Author Interview | Darshan Desale | MANU

A collage student, pursuing animation and VFX in pune. He has also written a
number of audiobooks in Marathi on storytel App. And several appear under “most popular audiobooks in Marathi’ on storytel. MANU is his first book. The journey of this book began when he was in the eighth grade in school. Since his childhood, he was engrossed with questions about many things. He did not get all the answers in those days. Whatever answers he got were not satisfactory. It was then he began to look for answers in his way. During that quest, he got interested in ancient wisdom and knowledge, and before he knew it, he had begun researching the subject matter. He also began writing articles on the same. Of course, these were limited to himself and his friends. He did not start writing a book and had no intention to do so. The thought of writing a book occurred to him while he was in the twelfth grade. Very often he and his friends used to have discussions hours after our dinner on various topics. He used to narrate stories from ancient history in such gatherings and used to present his interpretation and some research on the topics. His friends used to find these interesting and liked them. It was then that his friends urged him to write a book,
and he took it up seriously. Initially, he wrote a lot of short stories. Eventually, in his second year of college, he developed the concept of a story. He gave it to his friends to read, who liked it very much and recommended that he publish it as a book. Consequently, today he is happy to present this book to his readers. In spite of all the efforts there may be some errors that could have crept in inadvertently. He is writing this at young age of 19-20 years, but he have put my sincere efforts with all the language and writing skill he could bring out.

1. When did you first start writing? And, how did you go about starting your first novel?

The journey of writing a book on Manu started when I was in 12th grade. But I think it lay its foundation when I was in
8th grade. I wrote my first story when I was in 8th grade. That story wasn’t enormous. It has 30-40 pages only. That was simple, but a mysterious story. Was written in a small notebook. And that notebook was always with my friends. That notebook kept circulating among friends. After reading my story, friends would come and give me feedback that we liked your story so much. That time I realized that ‘yes’, I’m able to write a wonderful story. And at the same time, I was
attracted to mysterious things, mythology, to the mysteries of the universe and much more. And that’s where my research started. My reading increased. My time was running out to find evidence of what is the truth, what is half-truth? And it increased my knowledge, curiosity about certain things, and it has survived to this day. I have prepared the Manu book from the information received then. So, if those things didn’t attract me at that time, I might not have written this ‘MANU’book today. At that time, I used to associate spiritual things with science. And that’s the concept I took forward: And I combine mythology and spirituality with science in my book
Manu. I can’t say much about Manu’s concept because I don’t want to spoil your reading. Because the concept of Manu is unique. Enjoy it as you read.

2. You are so passionate about Hindu mythology. How did you encounter your this passion?

In childhood, I used to watch Ramayana-Mahabharata on television. My reading was also good. I read a lot of stories. At that time, I remember, I read a book called ‘Chandoba.’ And since then, I have developed an interest in mythology. I was attracted not only to Hindu mythology but also to other mythologies. And in mythology, I found some great divine things, gods and demons, universe, the parallel universe, spaceship, space traveling and many more like this and it was shocking for me. I realized that mythology is not as simple as we look at it. And with a new perspective, I looked at mythology and I found it like a hidden treasure. And since then, my outlook on life has changed. I started to enjoy mythology. and my curiosity is also the reason for it.

3. Who is your favorite mythological characters? How do you love about them?

Honestly, all mythological characters are my favorite. I also like some mythological character that we call rakshasa. Because I get to learn something from everyone. I never tag mythological character that he is good, and he is bad. Everyone has a dark side and a bright side. Everyone is right
in their place. The only thing was wrong is time. So, I can’t tell a particular mythological character that I like.

4. How did you come up with ‘Manu’?

As I told you before that, I have written my first minor story in 8th grade. So, I knew I could write a book. Very often we used to have discussions hours after our dinner on various topics. I used to narrate stories from ancient history in such gatherings. I used to present my interpretation and some research on the topics. My friends used to find these interesting and liked them. It was then that my friends urged
me to write a book, and I took it up seriously. But my first thought was, is it possible or not? Because I wanted to put a lot of different and complex topics together in one book. Along with mythology, I have to put science fiction, fantasy, folklore, philosophy, fairy tales, and also my theories. For this, I wanted a perfect concept. But I could not find it. I was not getting a perfect concept in which all my thoughts would sit perfectly. But I never give up. After two years, I got the concept of Manu. And I immediately implemented it.

5. Can you describe your typical working day? Has this changed markedly since your book published?

Nothing changed. As usual, I read, I write. I never plan for writing; I never write in a specific time. Writing must have done inflow. When you are writing in flow, when you are in perfect alignment with the universe, then ideas flow automatically from inside. You don’t have to force yourself to write. So, I never sit with blank paper and pen and I never think what to write next. I do my daily work. And when idea comes in my mind, I think on it and start developing it. I never force myself for ideas. Having an idea in your mind means you deserve that idea. You are the only ones who make that idea come true. An idea comes into your mind only when
you are right for that idea. So why are you waiting? This is not just about writing; it also applies to other things.

6. Have you did any special research before writing the book?

Yes, definitely. If you want to write something meaningful, want to write mythology, want to write science fiction, then you need research. Or if you want to connect fiction with reality, then also you need research. (As I have done in my
book Manu.) Because people invest their valuable time in your book, and I don’t want to disappoint them. First, I read. Read
a lot. I tried to understand some things from the mythology. Looked to see if they had any other meaning. Because in
mythology some things are written in a very simple way but there is a great meaning hidden behind it and it has to be found. And To conduct research, you first have to remove the tag you are putting up. Like it’s good, it’s bad. It will not work with such thinking. Look at both sides of the coin. Only then will found the whole truth, otherwise, there is no point in knowing the half-truth. And when you found the whole truth, it’s up to you that how much truth is told to people and how much to keep the secret. Because some concepts are so much complicated that they don’t understand quickly, or they seem unbelievable. So, some things should remain a mystery. It’s good for everyone. Even so, I have taken a minor risk in my book Manu. I come up with some concepts that are complicated to understand and also seem unbelievable. But I thought I
should present this concept in front of you, and I have put those concepts in my book Manu.

7. Will you call yourself as religious person? What’s religion for you?

I don’t know. Because it’s depended upon what you think about religion. What is your definition of religion? Religion is not a specific cult. In my opinion, nature is religion. Take care of the nature you live in. Religion is to develop yourself by being in the presence of nature, to develop a wonderful personality, to go to the higher level of your mind and to take care of this nature. Because nature is what we are.

8. How have your family, friends and colleagues responded when your book came out?

At first, they were shocked. They don’t believe that I have successfully completed novel. And of course, my family was happy. Because I’m first author in our generation. But now they so happy for me. And respect for me increased.

9. Who’s your first reader? And, who’s your biggest critic?

One of my friends. He was my first reader. And my biggest critic is my sister. She is very good in this. (hahaha)

10. Before goodbye, any final parting words of advice for the budding authors?

You don’t have to force yourself to write. Writing must have done inflow. I will say, if you have to write something, write it for yourself. Don’t write for others. Don’t think you cannot write a story. The more you write, the more mistakes you make, the better your writing will be. And once you sit Down to write then, don’t think about, what will I write next? How will I end the story? Most of the time, I even don’t know what will happen next in my story. It’s suspense for me too. And for me, that’s the real fun of writing. I enjoy that process. I never focus on output. And when you enjoy your writing, it automatically gets better. Just enjoy the process. The next thing will automatically happen inflow. If you have that Gift. Just Enjoy your writing process.

Thank you for your precious time. I wish you everything best for the future.

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