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Shankar Kashyap Interview – Harappa 2 Book

He is a practicing consultant orthopaedic surgeon in the UK.He finished his Bachelor of Science degree from Bangalore University at the age of 17 and joined medicine at Bangalore Medical College. After MBBS in 1978/79, did basic training in surgery in Bangalore before leaving for the UK in 1982. He obtained FRCS from Royal colleges of Surgeons in Edinburgh as well as Glasgow. He obtained a master’s degree in Orthopaedics from University of Liverpool in 1989 (MCh.Orth).

Harappa Series. This is a series of books based on Harappan civilisation during third millennium BCE. The first book – The Lure of Soma was published by Palimpsest India. The second book was published by Alchemy India – The Fall of Shuruppak. Let us know more about his writing.

Shankar Kashyap

What inspired you to start writing?

I have always been an avid reader and wanted one day to write books. There were events in my life during 2003-08 where some uncouth colleagues tried to destroy my career by spurious allegations and I had to fight in the courts over a period of five years to clear my name. The struggle showed significant bureaucratic incompetence and corruption at high level within the regulatory body – The General Medical Council. I wanted to expose this to the public and wrote my first book – A Kangaroo Court : Triumph of Mediocrity – published in 2011. While writing the book, I developed a flair for writing and continued.

What did you like to read when you were a boy?

My childhood readings were mainly Kannada books – by Tarasu, DVG etc. My first English book was Count of Montecristo by Alexander Dumas. This had a profound impact on me and my ideas and thought processes while writing comes from that book and his other books.

What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?

The greatest challenge while writing for me is to verbalise the huge amount of ideas that come into my head at an enormous pace!!!

How much research do you do before writing the book?

I have been researching into the Harappan civilisation for nearly twenty years.

Shankar Kashyap

What motivated you to write the book “Harappa 2”?

Motivation for writing the Harappa series – I have always been interested in history and I have read an enormous amount of books on history. I found most history books were dry and boring until I found a genre of books – Historical fiction!! Particularly – Christian Jaque. They bring the history alive and interesting. There is very little written about Indian pre-history. Eminent authors such as Romila Thapar and RC Majumdar have delved into pre-history, but have made their books dry and not for general consumption. I wanted to write books for the man on the street and spread the word of our pre-history.

Can you tell us more about your latest book “Harappa 2”?

The Harappa series of books starts off in third millennium BCE with Vedic people living in the Harappan cities. The first book sets the scene of showing the life as it was in the major cities of Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Lothal and Dholavira. It deals with the first Parushni war between the Vedic Aryans and the Avestans from Afghanistan/Iran. The second book of the series – The fall of Shuruppak – deals with maritime trade and cultural links with Sumerians during the late third millennium BCE. The third book – The Battle of Ten Kings – deals with the episode of the war between King Sudas of Puru and a confederacy of ten kings lead by Kavi Cayamana (?Avestan king). This is the centre piece of the seventh book of Rigveda. I have used the characters and episodes in the ancient scripture of Hinduism, Rigveda and placed them in Harappan empire. The fourth book will deal with the rise of Zoroastrianism and beginning of the demise of Harappan civilisation. I have used the archaeological evidence along with literary evidence to build the stories. The final book deals with the final destruction of the Harappan empire and the beginnings of the Gangetic civilisation.

Who are your favourite authors?

My favourite authors are Alexander Dumas, PG Woodhouse, Agatha Christie, Christian Jaque to name a few!

How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?

I spend a couple of hours reading everyday and dedicate at least an hour of writing/editing.

What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?

Words of wisdom? Everyone has a story to tell. Write down what comes into your head first and spend next few hours dissecting and editing. Read it out loud and see if you lie what you hear.

You can buy his book now:

  

About Nikhil Narkhede

He likes to read inspirational books. He is a Professional Blogger, Entrepreneur and a power networker. By education he is a Computer Engineer and by profession he is an Online Marketer.

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