Ajinkya Deshmukh is a perennially curious media professional turned independent authorpreneur and Public relations consultant. He lives in Pune and has done MBA in marketing management. He is an award winning Communications and International Relations expert. He is a TEDx speaker, and has interviewed over 400 achievers from industries such as films, business, politics and social service. He is currently working on independent projects and a book based on autism and autism affected families. His book, The Shining Warrior, draws inspiration from the altruistic warrior Karna.
I chat with him about his book The Shining Warrior, what drew him to the mythological fiction genre, his inspiration for writing the book, book recommendations, and much more.
Hello, Ajinkya! Congratulations on the release of your book, The Shining Warrior. Please share more about the book and about the reception it is getting from the readers.
Thank you. It is such a pleasure. I am glad to say that the response for my book The Shining Warrior has been quite encouraging. The Shining Warrior marks an important phase in my life and career. I have been strongly influenced by the great epic Mahabharata right from my childhood. Moreover, I have always put my faith in the notion that the great Indian epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata hold the key to the questions faced by us in this day and age. We just the need the will to locate it. The lead character in the book, in my opinion, personifies everyone who struggles and wishes to make a mark in history. Although the backdrop of the book is based on the Mahabharata, each and every page of it resonates with modern sensibilities and aspirations.
When did you first discover your love for writing?
Well, at the age when I actually began reading. On a serious note, writing has been my getaway, a place of my own where I feel most comfortable, akin to a mother’s lap. Right from my childhood, I have been fascinated by literature. I have been reasonably well-versed in the art of writing since my school days, thanks to my mother who is my first teacher, and the brilliant and dedicated group of educators I was blessed with right from my childhood.
How would you describe your book The Shining Warrior in one sentence?
The Shining Warrior is a poetic homage to the spirit of bravery, sacrifice and fortitude from the perspective of a crucial Indian mythological warrior.
Now tell us a little more about the book! What can readers expect?
The Shining Warrior is a poetic account of the struggle every deserving and ambitious person faces while proving his worth to the world. It’s a series of why’s, if you will, one asks to destiny, kin, peers and most importantly the powers that be while charting their paths to success. Since the why’s are relatable, they are also easily readable to us.
What drew you to the mythological fiction genre?
I have grown up in a religious household. My bond with the Hindu scriptures has been a strong one. It was my late grandmother who influenced me a lot with her extraordinary knowledge of the Vedas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Upanishads. She was the one who taught me the meaning of life through poetic verses that these epic texts contain.
What are your thoughts about the protagonist of your book from a personal perspective?
Karna is an ideal depiction of what a human being is all about. He has his virtues and he has his fair share of vices as well. Moreover, what makes him a special character is his ability to overcome his weaknesses. He does it by acknowledging them and wearing them like his congenital divine armour. He is not perfect by any stretch of imagination yet he stands apart from the crowd like the sun does among other stars.
What has the road to becoming a published author been like for you?
It has been a challenging, exciting and fulfilling journey. Not only has it been a great motivator for me but it has also opened up numerous avenues on the personal and professional front for me. Writing has always been the highlight of my professional repertoire. The idea of The Shining Warrior had germinated in my mind a long time ago. Putting it down in black and white was like going deeper into the ocean of my mind and finding extraordinary pearls of experiences and ambitions that I presented through my book.
How have you been coping with the current pandemic and what will be the new normal for you post it?
By working. For long, I have struggled to find consistency in terms of physical workouts. But during the pandemic I have found my rhythm. Moreover, on the work front, as an independent entrepreneur, my plate is full with several exciting projects. For me, the new normal is replete with new opportunities.
Lastly, are you currently reading anything and do you have any book recommendations for our readers?
I have recently finished reading Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. I have since then begun My Gita by Devdutt Pattanaik. I would recommend reading Why I Am a Hindu by Shashi Tharoor, and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.
The book ‘The Shining Warrior’ is available online and at your nearest bookstore.