I Am An Adventurer — Author Ram Sivasankaran

Who is Ram Sivasankaran? How would you describe yourself as an author and a human being?

I’d like to think of myself as an adventurer, not so much in terms of travel but in the path of life itself. I believe, when possible, life should not merely be lived away as a mundane chore – one has to diversify, try out things, find your calling. There is never too little time to do many things. To exemplify what I mean, I am an aerospace engineer working in financial technology and a writer of historical fiction with a passion in ancient Indian/Hindu texts. While whether anyone thinks I do any one of these well enough is up for debate but at the end of the day, I know I’ve tried whatever I have an interest in, whether financial or soulful, whether I am able to do it well or not so well.

What made you write The Peshwa?

Contrary to the views of many, history has always been one of my favourite subjects. I even used to memorise the dates with great mechanical enthusiasm. Hearing lectures regarding and reading up history, even academically, was to me like reading a beautiful (or ugly, depending on the event/person) story. I’ve always been a day-dreamer and I loved conjuring up historical scenes, costumes, settings, courtrooms, moods, battles and romances as I read on.
The inspiration to write stems from my inherent passion for history and from my belief that some of our heroes and heroines don’t exactly have tomes dedicated to their contributions, as do some dynasties like the Mughals. I wanted to put some icons I’ve grown to love and admire under the spotlight. Since I am not an academic historian, I wanted to tell the story from the point of view of a novelist.
About the book

50 copies available for review !

The first of my two-book historical fiction series marks the Peshwa, Bajirao’s rise to power and his method of fighting and overcoming tremendous odds for someone his age. The second book, which I am currently working on, will show you a more seasoned and bloodied general in Bajirao while exploring his passions and mature emotions. He will battle not only external enemies but also fight to protect his family while keeping relationships intact. Heroes will rise and fall. There will be treachery and there will be tragedy. Almost all characters will be shades of grey. While I believe in absolute evil and can think up examples of human beings from history who can be seen as its personification, there is always a perspective and rationale behind one’s deeds, at least to oneself. As such, I try exploring different perspectives and their associated characters in depth.

Although based on some real events on people, it is important to note that my works are those of fiction. I’d like to see them as works serving as ballads and odes, such as Beowulf, where the liberties I’ve taken, i.e., exaggerations, omissions and figments of imagination are allowed to pay tribute to a larger-than-life personality. My goal is to spark an interest for these personalities in my fellow countrymen – an interest to do their own historical research, visit monuments of note and learn about their great heritage, not to re-write or misrepresent events or characters from history. Despite these creative liberties, I’ve tried to largely stay true to the spirit of the protagonist and all other characters and do justice to how they’re perceived in society.

Why do you think the readers will love this book?

Assuming readers are willing to accept my book as a work of fiction and take it in that spirit, I hope they will enjoy the way I try to tell the story and the depth I try to give to all characters, situations and scenes. I am an amateur author so all I can do is hope!

The book is a work of fiction, please do not compare it with actual history. 

How do you balance writing with a day job?

I try to. I’d love to say I am a nine-to-fiver by the day and a crazy author by night but I have no fixed schedule. I give priority to my day job as it puts food on my plate but when I can, like during workouts, I give dreaming its due.

Dreaming is possibly the biggest part of writing. Dream it well and pen it down before it all dissipates.

Your advice to aspiring writers

Keep the plot line simple, yet powerful and tell the story well.

About the author:

Ram Sivasankaran was born in Madras, India, but has spent most of his life abroad, largely in the Middle East and the United Stated of America. He was brought up on stories from Hindu legend and the great epics and classics of both India and the West. In addition to being a passionate student of history in school, Ram has built a keen interest in stories of valour, heroism, chivalry, beauty, and romance.

A daydreamer of sorts, Ram believes deeply in the power of imagination—the mind being the canvas on which even the seemingly talentless can create new universes, resurrect eras long gone, bring the gods to life and even revive heroes and damsels of yore. Ram makes his debut with a historical novel on one of the greatest and yet, to an extent, less known figure from Indian history—Bajirao Bhat, Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy, mighty warrior, hopeless romantic and one of the most dazzling examples of wartime courage, military readership and battle strategy.

Author: Ram Sivasankaran
Publisher: Westland
Release: January 2016
Genre: Fiction / Historical
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