Hailed as the 'Indian Dan Brown' for his books The Rozabal Line and The Krishna Key, writer Aswin Sanghi is one of India's bestselling conspiracy fiction writers, known for his books based on historical, theological and mythological themes. In his address at TechSparks 2016, the author took a largely tech audience on a mystical ride as he established unthought-of connects and stressed on the importance of unlearning to unleash creativity.
Ashwin began by quoting Steve Jobs and said how creativity just happens by chance and that a creative person will not really have the answers for the wonders he has achieved.
According to Ashwin the process of creativity has four fundamental stages.
“It all starts with unlearning, which goes on to become connectivity and finally results in creativity.”
Recalling his childhood, Ashwin narrated how being born into a typical Marwari-Baniya family his tryst with business began quite early, at age 12, but there was also a strong creative influence.
“I went on business visits with my father and was given lessons in book-keeping by a munimji but what interested me more was the books my grandfather gave me. He sent me one book every week and gave me a total of 417 books in his lifetime.”
This introduced Ashwin to his creative side but convention was not far behind.
Munimji used to tell me how book-keeping is better than book-reading and the only book I should be reading is a Balance Sheet.
But Ashwin had decided he wanted to be a writer and confided in a friend who quoted the famous quote by W.Somerset Maugham:
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Inspired, Ashwin thus began his writing journey. In the course of his 20-minute address Ashwin touched upon various instances and examples of how we have is a larger picture waiting to be seen provided we connected the dots. The instances included,
The concept of Hara and Hari
Mythological characters are a creation of larger mythical processes. The universe is ever expanding, refer to it as Vishnu; it is also continuously contracting, refer to it as Shiva (Hara) , this process of expansion and contraction creates the universe, or ‘Brahma’ as we know it. This can be applied to a lot of real-life activities.
Ashwin spoke about how real-life incidents influenced his style of writing. Recalling an instance of being awestruck on visiting a temple dedicated to Amitabh Bachchan in Kolkata, he took the audience on an imaginary ride to the future in a world where it would really be happening on a large scale.
“What if I told you most gods or things we believe in today really did exist a hundred thousand years ago and no one then knew they would be treated as gods? Believe in the power of imagination; what you think is impossible today may well happen tomorrow,” he quipped.
After going through several interesting connections from history and mythology, Ashwin concluded by saying,
We have about 300 different types of Ramayana although only one is popularly known and followed. It is proof for how our country is famous for accepting multiple versions of something but celebrating only one. So don’t feel shy to have multiple ideas. Creativity is going beyond what is commonly explainable. Dare to dream different.
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