Indian English literature is on the rise. Well, one has to acknowledge the roles of authors who have made literature popular among youths, teenagers, young audiences and even kids. Chetan Bhagat, Ravinder Singh, Datta and Singhs, and many others including Shobha De, Amitav Ghosh and hundreds of others. However, when it comes to making literature interesting, absorbing and relatable beyond sex, age interest and political biases, one has to acknowledge the roles of authors like Amish Tripathi, Ashok Banker, Neelakantan, and Ashwin Sanghi among a few others. Coming to the final question, and the only one, whom would you prefer over everyone else? From an overall perspective?
I have read almost all the novelists of the 21st-century in India. However, the one that I admire the most will always be Ashwin Sanghi. Unless a new one appears on the scene who could entertain us, question our memories, give something to think and make the process of fiction sensible at the same time… literature without compromising the language, content or overdoing the same themes again and again. Ashwin is a new author with every work.
Alok Mishra, a noted Indian book critic and a contemporary poet, admires Ashwin Sanghi and puts him above other contemporary Indian English novelists. It’s true that Ashwin Sanghi offers a lot to his readers. With Sanghi, fiction reading becomes more than simply entertainment and readers are seeing in him an Indian counterpart to Dan Brown. However, more than anything else, Sanghi draws on his canvas with imagination beyond our thinking and thoughts beyond our imagination. With Bhagat and his fellas, fiction is all about contemporary problems and realism overloaded with passion and sex. With Neelakantan and his tribe, fiction is about retelling India’s history and myth with a personal vendetta (almost). With teenage sensations like Durjoy Datta and Nikita Singh, fiction is all about adding visual colours to one’s youthful fancies. And the same gets repeated, every time. It becomes boring over time.
Ashwin Sanghi takes his readers to the worlds that we have visited or the ideas we are familiar with. This makes acceptance a little more powerful. The Krishna Key or even The Keepers of the Kalachakra become very interesting because people want to tread on the roads that originate from the lands of history, myths and imaginations that lie in our subconscious. Sanghi fires his fiction with these associated concepts that fuel in readers the urge to know what might be the outcome… and he does it, every time, with newness and freshness beyond our grasp.
On the other hand, going by the numbers, anyone will go with Chetan and Amish because they sell in large numbers compared to what Ashwin Sanghi’s books do in the market. However, critical claims and sales figures are two different things. We still have R K Narayan and M R Anand among the most respected Indian literary figures when their works are only sold to academic readers… At the end of the day, it comes down to the choices of the readers and they are always free to read whatever they like.
By Chitra for Literature News