As I made my way down Jonker Street, I found myself at The Royal Press – one of the world’s oldest surviving polyglot letterpress museums dedicated to preserving the craft of letterpress printing. Located in one of Melaka’s many shophouses, I was immediately hit by a sense of nostalgia when I walked in. As a descendant of Southeast Asian merchants, I am all too familiar with the concept of the shopfloor on the ground floor and a living space on the second floor.
Most people will never work or be part of a startup so they simply don’t have the skillset to comprehend – or even imagine – how to make things work. Way too many of the people I meet these days think of a startup as either some glamorous venture that’ll take off overnight or just a hobby to keep you distracted from how unfulfilling things are at your day job. But a startup is a lot more than that.
“Spirituality is faith and experience based whereas science is fact and observation based. I don’t see why the two can’t coexist. We humans have a great capacity for imagination and compassion. We’re also incredibly analytical and rational. It’s how our brains are wired – to live with these two contradictions and still function.”
As a former teacher, I really wanted to write a book that my students could understand, appreciate and relate to. For my work to have relevance to the modern reader, it had to be accessible. I often asked myself, “If I had to explain this concept to one of my teenage students, how would I explain it in a way that they would understand?”
“I feel no matter how hard the author tries to depersonalise themselves while writing something, yet a part of them seeps into the story. Time and again their authorial voice peeps into the tale. One cannot simply write an engaging book on something they themselves don’t believe in.”
“It is human nature to resist difficulties and bitter truths. If you study astrology long enough, you’ll understand that Rahu, Ketu and Saturn are making us face up to our ‘soul task’. I’ve always seen life as a kind of school where souls are born to learn and graduate from one level of consciousness to another. And Rahu, Ketu and Saturn are the best teachers that you’ll ever get.”
Astrology has always been a mystery to mankind and while some try to explain (and sometimes deny) it with the concept of science, some use it to read their characters to predict the future, and some even try to fool people with its unethical use. And then there are many others like author Dipa Sanatani who tries to explore the vast subject of astrology through the realm of human experience.
Mythology has been a part of our rich culture, tradition, literature and life since time immemorial. Even in this modern era, the advent of science and technology didn’t decrease its popularity but rather enhanced it. Not only did the film industry put the modern techniques to use for projecting the mythological tales in a vibrant way, the modern writers too took up myths to retell them in their own unique fashion.
“As an author myself I know that the authors cannot help hiding a part of themselves inside the book. And I love to search for those traces in the book, exploring the themes, symbolism or hidden meanings, significance of the title, while composing detailed book reviews. I feel this is the best part of writing book reviews, it makes one live the story twice.”
We may call it ‘mythology’ but even modern storytellers are using this age-old formula.