Author's interview of the book The Curse of Brahma

Jagmohan Banver's Interview:

1)      Tell us a little about yourself?

I come from an Army family where travel and postings in different cities was rather common. While it meant that one was uprooted from one’s surrounding every now and then, it taught me to make friends wherever we went. And it taught a very important lesson, early on in life. Everything in life is transient! Friends change, your environment changes. Schools and the place you call home also change. What remains is the experiences you gain every day; and the person you become because of those experiences.
I have learnt to appreciate the beauty of nature by staying in places like Shillong and Dehradun. And I am grateful for the experience gleaned from staying in fast moving places like Mumbai and Delhi. Everywhere you go, people are the same. Their inherent drivers do not change. They will love you if you love them and they will ignore you if you do not show interest in them.
I wrote my first piece when I was 12 years old. It was a poem that got published in a magazine called Target in the early 80’s. And then I wrote for a few more publications around that time. Writing always made me feel alive. My first book (get Happy now) was published in 2004 but I had written it in 1991 when I had just turned twenty.
The early part of my career was spent as a banker and I was fortunate to grow exponentially fast in that sector. However, after working for several years at national level roles, I realized that banking was not what I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. I wanted to spend my years writing and engaging with people through seminars and speaking events. And that is what I do today. As an Executive coach, I work with CXO’s and board members to help make a difference to their lives; and as a professional speaker I get the opportunity to touch hundreds of thousands of lives in some context or the other. And I hope, my writing opens up a new world full of exciting vistas for my readers.

2)      How did the idea to write about Indian mythology came up?

I firmly believe that mythology tells us a lot about our culture and our past. In most cases what is termed as mythology in India in any case is not myth. It is part of our history; our heritage. Just because we might have forgotten part of it and allowed dust to settle on it, it does not turn facts into myth.
Therefore when I saw that for several years now, Indian history and heritage was being written off as mythology, I was a bit taken aback. I knew we in India have the benefit of mythology (or history) that is perhaps more exciting and invigorating that anything else, anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, children today do not spend too much time reading about Indian mythology or history. They are keener to read about Greek or Roman Gods and Goddesses. While there is no harm in reading books based on other cultures, there is equally nothing that should keep us back from reading about own heritage.
The interest in other culture’s mythos as against our own is primarily due to the fact that Indian mythology is mostly narrated in a very conventional manner and even the language and style of writing is not very aligned to what young audiences today want to read. Therefore when I decided to write a book around Indian mythology, I wanted to change this with my own little contribution to this domain. The Curse of Brahma (Vol 1 in the Krishna Trilogy) has hence been written in a way whereby people are able to identify with aspects of our culture and young audiences are also motivated to read it because the language is contemporary.

3)      Also tell us about your book 'The Curse of Brahma' and journey uptil publishing.

I spent most of my life in UP and it’s rather difficult to stay there and not have heard of Krishna at a very early age. Moreover, with the name that I have (Jag-Mohan), it was natural for everyone during childhood to jestingly comment that I was behaving like Krishna and that I was his namesake.
So, I just happened to get very close to the subject of Krishna from a very early age. As I grew older and read more about Krishna, I realized there was far more to him than we made it out to be. I resolved to research this.
Therefore when I took a sabbatical from my banking career in 2004, I started reading whatever material I could find on Krishna, including Vedic texts that date back thousands of years.
And I realized that the story of Krishna as we know it could well be a myth....that the actual story might in fact have been so terrifying that history was compelled to hide the truth. After all, when we are talking of time dating back thousands of years, who can be certain where fact ends, and fiction begins.
I had a two-fold objective in writing the Krishna trilogy. One, to tell my version of the truth! And secondly, to narrate it in a way that can appeal to the young of our country. A lot of us have lost interest in our culture because the way our old stories are narrated has not changed over time. Our children are happy reading about Greek mythology and Roman characters because those stories are written and narrated in a contemporary manner. All books in the Krishna trilogy have been written in a manner that it excites our readers and encourages them to take pride in our culture. Also, earlier it was the natural responsibility of grandparents to imbue the young with a sense of their culture. With families getting increasingly fragmented, tales told to children earlier by older members now require another medium to do so. The change in family structures has compelled writers like me to re-tell our ancient stories, blending research with imagination.
I finished writing the book (the first volume in the Krishna trilogy) in Nov 2014 and it was sent to three publishers. Thanks to Krishna, I got a positive response from all the publishing houses; I finally chose to go with Rupa Publications as I felt more than anyone else they would do justice to the book and the subject.
4)      Who is your favourite author? And what are some of your favourite books?

I think Rohinton Mistry is an amazing writer. Most of his work falls in the “slice of life” kind of style. Favorite books would include Family Matters from Rohinton Mistry; Great Expectations from Charles Dickens; The mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy; Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

5)      Any favourite mythology character?

Krishna of course J Where else would you find someone with so many varying facets of character?

6)      What advice would you give to aspiring writer's?

If you have decided you want to be a writer, simply put your head down and write. Don’t pay heed to what people say to put you down, but do take feedback. Total absence of feedback is as bad as paying too much attention to it.
If you are writing nonfiction, select a subject that you have expertise in. If it is a piece of fiction, it ought to be something you are really passionate about. Don’t emulate the writing style of other authors Develop your own brand of writing and your own expression. There’s a greater chance of being recognized that way. And finally, don’t wait for the perfect moment to start writing. The perfect moment seldom happens. Make time to write. Use the weekend or the flight time or any other time you can make use of. But start writing!

7)      And last, when will we get to read another book by you?

I have a book with Hachette India releasing in December this year. It’s titled Pichai – The future of Google and as the name suggests, it is the first book internationally on Google’s new CEO and the company he inherits from Larry Page.
Another book with Hachette releases in April next year. It is called Click and it is India’s first definitive book on the ecommerce sector.
And of course, Volume 2 in the Krishna Trilogy (The Rise of the Yadavas) too releases by March-April next year.

So there is a  lot of action planned in the coming year!

Book Blurb:

The man who became a Brahmarishi...
The curse that banished him to the hell of hells...
And the revenge that threatens to destroy the three worlds...

When Lord Brahma, the God of Creation, banishes his star pupil from Swarglok in a fit of rage, he does not foresee that his decision will alter the fate of the three worlds. Mortally wounded, and anguished at Brahma's unfair punishment, his pupil struggles to survive in TamastamahPrabha, the hell of hells. In time, he becomes the Dark Lord, the most feared figure in PataalLok, who swears to destroy Brahma.

The power of the Dark Lord soon begins to make its presence felt in the mortal world. Vasudev, the brave prince of Bateshwar, becomes the hunter of Asura assassins; his closest friend, Kansa, almost dies while trying to save his sister from a group of deadly monsters; and the most valiant kings in Mrityulok turn over to the dark side, driven by forces beyond their control.

Only one person threatens the Dark Lord's well-laid plans - Devki, the beautiful princess of Madhuvan, who is destined to give birth to the warrior Krishna.

Will the Dark Lord allow Krishna - the person who has been prophesied to destroy him - to be born?

About Author:

Jagmohan Bhanver is rated amongst the Top 20 Executive Coaches by the GCF (Global Coaching Federation) & is the best-selling author of four books.

Executive Coach & Leadership Mentor to CEOs
Jagmohan is rated amongst the Top 20 Executive coaches in the world. He is referred to as the “Mentor’s Mentor” in corporate circles and has mentored Industry leaders, celebrity entrepreneurs, media people and CEO’s at leading organizations. In the International speakers circuit, he is rated among the most powerful speakers in Asia and one of the most popular Asian speakers across the globe by the Worldwide Speaker’s Bureau.
His latest paper on “leaders as super motivators” has been finding takers in various corporate houses globally and has also been introduced in top B-schools as part of management lessons for executive MBA’s.

Educationist & Public service
Jagmohan is the winner of the Indian Achiever’s Award for Excellence in Education in 2009. He was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani Award for outstanding individual achievements and distinguished services to the nation. Subsequently, he was also the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award. He is also the recipient of the Shiksha Bharati Award.

Internationally best-selling author
Jagmohan’s first book (self help genre) titled "Get Happy Now" was on the best selling lists of most countries and on the Top ten list of leading bookstores in India. His second book, titled "Think your way to Millions" which is on the subject of Behavioral Finance was nominated for the best non-fiction award by Hutch-Crossword in India. This is one of the few books on behavioral finance. His third book was titled “Nadella – The Changing Face of Microsoft.” This book was published by Hachette, the largest publishers in the world. Jagmohan’s latest book is part of a three-volume trilogy on Krishna and is considered as the most awaited book in 2015. It is titled, “The Curse of Brahma.” 

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