Author Usha Narayanan’s views on writing resonate closely with that of Ayn Rand who believed that it should be timeless and deal with the fundamental problems and values of human existence. It should show a world as it should be, rather than what it is. Thus, her second and newly released book Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, aptly takes us back to a world packed with gods, demons, warriors, princesses, celestial wars and earthly passions and an unlikely hero who is struggling like us to stand up to the demonic forces that rule our world.
Usha says, “The book, in its own small way, projects the grandeur of the human spirit and shows how we can transform our world if we only have the will to do it.”
For the Chennai-based author, a gold medal in English followed by a Masters degree in English literature led naturally to a writing career. Then came several years working as creative director in advertising and radio, managing corporate communications and writing for newspapers and websites.
“All this helped fine-tune my writing, but it is only now that I have an opportunity to make full use of my creative energies. As a full-time author, I can now roam the streets of Madras with a serial killer, travel to Vaikunta on the back of Garuda and fight and win battles with nasty bosses! Yes, my first three books are in three diverse genres―a crime thriller, an epic fantasy and a romcom,” she informs.
Usha is also someone who enjoys studying people and the emotions that are eternal and universal―across time, age and geography. Love, hate, anger, greed, ambition, fear… she says, “what can be more interesting than seeing how these powerful feelings motivate us to act as we do?” And strong women characters are a part of her first two novels, as well as her upcoming book.
She adds, “I believe strongly that women are the foundation of human life with their instinct to nurture, protect and surpass. The feisty girls who form the core of The Madras Mangler (her first book) fight relentlessly to achieve their dreams despite parental pressure, a patriarchal society and an unsafe environment. In Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, Rukmini and Pradyumna’s wife Mayavati are the epitome of courage, compassion and wisdom. My rom com turns the focus on the pitfalls a woman encounters when trying to advance in the fiercely competitive corporate world.
“There are powerful women in my books who show the reverse side too. We see the tragic consequences that follow when women make the wrong choices for themselves and their loved ones.”
Usha has always liked challenges and the thrill of honing new skills. And thus each of her books have been of a different genre (her first book was in the suspense genre, the second is in the fantasy space and the next novel is a rom com).
She says, “It’s similar to the experiences you get when travelling around the world and exploring new terrains. If a suspense thriller is like skiing down the snow-clad Alps, a rom com is like an enchanting cruise on the Mediterranean. And a fantasy based on our gods brings us the warmth of coming home and discovering our ancient roots.
“My next novel, a rom com, is a breezy tale of love and power-play set in a big media empire, with the nice guys struggling to survive against a scheming, unscrupulous boss. It is a realistic, yet fun tale of love and life. This book will be followed by the sequel to ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, painted on an even larger and more exhilarating canvas than the first book.”
Amrita Paul is a senior writer with SheThePeople.TV