World Book Day Special: The author of bestselling book Kaalkoot talks about his next

Kaalkoot: The Lost Himalayan Secret is one book that talks about a bioweapon, a lethal pathogen, which has the potential to unleash a global pandemic.

World Book Day Special: The author of bestselling book Kaalkoot talks about his next

Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic took over the world, people have been looking at books and movies that have shown the world in that light. S Venkatesh’s Kaalkoot: The Lost Himalayan Secret is one book that talks about a bioweapon, a lethal pathogen, which has the potential to unleash a global pandemic, spreading across multiple cities and bringing the world to its knees.

There are some very disturbing parallels with COVID-19 world and the scenario mentioned in KaalKoot which was released by TreeShade Books in the year 2018.

Talking about his bestselling book and the scenario today, S Venkatesh says, “Recent events indicate that we are heading into a world where challenges are likely to increase, with global warming, economic upheavals and so on. Yet I am also optimistic about the strength of the human spirit and our collective resilience. If the countries of the world work together on these crucial issues, there may yet be hope.

While conversing with us he also shared details about his upcoming book which will be hitting the shelves in the next three to four months. It is titled ‘AgniBaan – Guardians of the Fire Chamber’ is a thriller that blends history, conspiracy and science.

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Talking about his next book, S. Venkatesh said, "The plot draws from an ancient connection between Egypt and India, and culminates in today’s world, in a sweeping conspiracy of global proportions. Interestingly, the book is set partly in some parts of India that have a history of mystical occurrences."

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Since this is his second collaboration with the team at TreeShade Books, we even quizzed how difficult or easy it was in the second outing. Ventakesh told us that the publisher is almost like family to his now. “The publisher’s role was significant not just during the editing process, but also in marketing, distribution and promotions. That has ensured that the book reached a large number of readers, and received visibility in the media. Moreover, the publisher understood the cinematic potential of the book, and that has culminated in our signing an optioning deal for the screen adaptation of KaalKoot. I am looking forward to deepening our relationship with the impending release of AgniBaan.”

For most people life has come to a standstill during the lockdown and they are in faced with an existential crisis of some sort but Venkatesh says that he is busier than he has ever been. Sharing his routine with Mumbai Live, he said, “My professional responsibilities have increased, as I advise businesses on how to navigate volatility. Between my work commitments, giving final touches to AgniBaan, and sharing housework with family, the days are quite packed.”

Lastly, since we were discussing this on the World Book Day, we could not help ask if there are three books that Ventakesh would recommend people to read in these challenging times where the world seems to fight a war with Coronavirus. 

Here are his Top 3 selections:

“Given the troubled milieu all around us, I’d recommend reading ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl’. The author draws from his own experiences in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War to drive home the importance of purpose, and the role of challenges in our lives. The book is hard-hitting and yet leaves the reader with hope and positivity. 

Another interesting book is ‘Wealth, War and Wisdom’ by the famous fund manager, the late Barton Biggs. Biggs draws from his decades of experience in the financial markets, ties it in with insights from World War II, and draws certain timeless conclusions about uncertainty and wealth.

Another of my all-time favourites is the Tao Te Ching, an ancient Chinese text about harmony and flow, which quite rhymes with our own tradition of Advaita Vedanta.

Lastly, moving away from the serious stuff, this is as good a time as any time to curl up with a thriller or a humorous book. I’ve been reading books by Daniel Silva recently. Younger readers may want to watch out for the Young Adult fiction ‘Along Came a Spyder’ by Apeksha Rao, which should be released in the next few weeks, and which I had the opportunity to pre-read recently.

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