The Gujarati community has a long tradition of seafaring and a history of immigration to foreign lands. The mercantile culture resulted naturally from the Indian state’s proximity to the Arabian Sea. Although air travel had replaced sea travel by the time I was born, this innate restlessness I feel to explore new lands is something that is irrevocably embedded in me.
“Eastern beliefs, in particular, view ancestors as a ‘bridge’ between human existence and God. They have the power to aid us and help us in times of trouble as well as bless us as we go forth on our journey. In The Merchant of Stories, I touched on how the bonds we have with those who have passed on does not end with their death.”
I’m at that point in my creative journey where writing for myself or for the sake of creating something holds very little appeal to me. I have come to view my work as an act of worship, devotion and dedication.
My second novel The Merchant of Stories is dedicated to my great-grandmother Kamala Nagindas. I write this, not to honour her death–but to remember her life.
My family was in textiles and I’m in books. Growing up, there were many teachings that my elders passed down to me. There is one story that is firmly imprinted in my mind and comes back to me over and over again.
Being a scientist has forced me to look at everything through black and white tinted glasses. In my wish list of manuals to survive the experience we call ‘life’ I also once wanted a ‘how to write without failing’ manual. Co-incidentally that is when Dipa Sanatani revealed her second book The Merchant of Stories. It is the kind of book I’ve wanted to read for a long time.
The creative entrepreneur walks a different path from the technology entrepreneur. She/he needs to wear two hats. The first is the artist hat to define the creative vision of their product or service. The second is the business hat to understand the dynamics of their chosen marketplace and sell it to as many people as possible.Wearing two fundamentally different hats is not easy. Dipa Sanatani leads us through her journey of this balancing act in The Merchant of Stories.
With the creative adjectives and strong imagery, Sanatani painted vivid imagery of the character in my head. This sassy character, Mercury closely reminded me of the Greek God Hermes. From his impeccable attire to his unending knowledge about business and trades, Hermes felt like the Greek counterpart of Mercury.
In the beginning, there was only nature. We lived alongside her laws and her ways. With the annals of time, humans created civilisation. Without the written word, civilisation wouldn’t exist. And it all began with the scribes – the very first wordsmiths who etched their words so they would never be forgotten or lost.
The child in me always believed that somewhere somehow all the living entities in this universe are assisting each other to find their true purpose. This invisible inter-relation of entities is beyond past, present, and future.