Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Heaven is available till stocks last

Devdutt Pattanaik is fighting passionately to bring the clarity of Indian mythology to corporate decision-making, says Gaurav Jain

I believe I exist for a reason. I believe I have to write these things — which is my own private delusion, of course,” smiles Devdutt Pattanaik. In the ever-eccentric intellectual landscape, he cuts a mild but momentous figure. He’s a self-taught scholar of Indian mythology who reads only English, and has no intention of learning other languages. He’s a prolific writer and also an increasingly talked-about corporate coach with the enviable title of Chief Belief Officer at Future Group, the corporation behind Big Bazaar and Pantaloons.

He’s also fast reaching critical mass. He’s exhausted most Indian gods as themes for primers and maintained a steady torrent of articles in popular media. He was a speaker to the Jaipur Literature Festival this year and to TEDIndia last year. Now he’s published perhaps his most ambitious book yet — Jaya, a retelling of the entire Mahabharata in 350 lucid pages, where he blends several folk and regional variants of the epic into one linear narrative, alongside his line drawings. Each of the 108 short chapters begins with a mildly contrarian epigraph and ends with an engaging tippani (comment).

Full report here Tehelka

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