Lekha Varma Talks About Her Book Garuda: The Dark Secrets of Lord Indra

Lekha Varma Talks About Her Book Garuda: The Dark Secrets of Lord Indra

My name is Lekha Varma, and I was born and raised in Kerala, India. Currently, I reside in Mumbai. Nature is something I have loved the most since my childhood. The beauty of nature inspired me to write poems. During my college days in Trivandrum, I became a regular visitor to the Aashaan memorial, a meeting place of celebrated poets. The Aashaan Memorial was created to honor the memory of Kumaran Aashaan, the legendary Malayalam poet. I used to read poems there and received several awards. Subsequently, I drew knowledge from life experiences and transformed from writing poems to writing stories.

At one point, I became a homemaker, leaving me with no time for hobbies. But later, besides cooking, I also turned writing into my passion. Afterwards, I started to get time to write stories, and I wrote many stories that brought me immense joy. My husband and children motivated me to publish my stories as books, saying that my stories are beautiful and engaging, deserving to be shared with the world. This is how I arrived at the decision to write a book. The cooperation of my husband Deepak S.V and my children, Malavika and Siddharth, is what made this book possible. Not just that, I was born in a village in Kerala in a house called Kunnekal kovilakum as the daughter of Lalitambika Thampuratti and Surendra Varma. Because of the resemblance between my life experiences and the story of Garuda, the protagonist in my story, I have the ability to imbue a sense of justice into his character.

Now, I have been living in Bombay for the past 18 years. The concrete jungles of this place used to confine me, but now, after starting to write stories, my mind finds solace.

The Literature Times: Author, welcome to The Literature Times. Congratulations on the publication of your book! What feedback do you get from your readers? Please share your thoughts on this book.

Lekha Varma: Thank you for the introduction & wishes. The response I am getting from the readers is overwhelming. I adapted to a fast storytelling method in my book; these days, people don’t have the luxury of time to spend on reading. I am happy to know my story didn’t disappoint the readers. It’s a fresh take on Indian mythology, especially on the character Garuda. I have portrayed the character of Garuda as a very powerful anti-hero, I would say more than a hero in my story. In all known stories of Garuda, Garuda’s birth is to save Garuda’s mother from slavery. But if you refer to the actual fact, that is not the case. Garuda’s mother becomes enslaved only after his birth in the form of an egg. Garuda was born in egg-form along with Nagas to maintain the balance of nature. In all the stories heard so far, the story of Garuda ends when he frees his mother from slavery. But in my book, Garuda only begins his life journey by rescuing his mother from slavery. Garuda’s life journey is a very interesting story altogether.

The Literature Times: What motivates you to become a writer?

Lekha Varma: Everything and everyone I come across in my life one way or another inspired and motivated me to write stories. Writing is one of my hobbies and passions, the same as cooking. My husband, Deepak SV, had founded a company called Dreamer Ego with the vision of creating global media properties based on Indian myths and art forms. When I heard of Garuda from him, I was excited. Somehow he felt my imagination level is high and that should be used for a better purpose! (Laughter). So I got a chance to write on a few of the properties he has been developing. Also, since childhood, I have been introduced to the enchanting world of mythology by my grandmother, especially during Ramayan month; we had a custom to read Ramayana in every household in Kerala. I used to write poems during my school and college, just for self-expression, but in recent years only I started to take writing seriously and explored various genres in scripts & novel formats.

The Literature Times: What are your favorite writing topics? Please tell us a little bit about your literary interests.

Lekha Varma: My favorite genre is fantasy because in fantasy stories, we have no restrictions on our imagination. Having said that, I had also written on realistic contemporary subjects. In my opinion, people like adventure more.

The Literature Times: We were hoping you might tell us about some of the authors who have influenced you and whom you read!

Lekha Varma: I have read both contemporary and classical masterpieces like ‘Randamoozham’ of the legendary writer M. T. Vasudevan Nair and ‘Theekkadal Kadannu Thirumadhuram’ of C Radhakrishnan to name a few in Malayalam. Also, I read contemporary works like ‘Life of Pi’ of Yann Martel. I am also influenced by international series like ‘Game of Thrones.’

The Literature Times: The title is unique and appealing; how did you come up with it? Please tell us the story behind it.

Lekha Varma: ‘Garuda’ is obviously the perfect name I could find for the story as Garuda is the hero of the story, and later part of the title is related to his adventures in the book, revealing the dark secrets of Lord Indra. Maybe you could relate more to it while you are reading the book.

The Literature Times: What are your achievements so far? Tell us something about your writing career.

Lekha Varma: I wrote a few fiction and mythology-related scripts for series and movies. I also wrote a story based on “Naladamayanthi” for an epic movie a few years back. It was a directorial of my husband Deepak SV. Hopefully looking forward to seeing that on screen and other few I had penned along with it. This is my first work getting published in a book form.

The Literature Times: What is your current goal in writing a career? How do you see your future in writing?

Lekha Varma: Writing is my passion. So I want to write a lot more books. I am keen on writing all types of genres. I wish to create a wonderful universe with my writing career.

The Literature Times: Do you have any other novels in the works? Please keep us updated on your future endeavors.

Lekha Varma: I have already completed a few scripts for movies and series. Some works based on them are in progress, and other few are in the pitching stage. This is my first published book, as I mentioned. I have mostly tried to tell Garuda’s story in this book. So couldn’t give emphasis or justice to some of the secondary characters in this book. Maybe those other characters will get a center-stage in my upcoming books. I do write all kinds of genres; apart from fantasy and adventure, I have also written very realistic and contemporary stories. Perhaps those could also likely be my books soon. You could follow my social media handles for the latest updates on my upcoming works.

The Literature Times: How do you view Indian writing in the twenty-first century? What changes do you see in today’s writing style? Do you feel it has changed over time?

Lekha Varma: As I mentioned earlier, these days people don’t have much time to read. They are preferring audiobooks instead. This is the big difference and it might influence the contents and presentation of books as well in the feature. Soon electronic medium will take over and more technology-driven presentations would come in. So the writing may evolve accordingly compared to the traditional books now a days we are used to. The language and content may also likely to get lighter as per the changing world and readers perhaps.

The Literature Times: How simple/difficult was it for you to publish your book? What message do you want to send to aspiring authors?

Lekha Varma: First of all, it was really difficult for me to take a call on whether to go for self-publishing or traditional, as they both have their own good side and bad sides. Later I found a publisher very cooperative and comfortable. It helped and made my publishing journey easier. My message to aspiring authors would be my friends, don’t hesitate to write. If your story is good it will certainly gain success. No matter what method of publishing you choose. Good content that matters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *