About the Author:
Nishith Sharadchandra Parikh is a Chartered Accountant by profession currently associated with one of the leading Healthcare Companies in India. Reading and writing are his two absorbing passions. In The Signboard at Dholavira, Nishith has blended his interest in Indian history and mythology to write a taut, unputdownable mythological thriller.
The Signboard at Dholavira is his first fictional work in the Legend of the Drona Parva Astras.
Q.1) From where did you derive the idea of writing the book Signboard at
Well, am very deeply attached to Ancient Indian History and archaeology. Places and stories of historical importance always attract me. Rather I would like to say that I will prefer to spend my holidays at archaeological and historical places instead of spending my buck at hill stations.
Since my childhood I grew up reading the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and other books of historical importance as also the thrillers and fictions. The messages and incidents therein always fascinated and inspired me. And this reading habit gave a kick to my passion i.e. writing my own book.
Dholavira is a Harappan site located in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. And one of the most exciting discoveries at Dholavira is a large wooden “Signboard” excavated there. This is actually one of the longest Indus inscriptions known and however until the Indus script is deciphered, what the sign is saying still remains a mystery.
Dholavira’s reputation was equal to Mohenjo-Daro and I just wanted to retain the historical heritage by informing the people in general through the medium of this book that they should visit such a great place and take measures to promote and safeguard the place.
So I decided to link the story of my book with the Signboard. Signboard is the primary theme of the book that gave the story a good plot.
Q.2) How long did it take you to write the book ‘Signboard at Dholavira’?
I started gathering facts about the subject back in 2017. When you are writing a book that is related to your history, you have to be precise and have to undertake vast research.
First of all, I read the Mahabharata to find out what are those weapons mentioned therein actually? Then I read various articles that elaborated about the futuristic weapons used during the war. Again I came across Mundak Upanishad and Vimanika Shashtra. Also, I watched some documentaries and videos wherein those divine astras are explained. And after two and half years of research, I was able to complete the whole book.
Q.3) When did you decide to become a writer?
I am always imagining myself like I’m in a different story, living in a dreamy world. When I read a fiction I imagined myself as a part of it or say when I watch any Hollywood movie say Spiderman, Batman, I Imaged myself as a those fiction superheroes.
Hahah…That’s impossible so this thing also inspired me a lot to develop my own world as a writer.
Again Reading and Writing are my passion, since my college days I used to write several articles which used to be published in college magazines regularly.
Q.4) what was the hardest scene to write in this book?
Well to describe those weapons accurately without manipulating your Indian History was the greatest challenge I faced. There are numerous speculations about those weapons and variety of opinion prevails among the people at large hence to explain scientific properties of those weapons more precisely you have to dig into the deep.
I wanted to write a book but don’t want to speculate the facts. Hence to present those Divine and Futuristic weapons the way they were, I devoted major time reading the Mahabharata and other scriptures. The hardest scene in the book are those nine chapters where I had explained those nine weapons along with the story associated with each of them and the link between them and present weapons.
Also, to link those weapons with each time period viz from the period dated back to the times of the Mahabharata to Indus Valley and the Reign of Emperor Ashoka was a crucial part of the book because unless and until the plot was properly linked the book would not have been completely action-packed.
Q.5) Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
Professor Gaekwad, he is the main protagonist of the book. I always imagined in my dreams a hero who is wearing a hat, long coat, is history and archaeological lover hence I portrayed the character of my dream into the paper. He is an archaeologist associated with ASI’s projects relating to the Indus Valley excavations. He is characterized by his iconic wry, witty and sarcastic sense of humour, deep knowledge of ancient civilizations and languages.
His character is an adventurer evocative and pulp action hero. We had witnessed Archaeological heroes from the west like Indiana Jones and Professor Langdon; hence I desired to present our own Indian hero who is well versed in the field of history and archaeology. Moreover, I can say you will find more actions and adventurous journeys of Professor Gaekwad in my further works to come.
Thanks a lot, sir for taking out few minutes from your busy schedule.