I had the opportunity to ask Author Piyusha Vir about her journey while penning her debut book, Dashavatar. In this article, she shares with us the challenges she faced while writing mythology.
On to her…
Writing Mythology didn’t come easily to me. When I first toyed with the idea of writing this book, I had expected some challenges to hinder my progress. But while those expected obstacles were easier to navigate, there were some others that were harder to manoeuvre.
The expected challenges were the amount of research that would be involved and how to tie it into one story from all the many bits and pieces of information available.
Lack of Authentic Sources
The biggest challenge that I faced in telling these stories was the lack of authentic sources to verify the many versions out there. I hadn’t expected such huge variation and deviation in the many narratives and it took some time for me to understand which version to go with for the purpose of telling the story I wanted to tell.
Lack of Information
The other challenge, although lesser in magnitude, was the lack of information that resulted in many gaps in the story. Despite the many versions, there are several Jupiter-sized loopholes in most narrations. Once I figured out that the missing information wasn’t available anywhere at all, filling in these gaps using my creativity became fun.
The Believability Factor
The third challenge I came across was the believability factor. I, being as over-analytical as I am, just couldn’t fathom how or why certain things would happen.
While one has to suspend obvious logic while reading stories involving mythical elements, there has to be some degree of belief. It is this desire to believe that led me to write these stories in a different light – with some believable explanation of why something happened the way it did. Even so, there have been places where events occur with no rational explanation. I have had to make my peace with those scenes being the ones where ‘magic’ happens.
There were several other questions that were at the back of my mind as I went about researching and writing these tales. The previous versions of the mythological stories that we have grown up on are now part of folklore. But how do we know that’s what really happened? Whose version should we believe? Did they do the right thing in doing what they did? Which version, or rather whose version is, not the most reliable, but authentic?
There have been times when I struggled with finding answers to some basic questions like ‘If Krishna is God himself and not just a reincarnation, how can he die?’ or ‘What is the source for these religious texts? Why should we believe them and why should we follow them, at all?’
I know, for sure, that as you read these stories with a logical analytical mind, myriad questions will rise up in your mind too – some of which I may have anticipated and provided answers to. There would be those questions too which I may not even have come to, and yet others for which I, despite trying, failed to reach at a reasonable explanation.
No Easy Answers
The truth is that there are no easy answers. And neither am I trying to arrive at any. I strongly believe that each one of us who asks these questions would have our own journeys to chart in an attempt to seek the answers, as well as our own independent learnings, based on individual experiences, beliefs, and perceptions.
That is the hallmark of these stories that find relevance even in the contemporary context.
_ _ _ _
Piyusha Vir is a full-time writer, some-time blogger, and part-time English
Her articles on various feminism related issues, have been published on various
platforms like Sheroes, LBB Delhi, Readomania, Momspresso, and WomensWeb
and have won her many awards, accolades and appreciation (including a Kindle
and an ‘Author of the Month’ felicitation!) In 2018, she was awarded the Top 5
position in the Orange Flower Awards 2018 for the category of Writing for Social Impact. Her only credible claim as an author was with Mock, Stalk & Quarrel―a multi-author anthology of 29 satirical tales, and later an ebook of short stories, Just Another Day, published by Readomania Publishing.
Dashavatar is her second attempt at calling herself an author of a solo-authored book. After writing short stories, she is dreaming of writing a full-fledged novel which, if at all, should be out sometime within the next hundred years. When not gushing over the latest book she is reading or whining about the pile of unread books, she is found gazing out her bedroom window, day-dreaming about becoming the next JK Rowling.