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Just Amish

Amish talks myths before breaking into song

We have known Amish the author, Amish the marketing whiz and Amish the raconteur of mythological tales. On Friday evening, the Kolkata Literary Meet revealed Amish the singer. During a session titled Faith, Fiction and Fame, the writer of the hugely successful Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas delighted the Google Dome audience with “Aapki aakhon mein kuch meheke huye se raaz hain (Ghar)”.

And that’s not all you’ll hear of this singing sensation, who it turns out was part of a band during his student days at IIM Calcutta. On February 11, Amish will release a music album tied to the various events in his Shiva trilogy, ahead of the launch of Book 3, The Oath of the Vayuputras. Other than Amish, the album includes artistes like Taufiq Qureshi, Bickram Ghosh, Sonu Nigam and Palash Sen.

At KLM, before the music came the myths. Credited with making Indian mythology “cool” for GenX, Amish seemed to wear the feather lightly, despite selling some 10 lakh copies of the first two books. During his conversation with writer (and IIM senior) Jash Sen, Amish described himself as “risk-averse”. “I didn’t have daddy’s money to be able to give up everything and indulge myself with my writing. I held on to my job as an insurance banker — the most boring job in the world — till my two books came out and I was reasonably sure that the royalty would pay the bills.”

As with any Amish session, the audience questions flew quick and fast. “Your name is Amish Tripathi. But the book covers only say Amish. Why is that?”

“Tripathi is a caste surname and while I am in no way ashamed of my caste, I don’t want to perpetuate this divisive system. I can’t do away with my surname in legal documents but the books are in my hand. So, I am just Amish,” he replied to thunderous applause.

Text: Samhita Chakraborty, Chandreyee Chatterjee and Saionee Chakraborty. Pictures: Anindya Shankar Ray