Praise for My Books

"Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is a gifted writer of great promise. I have a gut feeling we have a new star rising in Punjab's literary horizon. She has an excellent command of English and a sly sense of humour."
- Khushwant Singh on The Long Walk Home

"An enjoyable tale of a sassy girl's headlong race up the corporate ladder."
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Thursday, 13 October 2011

What's Behind The Rise of Indian Pop Fiction?

Have you read any of the following books:

 - Chankaya's Chant

 - The Immortals of Meluha

 - The Secret of the Nagas

 - Any of Chetan Bhagat's books

or wondered what is behind the sudden escalation in popularity of popular fiction in India?

My essay in the Asian Review of Books examines the rise of Indian pop-fiction through the lens of the bestselling Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. I shall be uploading the essay on my blog soon - meanwhile, read it at

A preview:

Once upon a time a blue-necked man descended from his home in Tibet with his warriors to a city in Indus valley in order to save it. Thus goes a popular folklore from Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of India. In his bestselling Shiva trilogy, Amish Tripathi, an investment banker-turned-writer, transposes Lord Shiva of mythology into the valley of Srinagar, gives him a thoroughly modern makeover and brings him, cussing and swearing contemporaneously, into our present world.
Lord Shiva is a revered God in the Hindu trinity whose popularity is pan-Indian. Known as the Destroyer, he has a softer side to him as well: in his avatar as Nataraja, he can dance the bells off the ankles of the most proficient dancer. For a God, he is sufficiently layered: he puffs chillum, a pipe for smoking cannabis that the Rastafarians made popular in the West. He is also a superb warrior, skilled in the use of weapons and hand-to-hand combat, and a heroic leader of his people. To cut a long story short, Shiva was ready for a writer to spring him into the 21st century in his metrosexual avatar—Tripathi has done just that.
Book 1 of the Shiva trilogy, The Immortals of Meluha, has sold over 100,000 copies since its launch in 2010 and Book 2, the recently-released The Secret of the Nagas, is currently on the bestseller lists in India. In a market where less than half a decade ago English-language bestsellers were books that sold 5000 copies,the phenomenon of English-language fiction selling in the tens and hundreds of thousands has blown apart the glass ceiling for publishers.
The question naturally arises: what is Tripathi doing right?

Read more at Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy and the Rise of Popular Fiction in India



  1. I loved both books of the Trilogy. Amish Tripathi has woven all characters we know as immortals very well into the fictional world he has created. Plus, conversations between Shiva and some characters are very enlightening. A lot of those fundas can be used in life. The same applies to Chanakya's Chant. But I've found CB books rather boring.

  2. @ Vishal Kataria: Thanks for sharing! Can you elaborate on what in CB's books didn't work for you - would be interesting to know.