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Krishna Udayasankar is a Singapore-based Indian writer and Govinda, Book 1 of the Aryavarta Chronicles (a trilogy) is her first published novel. According to her blog, The Aryavarta Chronicles are a series of fast-paced novels; tales of adventure, conspiracy and politics, that delve beyond familiar Epic India lore.
Born in Bangalore, India, and educated in India and Singapore, Krishna currently teaches strategic management at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
In this interview with Kitaab, she talks about her novel, her writing process and what writing means to her.
‘Govinda’ is your first novel and part of a trilogy. Did you have to struggle as a first time writer?
Actually, the Aryavarta Chronicles is a series that extends beyond three books. Each novel, though set in the empire of Aryavarta, has its own story arc and plotlines. The process had its own challenges, though it was made easy, even enjoyable, because I have loved what I was doing!
In my not-very-humble opinion, I think the biggest struggle a first-time writer faces is to reach a point of no-return, a point where you are committed to writing, come what may. Not that the struggles end after that, but then they are not very different from what every other writer faces, first-timer or otherwise. At the end of the day, the stories we tell are bigger than us and faith in those tales is never faith misplaced.
At a more pragmatic level, there is a whole world of events that have to take place between writing a book and getting it published. However, I’ve been extremely fortunate, having had a whole host of people from wonderful agents to friends, mentors, my publishers and above all, my family, to support me. So it felt a whole lot easier than it probably was.
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Many cities are founded by gods, heroes, conquerors but Karachi emerges from nothing, from stories. There are stories about Ram and Sita sojourning in a verdant cove that would become a canton of the city. There are stories about a wandering Sufi who settled by a creek and in time the lice he shook from his head metamorphosed into crocodiles. There are stories about some natural calamity, an earthquake perhaps, that compelled the inhabitants of nearby bastis to populate the scrim of coast on the Arabian Sea that is now populated by some 18.2 million souls officially (21 million unofficially).