayana series caught readers’ attention. The text de-mystified the epic. From Prince of Ayodhya (2003) to Ramayana series: The Complete Omnibus (2013) and Mahabharata series from 2011 to 2014, Ashok Banker was the go-to author for mythology retellings. Much later, Amish Tripathi presented a cocktail of fantasy and mythology in his Shiva Trilogy series. Ashwin Sanghi took references from mythological and historical texts and set them in contemporary thrillers (The Chanakya’s Chant andThe Krishna Key).

Krishna Udayashankar’s Aryavarta Chronicles series is a reconstruction of the Mahabharata. V. Ravi’s The Exiled Prince blends Ramayana with science fiction while Anand Neelakantan’s Asura andAjaya narrate the epics from the point of view of the vanquished. Most of these works are by professionals turned authors, bound by a common interest in Indian mythology.

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